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Query that worked - early middle grade "chapter book"


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#1 Petal65

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Posted 05 January 2011 - 04:37 PM

The publisher had been seeking "Chapter books appealing to readers aged 7-9. We especially seek a series that will appeal to girls" so this fit right in and I wasn't shy about my ambitions for turning it into a series. A targeted query seemed to work, they just requested the full after reading three chapters.

Dear Sir/Madam

Please find enclosed my early chapter book manuscript Storm Girl and the Chaos Kid: Piñata Party.

Storm Girl and her brother the Chaos Kid are good at two things: making messes and breaking stuff. When Storm Girl becomes friends with the new girl next door, she’s afraid she’ll ruin everything with her destructiveness, but a piñata party might be a chance for Storm Girl to show off her special talents.

I’m the writer of the middle grade novel Hildegarde (Harper Collins Australia), which was also made into a feature film, starring Richard E Grant. My screenplays have been selected for the AFC New Screenwriter’s Scheme, won the AWG Monte Miller Award and placed in a number of major contests.

Recently I have returned my focus to writing children’s books and am now looking for a publisher for Storm Girl and the Chaos Kid: Piñata Party. As you might have suspected from the title, I hope to develop these characters into a series. The book is 6000 words and written at a Flesch-Kincaid level of 2.4. As requested, my CV, a summary and three sample chapters are attached below.

I have an MFA in Creative Writing from UBC and apart from teaching writing to ESL students part-time, I’m a full-time writer. Currently underway is another novel, as yet untitled, about a boy ghost who gets more than he bargained for when he rescues two children from a hurricane.

Feel free to call me to discuss my work on xxx xxx xxxx. Alternatively you could email me on xx@xxxxxxx.com.

I look forward to hearing from you. Thanks for your time.

Sincerely
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#2 Bob Barr

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Posted 05 January 2011 - 04:46 PM

Thank you for sharing. Chances for success improve if you have what someone is looking for. Here's hoping it works out!
Bob A Barr
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#3 Pete Morin

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Posted 05 January 2011 - 05:19 PM

Superb job. Very impressive. Good luck!!Posted Image
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#4 Juls Duncan

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Posted 05 January 2011 - 06:22 PM

Way to go!!!! Nice... Very happy for you... Will keep my fingers crossed... Juls

#5 Brendacarre

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Posted 05 January 2011 - 09:18 PM

Nicely done. Remember to shout out when you hear news on the full. Fingers and toes crossed. :biggrin:

#6 Jean Oram

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Posted 05 January 2011 - 09:37 PM

You can hear the voice in your query which will have them intrigued right off the bat--and then followed up with publishing experience, a movie deal, and some awards. Heck, yeah! They're going to ask for more! I hope they enjoy it and you get yourself agented soon!

I love connecting with and helping other AQCers outside this forum as well. You can find me all over the place!

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#7 Peter Burton

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Posted 06 January 2011 - 01:08 PM

All right Petal!!

Way to go, girl! :biggrin:

Be sure to keep us updated with how it all works out for you.

"But that's OK. There's treasure children always seek to find.

And just like us, you must have had, a Once Upon A Time."

~Elton John


#8 Petal65

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Posted 12 July 2011 - 12:05 PM

The editor is taking it to the acquisitions committee next month! Yay!
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Read WICKET SEASON, from Lorimer Books, March 2012
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#9 Cat Woods

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Posted 12 July 2011 - 12:13 PM

Nice job and best luck!

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#10 anticipa

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Posted 12 July 2011 - 12:49 PM

WOOHOO! You go Petal!

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#11 Brendacarre

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Posted 13 July 2011 - 12:17 PM

Wonderful news, Petal. Snoopy dance! :wub:

#12 khaulamazhar

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Posted 18 July 2011 - 02:22 AM

Congrats!That is great :biggrin:

#13 Dorothy

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Posted 19 July 2011 - 02:08 PM

It's a super query - those few sentences of Storm girl hooked me. Go, go go!
GDE

#14 Tom Preece

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Posted 19 July 2011 - 03:41 PM

Hope you're writing the next one now!

#15 kevinmont

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Posted 27 July 2011 - 12:55 AM

Currently underway is another novel, as yet untitled, about a boy ghost who gets more than he bargained for when he rescues two children from a hurricane.


Working title,

"Spirit of the Storm."

#16 Petal65

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Posted 29 July 2011 - 07:29 PM

Nice title Kevin, but it's got a title I'm happy with 'Silver and Mist". I posted the query here I think.
READ MY BLOGS: www.angelhorn.com www.versenovels.com

Read WICKET SEASON, from Lorimer Books, March 2012
Add AUDACIOUS to you Goodreads Shelves. Coming from Orca Books, Fall 2013

"The highest duty of the writer, the composer, the artist is to remain true to himself and let the chips fall where they may." (John F. Kennedy)

#17 1KellieM

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Posted 31 July 2011 - 09:59 PM

Congrats Petal! That is wonderful. As a writer with a children's chapter book aimed at kids the same age, my question to you is about your query. You have a lot of wonderful experience as a writer and it shows in your query. You've been published, had a movie made, etc. How much do you think your experience played in the agents initial interest in your story?

I noticed that just the first part of your query is about the book, the majority is about you as an author. I, on the other hand, don't have anything about me to mention to the agent. I have just written my first story, have not been published, etc. So, do you have any opinions on how I might structure my query letter? With these books that are quite short I'm worried that the query tells the whole story instead of just "hooking" the agent.

I believe we've posted to each other before, so you might remember my story (I wish). It's about a boy who moves with his family to a new town and builds a friend factory so that he can "make" friends.

Thanks for any insight you can share. I appreciate someone with experience teaching someone without.

1KellieM

#18 Petal65

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Posted 20 August 2011 - 02:16 AM

Kellie
I think my experience plays a HUGE part in the results I get with query letters. Anything you can do to make yourself seem legit helps though. Try to get published in children's magazines, local newspapers etc. I lucked into selling my first screenplay which was made into a five million dollar feature. That doesn't happen to everyone but well, it DOES happen. What can I say?

I do remember your story. It's a picture book? My advice with that is not trouble agents with it. Agent never rep clients just on a picture book - sorry bit it's true. Pitch it directly to publishers. I have a friend who has about five picture books out and she has never had an agent.
READ MY BLOGS: www.angelhorn.com www.versenovels.com

Read WICKET SEASON, from Lorimer Books, March 2012
Add AUDACIOUS to you Goodreads Shelves. Coming from Orca Books, Fall 2013

"The highest duty of the writer, the composer, the artist is to remain true to himself and let the chips fall where they may." (John F. Kennedy)

#19 Petal65

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Posted 18 September 2011 - 05:21 PM

The publisher has backed out. They are not signing any new authors. Poop. :wacko:
READ MY BLOGS: www.angelhorn.com www.versenovels.com

Read WICKET SEASON, from Lorimer Books, March 2012
Add AUDACIOUS to you Goodreads Shelves. Coming from Orca Books, Fall 2013

"The highest duty of the writer, the composer, the artist is to remain true to himself and let the chips fall where they may." (John F. Kennedy)

#20 JaymzB0nd

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Posted 18 September 2011 - 09:44 PM

The publisher has backed out. They are not signing any new authors. Poop. :wacko:


Sorry to hear that. Did you submit it to any other publishers? On a side note, what was the name of the movie that you wrote?




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