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YA contemporary query that got me my agent


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#1 annab3lla

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Posted 06 September 2015 - 12:56 PM

I have signed with Lauren Abramo of DGLM. :) 

 

I went through so many different versions of my query, but the one that Lauren saw was this:

 

Fifteen-year-old gamer Kat has panic attacks. Her counselor tells her to count her breaths, but for some reason "one Mississippi… two did I lock the door… three Granddad is dying…" doesn’t always work. What does work is keeping her life structured and solitary and virtual.

 

Skateboarder Meg might be craptastic at schoolwork, and her “blame the ADHD” hyperactivity might have scared away even her stepdad of seven years, but when she kisses boys, they swoon. So at least she’s got that going for her. And if kissing isn't enough to keep a guy around, maybe sex is. Meg’s not afraid to try it. She’s not afraid of anything, except maybe being alone.

 

Both girls are on a collision course with disaster when fate or God or maybe Her Majesty the Queen intervenes by making them lab partners on a year-long science project. Separately they are each a mess, but together they just might be able to battle their demons...if they don't kill each other first.

 

IF YOU CAN'T FLY (69,000 words) is a contemporary YA story of friendship, disability, sex and video games that will appeal to fans of the unique voice in Jandy Nelson's I'LL GIVE YOU THE SUN and the characters' struggles with mental health and disability in Cammie McGovern's SAY WHAT YOU WILL. The story alternates between Meg's and Kat's POV.

 

For those who like to know the stats:

This is the second book I queried. I queried the first one (adult commercial fiction) around three years ago. I sent 47 queries and got 6 partial requests. That was the first book I ever wrote, and in retrospect, it was crap. I'm glad nothing happened with it.

For this one, querying took four months. I sent 46 queries and received 7 requests (3 partials and 4 fulls). I received an R&R, an offer, and the potential of a second offer that I ended up turning down before it went anywhere because I knew I wanted to sign with Lauren and I didn't want to waste that second agent's time.

The offer came at a time when I had convinced myself that nothing was going to happen with this book and I needed to buckle down and get the next one finished so I could start querying it. If you had told me that in a week, I'd have an agent, I would not have believed you. So those of you who are querying right now, try not to let the rejections get you down (easier said than done, I know). You never know what wonderfulness might be right around the corner! :)



#2 Carolynne Nelson

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Posted 06 September 2015 - 02:51 PM

I like it. Congratulations!

I'd appreciate if you'd take a look at my query here, DARKEST DAYS

 


#3 LucidDreamer

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Posted 06 September 2015 - 02:52 PM

Congratulations! FFantastic query and it sounds like a wonderful book!



#4 dogsbody

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Posted 06 September 2015 - 05:11 PM

You know I loved this query. ;) And that bit about "Her Majesty the Queen!" That's new, and I LOVE IT.

 

I'm so glad this project (and you) found an agent, and wish you all the best during submission. I'm really looking forward to seeing this book on the shelves. Congratulations!!



#5 Darcie Kinsey

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Posted 06 September 2015 - 08:55 PM

Fantastic! Congratulations and good luck!


“Words create sentences; sentences create paragraphs; sometimes paragraphs quicken and begin to breathe.” 

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#6 BOOMER

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Posted 10 September 2015 - 02:25 PM

Congrats on finding representation, Anna.

 

Reading about your success is very encouraging.

 

I hope you find more success with publishing!



#7 Tanya_Writes_YA

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Posted 10 September 2015 - 08:21 PM

Congrats! Enjoy the journey!



#8 annab3lla

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Posted 10 September 2015 - 08:30 PM

You know I loved this query. ;) And that bit about "Her Majesty the Queen!" That's new, and I LOVE IT.

 

I'm so glad this project (and you) found an agent, and wish you all the best during submission. I'm really looking forward to seeing this book on the shelves. Congratulations!!

 Thanks! :)

 

And thanks, everyone!



#9 Tanja

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Posted 10 September 2015 - 11:46 PM

That's wonderful. Congrats


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             10 DAY CONSPIRACY

 

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#10 agraham55

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Posted 12 September 2015 - 10:39 AM

Yay congrats! :biggrin:



#11 julialynn

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Posted 14 September 2015 - 04:54 PM

YAY congratulations!!


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#12 Anna.k

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Posted 15 September 2015 - 08:35 AM

 

I have signed with Lauren Abramo of DGLM. :) 

 

I went through so many different versions of my query, but the one that Lauren saw was this:

 

Fifteen-year-old gamer Kat has panic attacks. Her counselor tells her to count her breaths, but for some reason "one Mississippi… two did I lock the door… three Granddad is dying…" doesn’t always work. What does work is keeping her life structured and solitary and virtual.

 

Skateboarder Meg might be craptastic at schoolwork, and her “blame the ADHD” hyperactivity might have scared away even her stepdad of seven years, but when she kisses boys, they swoon. So at least she’s got that going for her. And if kissing isn't enough to keep a guy around, maybe sex is. Meg’s not afraid to try it. She’s not afraid of anything, except maybe being alone.

 

Both girls are on a collision course with disaster when fate or God or maybe Her Majesty the Queen intervenes by making them lab partners on a year-long science project. Separately they are each a mess, but together they just might be able to battle their demons...if they don't kill each other first.

 

IF YOU CAN'T FLY (69,000 words) is a contemporary YA story of friendship, disability, sex and video games that will appeal to fans of the unique voice in Jandy Nelson's I'LL GIVE YOU THE SUN and the characters' struggles with mental health and disability in Cammie McGovern's SAY WHAT YOU WILL. The story alternates between Meg's and Kat's POV.

 

For those who like to know the stats:

This is the second book I queried. I queried the first one (adult commercial fiction) around three years ago. I sent 47 queries and got 6 partial requests. That was the first book I ever wrote, and in retrospect, it was crap. I'm glad nothing happened with it.

For this one, querying took four months. I sent 46 queries and received 7 requests (3 partials and 4 fulls). I received an R&R, an offer, and the potential of a second offer that I ended up turning down before it went anywhere because I knew I wanted to sign with Lauren and I didn't want to waste that second agent's time.

The offer came at a time when I had convinced myself that nothing was going to happen with this book and I needed to buckle down and get the next one finished so I could start querying it. If you had told me that in a week, I'd have an agent, I would not have believed you. So those of you who are querying right now, try not to let the rejections get you down (easier said than done, I know). You never know what wonderfulness might be right around the corner! :)

 

 Thanks for the encouragement. I love your query! It has an immediate hook. Well done.



#13 kljacks

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Posted 09 October 2015 - 09:54 AM

Awesome job and congrats!  Great hook!



#14 Shawnee

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Posted 09 October 2015 - 01:50 PM

Congrats! Your hook made me want to keep reading immediately and your character's voice comes through brilliantly. 


“I do not over-intellectualize the production process. I try to keep it simple: Tell the damned story.”
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#15 all4kristen

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Posted 26 September 2016 - 09:45 AM

Awesome.



#16 C_Compton

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Posted 28 September 2016 - 10:05 AM

Congratulations! That's really encouraging. 



#17 ureynolds

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Posted 29 October 2016 - 03:58 PM

Wow, this is great!

 

Is this your first book to be published? (it sounds awesome, can't wait to read it!!!)



#18 kaleenagenette

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Posted 13 November 2016 - 06:13 AM

Nicely done! 1) Your voice is fantastic and engaging; 2) I loved I'LL GIVE YOU THE SUN; 3) When can I read it?


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#19 Jen Mannering

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Posted 26 November 2016 - 05:33 PM

Congrats!


Please help me with my query letter! Trying to write it feels like trying to run through wet sand...while drunk....and on fire...wearing ten tonnes of steel armour....

 

Query Letter

 

 

“Words are, in my not-so-humble opinion, our most inexhaustible source of magic. Capable of both inflicting injury, and remedying it.”

― J.K. Rowling

 

:biggrin:





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