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TRANSFORMATION (Memoir--New Version)

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#1 Mezzanine

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Posted 25 October 2015 - 02:24 PM

Please see the new version of my query at #131: http://agentquerycon...rsion/?p=331391

 

 

Hi everyone. I'm looking for constructive criticism of my memoir query letter, copied below. Please note that you don't have to be a memoirist to comment. All feedback is greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance!

 

Dear Ms. AgentName,
 
I would like you to represent my 94,000-word memoir, TRANSFORMATION, an extraordinary coming of age story in Las Vegas about resilience, family, and how embracing my Native American heritage as a young child took me on a journey across the racial divide and put me at risk of imprisonment for following my faith. My story recently made the front page of The Huffington Post multiple times; therefore I am confident that my book will capture the interest of publishers and readers.
 
TRANSFORMATION tells of how my mother and I struggled to survive the exploits of my step-father--a man who taught our family about unity and responsibility through Kwanzaa yet became a drug-abusing adulterer and stalker. As I grew into a man, I learned that embracing my Native American heritage would come at a cost, setting me on a path to uncover a guilty family secret that would change my life forever. An unflinching story of love, laughs, and magic in the midst of death and disaster, TRANSFORMATION is a lyrical meditation on change--and discovering how what makes us who we are is not what we think.
 
I am a writer, speaker, and commentator known for my work advancing civil rights and social justice. I have spoken at national conferences, have been an invited college speaker, and have appeared on many television and radio programs, including NBC, CBS, MSN.com, and other national and international media. I have published overu 40 articles in The Huffington Post, The Advocate, and Indian Country Today, among others, and am currently wrapping up my doctorate in sociology. I have over 2,000 Twitter followers and have been quoted numerous times in books and prominent media like the Philadelphia Inquirer, Examiner, and the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. With larger messages about topics like racism, religious freedom, families, and identity, my book is marketable to a wide audience. It will appeal to fans of Jeannette Walls’ The Glass Castle and Lacy Johnson’s The Other Side
 
I would be pleased to send you my complete manuscript. Having read your profile, your interview at the London Book Fair, and the glowing comments many of your authors have said about you, I think we could be a great match. Your expertise and taste for moving stories will help my work find its place with audiences that love thematic and literary memoirs. Thank you for your time and consideration.
 
Sincerely,
 
My Name


#2 jaynesimmons

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Posted 26 October 2015 - 01:28 PM


Sorry I'll have to comment in brackets, my phone won't do colour...

 

I would like you to represent my 94,000-word memoir, TRANSFORMATION, an extraordinary coming of age story in Las Vegas about resilience, family, and (another 'catchy' word - full stop. The sentence is really interesting, but very long.)
(how. remove?) embracing my Native American heritage as a young child took me on a journey across the racial divide and put me at risk of imprisonment for following my faith.
(Move this bit later to continue the 'hook'?) My story recently made the front page of The Huffington Post multiple times; therefore I am confident that my book will capture the interest of publishers and readers.


TRANSFORMATION tells of how my mother and I struggled to survive the exploits of my step-father--a man who taught our family about unity and responsibility through Kwanzaa yet became a drug-abusing adulterer and stalker. As I grew into a man, I learned that embracing my Native American heritage would come at a cost, setting me on a path to uncover a guilty family secret that would change my life forever. An unflinching story of love, laughs, and magic in the midst of death and disaster, TRANSFORMATION is a lyrical meditation on change--and discovering how what makes us who we are is not what we think.

(I like the wording of this para, but again the sentences are quite long, making it harder to follow)
 

I am a writer, speaker, and commentator known for my work advancing civil rights and social justice.
(Put the bit from earlier here?)
I have spoken at national conferences, have been an invited college speaker, and have appeared on many television and radio programs, including NBC, CBS, MSN.com, and other national and international media. I have published over 40 articles in The Huffington Post, The Advocate, and Indian Country Today, among others, and am currently wrapping up my doctorate in sociology. I have over 2,000 Twitter followers and have been quoted numerous times in books and prominent media like the Philadelphia Inquirer, Examiner, and the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. With larger messages about topics like racism, religious freedom, families, and identity, my book is marketable to a wide audience. It will appeal to fans of Jeannette Walls’ The Glass Castle and Lacy Johnson’s The Other Side. 

 

I would be pleased to send you my complete manuscript. Having read your profile, your interview at the London Book Fair, and the glowing comments many of your authors have said about you, I think we could be a great match. Your expertise and taste for moving stories will help my work find its place with audiences that love thematic and literary memoirs. Thank you for your time and consideration.



Wow! you've really done your research and have a lot of expeience, this is pretty polished!
I love your writing style, would be great if you had time to give me some advice on mine, Flight, I'm going in circles!
Good luck!
 

#3 Miss Nomer

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Posted 26 October 2015 - 02:00 PM

Really good query - feels very polished. Just a few critiques that echo jaynesimmons.

 

First:

I would like you to represent my 94,000-word memoir, TRANSFORMATION, an extraordinary coming of age story in Las Vegas about resilience, family, and (you need another noun here to keep this parallel and then end the sentence). The rest of the sentence should be restructured to stand on its own to give it more impact. 

 

My story recently made the front page of The Huffington Post multiple times; therefore I am confident that my book will capture the interest of publishers and readers.    This part of the sentence is too generalized and offers nothing. Either be specific with your audience or delete this. Also, I agree with moving this down to your accomplishments section.

 

 

The rest of this feels very good to me. I kept looking for something to critique, but this is all I have for you. Great job and good luck!

 

 



#4 Mezzanine

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Posted 26 October 2015 - 02:59 PM

Sorry I'll have to comment in brackets, my phone won't do colour...

 

I would like you to represent my 94,000-word memoir, TRANSFORMATION, an extraordinary coming of age story in Las Vegas about resilience, family, and (another 'catchy' word - full stop. The sentence is really interesting, but very long.)
(how. remove?) embracing my Native American heritage as a young child took me on a journey across the racial divide and put me at risk of imprisonment for following my faith.
(Move this bit later to continue the 'hook'?) My story recently made the front page of The Huffington Post multiple times; therefore I am confident that my book will capture the interest of publishers and readers.


TRANSFORMATION tells of how my mother and I struggled to survive the exploits of my step-father--a man who taught our family about unity and responsibility through Kwanzaa yet became a drug-abusing adulterer and stalker. As I grew into a man, I learned that embracing my Native American heritage would come at a cost, setting me on a path to uncover a guilty family secret that would change my life forever. An unflinching story of love, laughs, and magic in the midst of death and disaster, TRANSFORMATION is a lyrical meditation on change--and discovering how what makes us who we are is not what we think.

(I like the wording of this para, but again the sentences are quite long, making it harder to follow)
 

I am a writer, speaker, and commentator known for my work advancing civil rights and social justice.
(Put the bit from earlier here?)
I have spoken at national conferences, have been an invited college speaker, and have appeared on many television and radio programs, including NBC, CBS, MSN.com, and other national and international media. I have published over 40 articles in The Huffington Post, The Advocate, and Indian Country Today, among others, and am currently wrapping up my doctorate in sociology. I have over 2,000 Twitter followers and have been quoted numerous times in books and prominent media like the Philadelphia Inquirer, Examiner, and the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. With larger messages about topics like racism, religious freedom, families, and identity, my book is marketable to a wide audience. It will appeal to fans of Jeannette Walls’ The Glass Castle and Lacy Johnson’s The Other Side. 

 

I would be pleased to send you my complete manuscript. Having read your profile, your interview at the London Book Fair, and the glowing comments many of your authors have said about you, I think we could be a great match. Your expertise and taste for moving stories will help my work find its place with audiences that love thematic and literary memoirs. Thank you for your time and consideration.



Wow! you've really done your research and have a lot of expeience, this is pretty polished!
I love your writing style, would be great if you had time to give me some advice on mine, Flight, I'm going in circles!
Good luck!
 

 
Hi, and thanks for your helpful comments. I think you have a good point about long sentences. The first sentence opening the query is my one-line synopsis. I’ve seen many of these go a bit long. Perhaps starting the one line synopsis as a separate sentence starting with the title would help? That would trim ten words. Perhaps something like this:
 
“I would like you to represent my 94,000-word memoir, TRANSFORMATION. TRANSFORMATION is a coming of age story in Las Vegas about resilience…” (Although I'm not big on the title ending one sentence and beginning the next, so that may require some work).
 
I think you have a good point about moving the part about my story on HuffPo. Originally I had this in my bio paragraph, but I moved this up front in hopes to better hook agents reading it. My sense from some of them is that you have to grab them right away in the first paragraph or many won’t make it to the second paragraph. 
 
I’ll give this some more consideration, but I appreciate your help. I’ll be sure to take a look at your query and return the favor!


#5 Mezzanine

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Posted 26 October 2015 - 03:05 PM

Really good query - feels very polished. Just a few critiques that echo jaynesimmons.

 

First:

I would like you to represent my 94,000-word memoir, TRANSFORMATION, an extraordinary coming of age story in Las Vegas about resilience, family, and (you need another noun here to keep this parallel and then end the sentence). The rest of the sentence should be restructured to stand on its own to give it more impact. 

 

My story recently made the front page of The Huffington Post multiple times; therefore I am confident that my book will capture the interest of publishers and readers.    This part of the sentence is too generalized and offers nothing. Either be specific with your audience or delete this. Also, I agree with moving this down to your accomplishments section.

 

 

The rest of this feels very good to me. I kept looking for something to critique, but this is all I have for you. Great job and good luck!

 

Hi, and thanks! I think you have a good point about the noun. Here, too, though, this sentence is my one-line synopsis. I've read a number of agents say that the one-line synopsis is very important, and if I break it into more than one sentence, it no longer would fit what they're looking for as then it would no longer convey the arc and so forth. I think you've got a good point, and were it not the one-line synopsis I'd agree with you. Not sure what to do about this. Any thoughts?



#6 Mezzanine

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Posted 28 October 2015 - 08:00 AM

Hi everyone. I greatly appreciate the feedback I've gotten. Thanks so much. Here is a new version with extensive changes throughout. What do you think?
 
 
Dear Ms. AgentName,
 
My parents shouldn’t have been having sex in the first place. 
 
Instead: Amy, babysitter, age fifteen, climbed onto the sofa where she nuzzled Ray. She caressed his chest and lit butterfly kisses on his neck and lips. Ray, age twenty and already planning his escape, pulled her close. They kissed, giggled, and gasped as I was conceived in a mixture that was two parts love, one part statutory rape.
 
Complete at 94,000 words, TRANSFORMATION is my coming of age memoir about resilience, family, and change. It explores how embracing my Native American heritage as a child would ultimately cost me my family, change my ethnic identity, and put me at risk of imprisonment for following my faith.
 
TRANSFORMATION tells of how my mother and I struggled to survive the exploits of my step-father, a man who became a drug-abusing adulterer and stalker. As I grew into a man, I reconnected with my father only to uncover a guilty family secret that would change my life forever. An unflinching story of love, laughs, and magic in the midst of death and disaster, TRANSFORMATION is a lyrical meditation on change--and discovering how what makes us who we are is not what we think.
 
I am a writer, speaker, and commentator known for my work advancing civil rights and social justice. I have spoken at national conferences, have been an invited college speaker, and have appeared on many television and radio programs, including NBC, CBS, MSN.com, and other national and international media. My story has been featured on the front page of The Huffington Post multiple times and has formed the basis of many of my public appearances as well as dozens of articles I’ve published in The Advocate, Indian Country Today, and Diverse, among others. I have over 2,000 Twitter followers and I write for The Huffington Post
 
With larger messages about topics like racism, religious freedom, families, and identity, my book is marketable to a wide audience. In my story I hope you will find the haunting candor of The Other Side and the moving triumph of The Glass Castle.
 
I would be pleased to send you my complete manuscript. Having read your online profiles, your interview with XYZ, and the glowing comments your authors have said about you, I think we could be a great match. Your expertise and taste for distinctive voices and strong character development will help my work find its place with audiences that love gripping literary memoirs. Thank you for your time and consideration.
 
Sincerely,
 
My Name


#7 jaynesimmons

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Posted 28 October 2015 - 04:25 PM

Wow! I thought your first attempt was good, this is GREAT!! You've nailed the hook, making it feel a lot more accessible.

 

My only, tiny, query is saying TRANSFORMATION twice in the fourth paragraph. Could you replace the first with 'my tale' or something else?

 

Love it, I'm sure you'll get offers! :)



#8 Chloe Kleine

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Posted 28 October 2015 - 06:35 PM

Hi there,

 

I'm also a MEMOIR writer, so here's just a few thoughts.

 

If your story was published in Huffingdon post you need to be clear whether that was someone else's write up / documentary on your case, or whether some of your actual manuscript has already been published, and if so exactly how much. It's not clear from your query. If your MS is already published in part it could be a problem...

 

Overall, I think it's a compelling query. BUT i wonder if you could capture even more emotion in your mini-synopsis. What were you deepest conflicts...? etc  

 

incidentally, I'm in the process of taking my true story to the market, and it turns out that publishers are reluctant to publish memoirs involving third parties unless you have 'Errors and Omissions insurance' (this insures the book against libel cases for defamation of character or invasion of privacy). To get the E&O insurance, you may need a signed release / consent letter from any third parties who are seriously involved in the MS. Something you might want to consider...  You could discuss all this with an agent, but worth looking into it ahead of time, and considering how you've portrayed some of the third parties involved. If you know you can get sign-off from (eg your step father) then probably worth mentioning it in the query (or indeed if he is already deceased - then there's no threat (in the US))...

 

Good luck with this - the story is very interesting.

 

Kind regards

Phoebe :-)

 

 

 


Please critique my query, and I will return the favour!

http://agentquerycon...n-bdsm-romance/

 


#9 swimwritesurf

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Posted 28 October 2015 - 09:33 PM

 

Hi everyone. I'm looking for constructive criticism of my memoir query letter, copied below. Please note that you don't have to be a memoirist to comment. All feedback is greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance!

 

Dear Ms. AgentName,
 
I am pleased to present my  I would like you to represent my  94,000-word memoir, TRANSFORMATION, an extraordinary coming of age story in Las Vegas about resilience, family, and how embracing my Native American heritage as a young child took me on a journey across the racial divide and put me at risk of imprisonment for following my faith.; therefore I am confident that my book will capture the interest of publishers and readers. (Try not to sound too overconfident, some agents probably won't like that sentence)
 
TRANSFORMATION tells of how my mother and I struggled to survive the exploits of my step-father- a man who taught our family about unity and responsibility through Kwanzaa yet became a drug-abusing adulterer and stalker. As I grew into a man, I learned that embracing my Native American heritage would come at a cost, setting me on a path to uncover a guilty family secret that would change my life forever. (Nice!) An unflinching story of love, laughs, and magic in the midst of death and disaster, TRANSFORMATION is a lyrical meditation on change-and discovering how what makes us who we are is not what we think. (I had to read this sentence a few times to understand it. It can probably be arranged more carefully)
 
I am a writer, speaker, and commentator known for my work advancing civil rights and social justice. TRANSFORMATION made the front page of The Huffington Post multiple times. I have spoken at national conferences, have been an invited college speaker, and have appeared on many television and radio programs, including NBC, CBS, MSN.com, and other national and international media. I have published over 40 articles in The Huffington Post, The Advocate, and Indian Country Today, among others, and am currently wrapping up my doctorate in sociology. I have over 2,000 Twitter followers and have been quoted numerous times in books and prominent media like the Philadelphia Inquirer, Examiner, and the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. With larger messages about topics like racism, religious freedom, families, and identity, my book is marketable to a wide audience. It will appeal to fans of Jeannette Walls’ The Glass Castle and Lacy Johnson’s The Other Side
 
I would be pleased to send you my complete manuscript. Having read your profile, your interview at the London Book Fair, and the glowing comments many of your authors have said about you, I think we could be a great match. Your expertise and taste for moving stories will might help my work find its place with audiences that love thematic and literary memoirs. Thank you for your time and consideration.
 
Sincerely,
 
My Name

 This sounds like a very interesting book, and your query is good so far. You're on the right track! Good luck 


If I've offered advice on your work, please try to reciprocate. Thanks!

 

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#10 Mezzanine

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Posted 29 October 2015 - 06:41 AM

Wow! I thought your first attempt was good, this is GREAT!! You've nailed the hook, making it feel a lot more accessible.

 

My only, tiny, query is saying TRANSFORMATION twice in the fourth paragraph. Could you replace the first with 'my tale' or something else?

 

Love it, I'm sure you'll get offers! :)

 

Thank you! I'll give that a try!



#11 Mezzanine

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Posted 29 October 2015 - 06:44 AM

Hi there,

 

I'm also a MEMOIR writer, so here's just a few thoughts.

 

If your story was published in Huffingdon post you need to be clear whether that was someone else's write up / documentary on your case, or whether some of your actual manuscript has already been published, and if so exactly how much. It's not clear from your query. If your MS is already published in part it could be a problem...

 

Overall, I think it's a compelling query. BUT i wonder if you could capture even more emotion in your mini-synopsis. What were you deepest conflicts...? etc  

 

incidentally, I'm in the process of taking my true story to the market, and it turns out that publishers are reluctant to publish memoirs involving third parties unless you have 'Errors and Omissions insurance' (this insures the book against libel cases for defamation of character or invasion of privacy). To get the E&O insurance, you may need a signed release / consent letter from any third parties who are seriously involved in the MS. Something you might want to consider...  You could discuss all this with an agent, but worth looking into it ahead of time, and considering how you've portrayed some of the third parties involved. If you know you can get sign-off from (eg your step father) then probably worth mentioning it in the query (or indeed if he is already deceased - then there's no threat (in the US))...

 

Good luck with this - the story is very interesting.

 

Kind regards

Phoebe :-)

 

 

 

 

Thank you! I see what you mean about deeper conflict. Will see what I can do about that. Hadn't heard about the insurance, so will look into that, too. Best of luck with your memoir!



#12 Mezzanine

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Posted 29 October 2015 - 06:46 AM

 

 

Hi everyone. I'm looking for constructive criticism of my memoir query letter, copied below. Please note that you don't have to be a memoirist to comment. All feedback is greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance!

 

Dear Ms. AgentName,
 
I am pleased to present my  I would like you to represent my  94,000-word memoir, TRANSFORMATION, an extraordinary coming of age story in Las Vegas about resilience, family, and how embracing my Native American heritage as a young child took me on a journey across the racial divide and put me at risk of imprisonment for following my faith.; therefore I am confident that my book will capture the interest of publishers and readers. (Try not to sound too overconfident, some agents probably won't like that sentence)
 
TRANSFORMATION tells of how my mother and I struggled to survive the exploits of my step-father- a man who taught our family about unity and responsibility through Kwanzaa yet became a drug-abusing adulterer and stalker. As I grew into a man, I learned that embracing my Native American heritage would come at a cost, setting me on a path to uncover a guilty family secret that would change my life forever. (Nice!) An unflinching story of love, laughs, and magic in the midst of death and disaster, TRANSFORMATION is a lyrical meditation on change-and discovering how what makes us who we are is not what we think. (I had to read this sentence a few times to understand it. It can probably be arranged more carefully)
 
I am a writer, speaker, and commentator known for my work advancing civil rights and social justice. TRANSFORMATION made the front page of The Huffington Post multiple times. I have spoken at national conferences, have been an invited college speaker, and have appeared on many television and radio programs, including NBC, CBS, MSN.com, and other national and international media. I have published over 40 articles in The Huffington Post, The Advocate, and Indian Country Today, among others, and am currently wrapping up my doctorate in sociology. I have over 2,000 Twitter followers and have been quoted numerous times in books and prominent media like the Philadelphia Inquirer, Examiner, and the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. With larger messages about topics like racism, religious freedom, families, and identity, my book is marketable to a wide audience. It will appeal to fans of Jeannette Walls’ The Glass Castle and Lacy Johnson’s The Other Side
 
I would be pleased to send you my complete manuscript. Having read your profile, your interview at the London Book Fair, and the glowing comments many of your authors have said about you, I think we could be a great match. Your expertise and taste for moving stories will might help my work find its place with audiences that love thematic and literary memoirs. Thank you for your time and consideration.
 
Sincerely,
 
My Name

 This sounds like a very interesting book, and your query is good so far. You're on the right track! Good luck 

 

 

Thanks for your help! I'll see what from your comments on the original that I can use in the revised version. Best of luck to you!



#13 Mezzanine

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Posted 29 October 2015 - 08:09 AM

Hi everyone. I greatly appreciate all the feedback I've been getting. It really is helping a lot. Here's a new version drawing on some of the great comments I've gotten. 
 
 
Dear Ms. Agent,
 
My parents shouldn’t have been having sex in the first place. 
 
Instead: Amy, babysitter, age fifteen, climbed onto the sofa where she nuzzled Ray. She caressed his chest and lit butterfly kisses on his neck and lips. Ray, age twenty and already planning his escape, pulled her close. They kissed, giggled, and gasped as I was conceived in a mixture that was two parts love, one part statutory rape.
 
Complete at 94,000 words, TRANSFORMATION is my coming of age memoir about resilience, family, and transformation. It explores how embracing my Native American heritage as a child would ultimately cost me my family, change my ethnic identity, and put me at risk of imprisonment for following my faith.
 
My story recounts how my mother and I struggled to survive the exploits of my step-father, a man I loved dearly but who became a drug-abusing adulterer and stalker. As I grew into a man, I faced my fears and reconnected with my father only to uncover a guilty family secret that would change my life forever. An unflinching story of love, laughs, and magic in the midst of death and disaster, TRANSFORMATION is a lyrical meditation on change--and discovering how what makes us who we are is not what we think.
 
I am a writer, speaker, and commentator known for my work advancing civil rights and social justice. I have spoken at national conferences, have been an invited college speaker, and have appeared on many television and radio programs, including NBC, CBS, MSN.com, and other national and international media. My story has been featured on the front page of The Huffington Post multiple times and has formed the basis of many of my public appearances as well as dozens of articles I’ve published in The Advocate, Indian Country Today, and Diverse, among others. I have over 2,000 Twitter followers and I write for The Huffington Post
 
With larger messages about topics like racism, religious freedom, families, and identity, my book is marketable to a wide audience. In my story I hope you will find the haunting candor of The Other Side and the moving triumph of The Glass Castle.
 
I would be pleased to send you my complete manuscript. Having read your online profiles, your interview with XYZ, and the glowing comments your authors have said about you, I think we could be a great match. Your expertise and taste for distinctive voices and strong character development will help my work find its place with audiences that love gripping literary memoirs. Thank you for your time and consideration.
 
Sincerely,
 
My Name


#14 morgansivan

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Posted 29 October 2015 - 12:34 PM

I don’t have a clue about memoir query but what I know is that I really like it. I can’t give you some constructive critique about your query but I can tell you I am impressed by your courage of wanting to tell your story.

 

From the hook I was caught and reading through the paragraphs I couldn’t help myself asking what happened next. I’m sure someone more qualified than me will give you some good advice [for me it already works the way it is but I’m no expert] so I think you’re wondering what the heck do I want.

 

I want to tell you that I appreciate you and your courage, determination and everything that made you what you are today. Someone should start writing about more important topics that will open our eyes a little more and make this world a better place.

 

Best of luck with the query and I’ll have my fingers crossed for you.


My NA Fantasy query - Burned Wings http://agentquerycon...y-death-angels/

 


#15 Miss Nomer

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Posted 29 October 2015 - 12:41 PM

Oh, Mezzanine, this looks ready! You've nailed the hook, and everything flows well. This is interesting, engaging, and well written. I'd read this, and I don't often do memoir. Good job. I can't wait to hear when you land an agent.



#16 Mezzanine

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Posted 29 October 2015 - 03:14 PM

Oh, Mezzanine, this looks ready! You've nailed the hook, and everything flows well. This is interesting, engaging, and well written. I'd read this, and I don't often do memoir. Good job. I can't wait to hear when you land an agent.

 

Thank you! I greatly appreciate the help and support! Best of luck to you, too!



#17 Mezzanine

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Posted 29 October 2015 - 03:16 PM

I don’t have a clue about memoir query but what I know is that I really like it. I can’t give you some constructive critique about your query but I can tell you I am impressed by your courage of wanting to tell your story.

 

From the hook I was caught and reading through the paragraphs I couldn’t help myself asking what happened next. I’m sure someone more qualified than me will give you some good advice [for me it already works the way it is but I’m no expert] so I think you’re wondering what the heck do I want.

 

I want to tell you that I appreciate you and your courage, determination and everything that made you what you are today. Someone should start writing about more important topics that will open our eyes a little more and make this world a better place.

 

Best of luck with the query and I’ll have my fingers crossed for you.

 

That means a lot to me. Thank you!



#18 Dadmire

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Posted 29 October 2015 - 04:35 PM

Embracing my Native American heritage as a young child took me on a journey across the racial divide and put me at risk of imprisonment for following my faith.

 

To me this is your starting sentence- I would leave all the housekeeping genre/ page count etc to the end. But I like the premise and would probably read it. I love multi-cultural pieces.

 Also syaing how extraordinary it is isn't good- show how wonderful it is and let your writing shine.

You are almost there.



#19 BrandiZ

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Posted 03 November 2015 - 02:38 AM

This sounds heartbreaking & relevant and your credentials are incredible. Don't have anything to add. Thanks for your advice on mine.

 

Good luck! Bumping so you can get more helpful eyes on this!



#20 KellyS

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Posted 03 November 2015 - 08:08 PM

 

Hi everyone. I greatly appreciate all the feedback I've been getting. It really is helping a lot. Here's a new version drawing on some of the great comments I've gotten. 
 
 
Dear Ms. Agent,
 
My parents shouldn’t have been having sex in the first place. 
 
Instead: Amy, babysitter, age fifteen, climbed onto the sofa where she nuzzled Ray. She caressed his chest and lit butterfly kisses on his neck and lips. Ray, age twenty and already planning his escape, pulled her close. They kissed, giggled, and gasped as I was conceived in a mixture that was two parts love, one part statutory rape.
 
Complete at 94,000 words, TRANSFORMATION is my coming of age memoir about resilience, family, and transformation. It explores how embracing my Native American heritage as a child would ultimately cost me my family, change my ethnic identity, and put me at risk of imprisonment for following my faith.
 
My story recounts how my mother and I struggled to survive the exploits of my step-father, a man I loved dearly but who became a drug-abusing adulterer and stalker. As I grew into a man, I faced my fears and reconnected with my father only to uncover a guilty family secret that would change my life forever. An unflinching story of love, laughs, and magic in the midst of death and disaster, TRANSFORMATION is a lyrical meditation on change--and discovering how what makes us who we are is not what we think.
 
I am a writer, speaker, and commentator known for my work advancing civil rights and social justice. I have spoken at national conferences, have been an invited college speaker, and have appeared on many television and radio programs, including NBC, CBS, MSN.com, and other national and international media. My story has been featured on the front page of The Huffington Post multiple times and has formed the basis of many of my public appearances as well as dozens of articles I’ve published in The Advocate, Indian Country Today, and Diverse, among others. I have over 2,000 Twitter followers and I write for The Huffington Post
 
With larger messages about topics like racism, religious freedom, families, and identity, my book is marketable to a wide audience. In my story I hope you will find the haunting candor of The Other Side and the moving triumph of The Glass Castle.
 
I would be pleased to send you my complete manuscript. Having read your online profiles, your interview with XYZ, and the glowing comments your authors have said about you, I think we could be a great match. Your expertise and taste for distinctive voices and strong character development will help my work find its place with audiences that love gripping literary memoirs. Thank you for your time and consideration.
 
Sincerely,
 
My Name

 

Great query. Overall, I think this it is very strong. I would just work on the paragraph I marked red.







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