I've been dying to post on this thread for years! I started with a rough version of my query here on AQconnect. I tweaked it a little using comments, then I took it over to AW for some fresh eyes. After I made some more tweaks, I focused on it solely with my beta readers. Ultimately, this is the final product!
I sent out 13 queries, got 5 requests within 3 days, and then I got my first offer of rep 2 weeks later!
Dear [AGENT NAME],
[PERSONALIZED INFO ABOUT WHY THEY MIGHT BE INTERESTED...I used #MSWL a lot], I thought you might be interested in seeing my fantasy novel, DANCING WITH VIPERS.
Night after night, sixteen-year-old Cambria Rousseau risks arrest to arabesque and pirouette to the seductive ballads and hazy lights of an underground stage. In Elder, the law forbids commoners from practicing the arts, but someone’s got to pay the bills her mother left behind.
But when she catches the eye of a young aristocrat with a loose definition of legality, Cambria accepts the position as his sponsored dancer in a cutthroat dance competition. To win the unfathomable amount of prize money, she must out-perform the realm’s top teenage dancers— all while concealing her criminal background. Cambria combines glamorous magic and graceful technique to steal both the hearts and the votes of the public, and her chance to win skyrockets.
Then she hears the rumors. Unrest ripples among the lower classes, who finally demand equal access to the arts. Cambria questions whether paying off her debts is worth returning to a world where dance is forbidden. If she takes advantage of her newfound fame to reveal her identity, Cambria can finally prove that wealth doesn’t equal talent. But she gambles walking away empty handed— or worse. The powerful elites who own the arts don’t tolerate trespassers, and they’re willing to eliminate any threat to their control.
DANCING WITH VIPERS is a 72,000 word young adult fantasy novel with the magic of RED QUEEN and the competition of THE SELECTION. I’m an English teacher, so I’ve spent countless hours talking about books with my target audience.
As per the current submission guidelines, I have pasted the first ten pages below. I would be delighted to send the full manuscript at your request. Thank you for your time and consideration.