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Academic background in Query Letter?

Historical Fiction Fiction

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#1 RossWrites


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Posted 18 May 2017 - 12:41 PM

I know that having a short biographical section in a query is not really a make-or-break issue either way, but I don't want to leave it out if it would be beneficial.


I'm working on preparing a query for a historical fiction. I have a B.A. in general historical studies and an M.A. in a more narrowed field of history, but which is not directly applicable to the setting of my manuscript. Should I mention this or would it be seen as useless information to the query? I want to present competence with historical understanding, but I also don't want to overplay what might not be of interest to an agent.

#2 Thrash


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Posted 18 May 2017 - 01:24 PM

I'd include it but in as few words as possible. 


For comparison, this is the last paragraph of my query:


Any Horror But This is complete at 85,000 words and would appeal to readers who enjoy the emotional focus of Tana French and psychological tension of Night Film by Marisha Pessl. Sleep paralysis is a genuine disorder that fascinated many when featured in the documentary The Nightmare, but is underrepresented in fiction. I live in Memphis, TN, where this novel is set, and received my MFA from University of Memphis in 2011.  I’d be delighted to send additional materials upon request.


The bulk of the rest of the query is story (and I keep tweaking/totally changing that part) so I think of this paragraph as end-data. I do invite others who may have a different opinion, but I think it's safe to include in the last paragraph. If the agent isn't interested in the story, they probably won't even closely read that paragraph, if they are very interested, it's a bonus, and in if they're on the fence, it can only do in you favor, but you definitely want the focus and bulk of your query be focused on your story rather than you.

Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: Historical Fiction, Fiction

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