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UPDATE : AGGIE WINKUM & THE NOT-KNOWES -- 10/16/17 - REPLY # 11

Childrens Middle Grade Fiction Adventure Fantasy

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#1 K_Stickrath

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    I have also been published on Poetry.com, with my poem, "A Haunting of Daffodils"

    My work has also appeared in THE BLUE DIAMOND MYSTERY: A ROUND ROBIN EXPERIMENT and DESTINATION, OHIO --> also available on Amazon.com

Posted 03 October 2017 - 01:30 PM

Finding their old friend, the magical SNOOTAGUS trapped in a jar leads AGGIE WINKUM and her best friend BILLY BROWN on a direct collision with the elusive NOT-KNOWES. The NOT-KNOWES, a giant tap-dancing spider, has left the Dark Woods to feed.  One bite causes a human being to scatter into smaller, more edible components of personality. Drawn only to the most interesting people, the NOT-KNOWES targets BILLY's father.  However, BILLY is bitten instead.

 

With a loud pop, BILLY is gone! Drifting in his place is a silvery bubble with a swirling skin. With the help of THE SNOOTAGUS,  Aggie must seek out and reassemble all of the "boyness of boy" that makes up her friend before the strange bubble's sheen turns completely black. Unfortunately. the vicious NOT-KNOWES intends to find what's left of BILLY first, and will never be satisfied with only 'snips and snails'. 

 

Based on my great-grandfather's original Depression-era, with nods to Egyptian Mythology and the variants of "What Folks Are Made Of" folk poem, this piece has ______________  words. A middle-grade stand-alone work with series potential, AGGIE WINKUM & THE NOT-KNOWES is intended for advanced independent readers who enjoy Mary Poppins and The Wizard of Oz.

 

Thank you for your consideration.



#2 Ireth

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Posted 03 October 2017 - 02:25 PM

Finding their old friend, the magical Snootagus (you don't need to put character names in all-caps in a query; also, what is a Snootagus?trapped in a jar leads (X-year-old) Aggie Winkum and her best friend Billy Browon a direct collision with the elusive Not-Knowes. (I'd restructure this whole sentence. "When 12-year-old (or whatever) Aggie Winkum finds the magical Snootagus trapped in a jar, she and her friend Billy Brown [do something]. This leads them into the path of the giant tap-dancing spider called the Not-Knowes, which..." The NOT-KNOWES, a giant tap-dancing spider, has left the Dark Woods to feed.  One bite causes a human being to scatter into smaller, more edible components of personality. Drawn only to the most interesting people, the Not-Knowes targets Billy's father (say why this guy is interesting?)--but Billy is bitten instead.

 

With a loud pop, Billy is gone! Drifting in his place is a silvery bubble with a swirling skin. With the help of the Snootagus,  Aggie must seek out and reassemble all of the "boyness of boy" that makes up her friend before the strange bubble's sheen turns completely black. Unfortunately. the vicious Not-Knowes intends to find what's left of Billy first, and will never be satisfied with only 'snips and snails'. 

 

Based on my great-grandfather's original Depression-era (I feel like there's something missing here), with nods to Egyptian Mythology (huh? I didn't get any of that from the query) and the variants of "What Folks Are Made Of" folk poem, this piece has ______________  words. A middle-grade stand-alone work with series potential, AGGIE WINKUM & THE NOT-KNOWES is intended for advanced independent readers who enjoy Mary Poppins and The Wizard of Oz. (These are pretty outdated as comp titles; maybe try to find something more recent.)

 

Thank you for your time and consideration.


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#3 jaustail

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Posted 03 October 2017 - 10:57 PM

JMO:

 

Finding their old friend, the magical SNOOTAGUS(Snootagus. write names as you'd write proper nouns) trapped in a jar leads AGGIE WINKUM(maybe write this from Aggie's pov if aggie is the main character) and her best friend BILLY BROWN on a direct collision with the elusive NOT-KNOWES(how does it lead to a collision?). The NOT-KNOWES, a giant tap-dancing spider, has left the Dark Woods to feed.  One bite causes a human being to scatter into smaller, more edible components of personality(while this sounds interesting, i dont know what it is. simplify). Drawn only to the most interesting people, the NOT-KNOWES targets BILLY's father.  However, BILLY is bitten instead.

 

With a loud pop, BILLY is gone! Drifting in his place is a silvery bubble with a swirling skin. With the help of THE SNOOTAGUS,  Aggie must seek out and reassemble all of the "boyness of boy" that makes up her friend before the strange bubble's sheen turns completely black(okay so i get the plot. they have to revive their friend). Unfortunately. the vicious NOT-KNOWES intends to find what's left of BILLY first, and will never be satisfied with only 'snips and snails'(again sounds interesting but simplify)

 

Based on my great-grandfather's original Depression-era, with nods to Egyptian Mythology and the variants of "What Folks Are Made Of" folk poem, this piece has ______________  words. A middle-grade stand-alone work with series potential, AGGIE WINKUM & THE NOT-KNOWES is intended for advanced independent readers who enjoy Mary Poppins and The Wizard of Oz.

 

Thank you for your consideration.

 

I think you have an interesting story here. Group of friends have to find pieces so they can revive their friend. But the query needs revision. Write this from main character's pov and go from there. Also maybe reduce the number of characters/names you mention. The more names, the more it is to keep track of.



#4 BadgerFox

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Posted 04 October 2017 - 04:14 AM



Finding their old friend, the magical SNOOTAGUS,[comma, to denote an explanatory sub-clause] [absolutely love the name, by the way. It tickles me so much. I don't even know what a snootagus is and already I kind of want a cuddly toy of one!] trapped in a jar leads AGGIE WINKUM and her best friend BILLY BROWN on a direct collision with the elusive NOT-KNOWES. [This sentence is awkward. Try saying it out loud and you'll see the pauses are not quite in the right place. The verb and the noun don't entirely match, which I think is causing a lot of the awkwardness - it 'leads them on  direct collision'? Maybe something more like it 'draws them into the mystery of' or 'leads them into trouble with' or 'forces them on a collision-course with']  The NOT-KNOWES, a giant tap-dancing spider [hilarious, love it. Very silly and fun], has left the Dark Woods to feed.  One bite causes a human being to scatter into smaller, more edible components of personality. Drawn only to the most interesting people, the NOT-KNOWES targets BILLY's father [I keep reading the 'not-knowes' as plural by mistake. Hm. It sounds like a collection of confused tap-dancing spiders, not one spider. Also, don't capitalise the names for a query].  However, BILLY is bitten instead.

 

With a loud pop, BILLY is gone! [Nice use of exclamation mark, which is uncommonly seen in a query but I think works here. It's storytelling for youngsters, it should be energetic and fun, after all! :) ] Drifting in his place is a silvery bubble with a swirling skin. With the help of THE SNOOTAGUS,  Aggie must seek out and reassemble all of the "boyness of boy" [bit of an awkward phrase, even if it is in inverted commas. Can you make it a little clearer exactly what parts he splits into? It would help to be able to picture them. Are they inside this bubble or near it or in another dimension or...? How many pieces are we talking about here - are these like atom-sized and there's billions and trillions, or do we mean more like...ten of them? The size of marbles. Or...?] that makes up her friend before the strange bubble's sheen turns completely black. Unfortunately. the vicious NOT-KNOWES intends to find what's left of BILLY first, and will never be satisfied with only 'snips and snails'[I don't know what that last part of the sentence means. It could be a phrase that's local to your area, which is fine...if you only query agents who are too. I'm trying to picture it and all I'm getting is that a pair of scissors and a big mollusc are somehow not good enough for the tap-dancing spider. Um. Bit confused!]

 

Based on my great-grandfather's original Depression-era[his Depression-era what?], with nods to Egyptian Mythology [O yeah, I just go this. Like the story of Osiris and Isis, right? She has to find all the pieces of his body after his brother cuts him up, and has to search at the bottom of the Nile for the last missing bits...yeah, thats a pretty cool reference] and the variants of "What Folks Are Made Of" folk poem, this piece has ______________  words. A middle-grade stand-alone work with series potential, AGGIE WINKUM & THE NOT-KNOWES is intended for advanced independent readers [maybe put the genre? MG ?] who enjoy Mary Poppins and The Wizard of Oz [These will probably not do as comparison titles because they're so old. P.L. Travers is like...1910. The book market has changed and you probably need to emonstrate you're familiar with what's been selling recently in your chosen genre].

 

Thank you for your consideration.

 

This story has a lot of charm and sounds like silly fun. I loved childrens books that played with language and character names when I was small and reading these sorts of things. Good luck to you, I think the right agent will be happy to see this.


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#5 K_Stickrath

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    My first Middle-Grade Fantasy Book for Advanced, Independent Readers, FUNNY-FOOT & THE WOON OF BINK is available on #Amazon.

    My second compilation of poetry A WORDCROW'S FRETWORK" is available on #Amazon.


    My first book "HUM A FEW BARS...": A COMPILATION OF SHORT STORIES AND POETRY is available on #Amazon.

    ----

    I have had several poems published in my hometown newspaper.

    I have also been published on Poetry.com, with my poem, "A Haunting of Daffodils"

    My work has also appeared in THE BLUE DIAMOND MYSTERY: A ROUND ROBIN EXPERIMENT and DESTINATION, OHIO --> also available on Amazon.com

Posted 11 October 2017 - 01:39 PM

“Snips and snails and puppy dogs’ tails,

 

That’s what little boys are made of.”

 

 

If only it were that easy.

 

 

Finding their old friend, the magical Snootagus, trapped in jar leads best friends Aggie Winkum and Billy Brown to an explosive collision with the elusive Not-Knowes. The Not-Knowes, giant tap-dancing spiders, have left the Dark Woods to feed. One bite causes a human being to disperse into smaller component symbols of personality. Drawn only to the most interesting people, the Not-Knowes have begun hunting Billy's father, a local world traveler and collector of oddities. However, Billy is bitten instead.

 

 

 

With a loud pop, Billy is gone! Drifting in his place is a silvery bubble with a swirling soapy skin. Aided by the grumpy Snootagus, Aggie must reassemble all the scattered Billy elements before the bubble turns completely black. Unfortunately, the cluster of ravenous Not-Knowes intend to claim what's left of Billy first.

 

 

AGGIE WINKUM & THE NOT-KNOWES is a magically subversive adventure based on my great-grandfather's original Depression-era stories. With nods to Egyptian Mythology and the "What Folks Are Made Of" folk poem, this piece has ______________  words. AGGIE WINKUM & THE NOT-KNOWES is a middle-grade, stand-alone work with series potential. This story is intended for advanced independent readers who enjoy Neil Gaiman's FORTUNATELY, THE MILK, or classics like MARY POPPINS and THE WIZARD OF OZ. 

 

 

 

Thank you for your consideration.



(Wordcount, My Ref. = 231)



#6 wanna_husky_pupper

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Posted 12 October 2017 - 06:10 AM

I agree that this sounds a lot of fun. I got the 'puppy dogs' tails' reference, but the Egyptian mythology element went right over my head. Perhaps agents are all well-versed enough that this won't be an issue, but it seems like it might be more trouble than it's worth!

 

I really think this sounds interesting and there are some great, unusual ideas (at least, they're unusual to me!). I didn't notice a word-count for the story and I think you should include this!

 

 

“Snips and snails and puppy dogs’ tails,

 

That’s what little boys are made of.”

 

 

If only it were that easy.

 

 

Finding their old friend, the magical Snootagus Something about this makes me think I'm coming in part way through a series, trapped in jar leads best friends Aggie Winkum and Billy Brown to an explosive collision with the elusive Does 'elusive' suggest the Not-Knowes are actively being sought by others? Not-Knowes There's tons to like here, I think, but there are a lot of unknowns: Who/what is Snootagus (is this its name or its species?)? Why is (s)he/it in the jar? Why does finding (s)he/it lead to this confrontation?. The Not-Knowes, giant tap-dancing spiders, have left the Dark Woods to feed. One bite causes a human being to disperse dissolve, perhaps? into smaller component symbols of personality This implies they lose a physical body/presence entirely to me. Drawn only to the most interesting people, the Not-Knowes have begun hunting Billy's father I really like this bit - does this mean that they feed on dreams? ideas? Perhaps this is something to flesh out, a local world traveler and globe-trotting collector of oddities. However, Billy is bitten instead.

 

 

 

With a loud pop, Billy is gone! Drifting in his place is a silvery bubble with a swirling soapy skin. Aided by the grumpy Snootagus, Aggie must reassemble all the scattered Billy elements *please* can you call these 'Billy-bits'?! before the bubble turns completely black. Unfortunately, the cluster of ravenous Not-Knowes intend to claim what's left of Billy first.

 

 

AGGIE WINKUM & THE NOT-KNOWES is a magically subversive adventure based on my great-grandfather's original Depression-era stories. With nods to Egyptian Mythology and the "What Folks Are Made Of" folk poem, this piece has ______________  words. AGGIE WINKUM & THE NOT-KNOWES is a middle-grade, stand-alone work with series potential. This story is intended for advanced independent readers who enjoy Neil Gaiman's FORTUNATELY, THE MILK, or classics like MARY POPPINS and THE WIZARD OF OZ. This is just my take, but I think the space you use talking about the origins of the story might be better spent elaborating on the story itself.

 

 

 

Thank you for your consideration.



(Wordcount, My Ref. = 231)

 



#7 K_Stickrath

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    My first Middle-Grade Fantasy Book for Advanced, Independent Readers, FUNNY-FOOT & THE WOON OF BINK is available on #Amazon.

    My second compilation of poetry A WORDCROW'S FRETWORK" is available on #Amazon.


    My first book "HUM A FEW BARS...": A COMPILATION OF SHORT STORIES AND POETRY is available on #Amazon.

    ----

    I have had several poems published in my hometown newspaper.

    I have also been published on Poetry.com, with my poem, "A Haunting of Daffodils"

    My work has also appeared in THE BLUE DIAMOND MYSTERY: A ROUND ROBIN EXPERIMENT and DESTINATION, OHIO --> also available on Amazon.com

Posted 13 October 2017 - 06:03 AM

"Snips and snails and puppydog's tails,

That’s what little boys are made of.”

 

 

If only it were that easy.

 

 

Finding the magical Snootagus trapped in jar leads best friends Aggie Winkum and Billy Brown to an explosive collision with the elusive Not-Knowes. The Not-Knowes, giant tap-dancing spiders, have left the Dark Woods to feed. One bite causes a human being to disperse into smaller component symbols of the victim’s personality. (For example, a specific ball might represent a person’s sense of fun.) Drawn only to the most interesting people, the Not-Knowes have begun hunting Billy's father, a globetrotting collector of oddities. However, when the Not-Knowes set an ambush, impulsive Billy is bitten instead.

 

 

 

With a loud pop, Billy is gone! Drifting in his place is a silvery bubble with a swirling soapy skin. Aided by the grumpy Snootagus, Aggie must reassemble all the scattered Billy-bits before the bubble turns completely black. Otherwise, Billy will be gone, forever. Unfortunately, the ravenous Not-Knowes horde hasn’t finished playing with its food.

 

 

AGGIE WINKUM & THE NOT-KNOWES is a magically subversive adventure inspired by the folk poem, "What Folks Are Made Of,” and the Ancient Egyptian concept of the multi-faceted soul. This piece has ______________  words. AGGIE WINKUM & THE NOT-KNOWES is a middle-grade, stand-alone work with series potential. This story is intended for advanced independent readers who enjoy Neil Gaiman's FORTUNATELY, THE MILK, or classics like MARY POPPINS and THE WIZARD OF OZ. 

 

 

 

Thank you for your consideration.

 

 

 

 

(Wordcount, My Ref. = 246)



#8 MICRONESIA

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Posted 13 October 2017 - 08:31 AM

Please tell me you're not actually querying with that font/color.

#9 K_Stickrath

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    My second compilation of poetry A WORDCROW'S FRETWORK" is available on #Amazon.


    My first book "HUM A FEW BARS...": A COMPILATION OF SHORT STORIES AND POETRY is available on #Amazon.

    ----

    I have had several poems published in my hometown newspaper.

    I have also been published on Poetry.com, with my poem, "A Haunting of Daffodils"

    My work has also appeared in THE BLUE DIAMOND MYSTERY: A ROUND ROBIN EXPERIMENT and DESTINATION, OHIO --> also available on Amazon.com

Posted 13 October 2017 - 09:12 AM

Font and color in this context done so that I can differentiate my posts and the responses to them faster.



#10 jaustail

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Posted 13 October 2017 - 09:36 AM

"Snips and snails and puppydog's tails,

That’s what little boys are made of.”(a query letter is a business letter, so i'm not sure about starting with a poem)

 

 

If only it were that easy.

 

 

Finding the magical Snootagus(is he a person/creature?) trapped in jar leads best friends Aggie Winkum and Billy Brown to an explosive collision with the elusive Not-Knowes. The Not-Knowes, giant tap-dancing spiders(how do aggie and billy fing spiders? i assume the jar would be in the living room. is it in some forest? are they friends with snootagus?), have left the Dark Woods to feed. One bite causes a human being to disperse into smaller component symbols of the victim’s personality. (For example, a specific ball might represent a person’s sense of fun.) Drawn only to the most interesting people, the Not-Knowes have begun hunting Billy's father, a globetrotting collector of oddities. However, when the Not-Knowes set an ambush, impulsive Billy is bitten instead.

 

 

 

With a loud pop, Billy is gone! Drifting in his place is a silvery bubble with a swirling soapy skin. Aided by the grumpy Snootagus, Aggie must reassemble all the scattered Billy-bits before the bubble turns completely black. Otherwise,(If that happens) Billy will be gone, forever. Unfortunately, the ravenous Not-Knowes horde hasn’t finished playing with its food.

 

 

AGGIE WINKUM & THE NOT-KNOWES is a magically subversive adventure inspired by the folk poem, "What Folks Are Made Of,” and the Ancient Egyptian concept of the multi-faceted soul. This piece has ______________  words. AGGIE WINKUM & THE NOT-KNOWES is a middle-grade, stand-alone work with series potential. This story is intended for advanced independent readers who enjoy Neil Gaiman's FORTUNATELY, THE MILK, or classics like MARY POPPINS and THE WIZARD OF OZ. 

(word count)

 

 

Thank you for your consideration.

 

Sounds like a fun book, however the query needs to be simplified. Right now there are too many people.

 

I suggest reducing the number of characters/names in the query.

 

From what I've read about the busy schedule of agents, they mostly skim through a query.



#11 K_Stickrath

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    My first Middle-Grade Fantasy Book for Advanced, Independent Readers, FUNNY-FOOT & THE WOON OF BINK is available on #Amazon.

    My second compilation of poetry A WORDCROW'S FRETWORK" is available on #Amazon.


    My first book "HUM A FEW BARS...": A COMPILATION OF SHORT STORIES AND POETRY is available on #Amazon.

    ----

    I have had several poems published in my hometown newspaper.

    I have also been published on Poetry.com, with my poem, "A Haunting of Daffodils"

    My work has also appeared in THE BLUE DIAMOND MYSTERY: A ROUND ROBIN EXPERIMENT and DESTINATION, OHIO --> also available on Amazon.com

Posted 16 October 2017 - 09:12 AM

Aggie Winkum’s best friend, Billy Brown, isn’t afraid of anything, much less spiders. However, when a giant, tap-dancing arachnid bites him, he falls to pieces. Literally. 
 
 
The Not-Knowes have left the Dark Woods to feed. One bite breaks a human being into smaller physical symbols of personality. (Example: A ball might represent "a sense of fun.”) The Not-Knowes are drawn to the most interesting people. Their attempt to ambush a globetrotting collector of oddities snares Billy instead. 
 
 
With a loud pop, Billy is gone! Drifting in his place is a silvery bubble with a swirling soapy skin. To get him back, Aggie and a grumpy Snootagus must reassemble all the scattered Billy-bits. If she cannot do this before the bubble turns completely black, Billy will be gone forever. Unfortunately, the ravenous Not-Knowes horde has not finished playing with its food. 
 
 
AGGIE WINKUM & THE NOT-KNOWES is a magically subversive adventure inspired by the folk poem, "What Folks Are Made Of.” I intend this story for advanced independent readers who enjoy Neil Gaiman's FORTUNATELY, THE MILK, or classics like MARY POPPINS and THE WIZARD OF OZ. AGGIE WINKUM & THE NOT-KNOWES is a middle-grade, stand-alone work with series potential. This piece has __________ words. 
 
 
Thank you for your consideration.
 
 
 
 
 
 
Query Word Count: 208
*Please note, the full story word count is still in flux. I am debating on adding/losing a chapter or two.  The proper count will replace the blank line in the completed query. I am aware of the word count standards for middle-grade novels. Currently, my most pressing concern is the phrasing of the query, not that detail.






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