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Witches of Coolersville (NA Urban Fantasy)


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#1 CareyHardisky

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Posted 07 February 2018 - 06:06 PM

I have a few blanks in parentheses to adjust to the requirements and who I'm sending to. I've had a few friends go over it but they don't have a lot of experience with queries yet.

 

 

Dear (Insert name here):

For your consideration, I have written a 51,000 word, new adult, urban fantasy novel titled “Witches of Coolersville.” The story is set in small town Ohio and is the first in what will be an exciting series of supernatural adventure.

“Witches of Coolersville” begins the story of 18 year old Tara Kavanagh as she moves to Coolersville, a small town in central Ohio, the summer before her freshman year of college to live with her paternal grandmother. She discovers she is descended from a line of witches on that side of the family. She must make the choice to accept and learn more about her heritage and power or turn her back on it.

Tara has been a character in my head for more than 10 years. When I made the decision to pursue writing professionally in 2013, she was a natural main character for the stories I have in mind for this series. The town I was raised in, in a suburb of Cleveland, had a quaint, historic feel that inspired much of my creation of Coolersville. Along with my lifelong love of all stories of the fantastical nature.
As stated before, this book is the first in a series of, so far, 3 books. The second, tentatively titled “New Witch on Campus” just completed the final round of self-edits and book 3 is being outlined.

I’ve studied creative writing both on my own and at the local community college. I have one story published through Kindle Direct. As a side project, I’m working on a collection of short stories and poetry. I’ve also participated on the kick-off panel twice for the Cleveland NaNoWriMo group.

 

As requested on your website, I’ve included (XYZ Requirements) (body of email or attachment depending on instructions.) I would be happy to send you the full manuscript for review should you consider representation. I have included my phone number as well so you may reach me in any way that is most convenient.

 

I look forward to hearing from you and possibly working with you in the future.

 

Thank you for your time,
Sincerely, Carey H



#2 Springfield

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Posted 07 February 2018 - 06:13 PM

I have a few blanks in parentheses to adjust to the requirements and who I'm sending to. I've had a few friends go over it but they don't have a lot of experience with queries yet.

 

 

Dear (Insert name here):

For your consideration, I have written That's not why you wrote it, I'm guessing.  a 51,000 word, This isn't novel length. It also makes it seem as if it's a Nano you didn't finish, heh. However, it's not novel length, especially for an adult novel, you need like 20k more. new adult, This isn't really a thing anymore. urban fantasy novel titled “Witches of Coolersville.” The story is set in small town Ohio and is the first in what will be an exciting series of supernatural adventure.

“Witches of Coolersville” begins the story of 18 year old Tara Kavanagh Ok, you need to do some research into queries -- read the threads here, read queryshark, etc. Then scrap this and start over. :)  as she moves to Coolersville, a small town in central Ohio, the summer before her freshman year of college to live with her paternal grandmother. She discovers she is descended from a line of witches on that side of the family. She must make the choice to accept and learn more about her heritage and power or turn her back on it.

Tara has been a character in my head for more than 10 years. When I made the decision to pursue writing professionally in 2013, she was a natural main character for the stories I have in mind for this series. The town I was raised in, in a suburb of Cleveland, had a quaint, historic feel that inspired much of my creation of Coolersville. Along with my lifelong love of all stories of the fantastical nature.
As stated before, this book is the first in a series of, so far, 3 books. The second, tentatively titled “New Witch on Campus” just completed the final round of self-edits and book 3 is being outlined.

I’ve studied creative writing both on my own and at the local community college. I have one story published through Kindle Direct. As a side project, I’m working on a collection of short stories and poetry. I’ve also participated on the kick-off panel twice for the Cleveland NaNoWriMo group. Now I'm even more suspicious of the unfinished Nano part, heh but NONE of this belongs here, at all.

 

As requested on your website, I’ve included (XYZ Requirements) (body of email or attachment depending on instructions.) I would be happy to send you the full manuscript for review should you consider representation. I have included my phone number as well so you may reach me in any way that is most convenient.

 

I look forward to hearing from you and possibly working with you in the future.

 

Thank you for your time,
Sincerely, Carey H



#3 Springfield

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Posted 07 February 2018 - 06:14 PM

Wait, this is already published? You need to disclose that. A lot of agents aren't interested in previously-published works.



#4 Laurie E. Smith

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Posted 07 February 2018 - 07:25 PM

Springfield made some excellent points. My $0.02...

 

I have a few blanks in parentheses to adjust to the requirements and who I'm sending to. I've had a few friends go over it but they don't have a lot of experience with queries yet.

 

 

Dear (Insert name here): Be sure you put a full paragraph break after the salutation and between each paragraph.

For your consideration, I have written a 51,000 word, new adult, urban fantasy novel titled “Witches of Coolersville.” Too short to be called a novel. :) The story is set in small town Ohio and is the first in what will be an exciting series of supernatural adventure. You need a hook sentence here, something to grab the reader's attention, not a generic statment of setting plus an over-the-top self-sell.

“Witches of Coolersville” begins the story of 18 year old Tara Kavanagh as she moves to Coolersville, a small town in central Ohio, the summer before her freshman year of college to live with her paternal grandmother. She discovers she is descended from a line of witches on that side of the family. She must make the choice to accept and learn more about her heritage and power or turn her back on it. There's no sense here of the emotional stakes, or of conflict, or of any details about the character beyond a few vague generalities. Specifics and emotional tension/conflict are what will grab an editor's attention.

Tara has been a character in my head for more than 10 years. When I made the decision to pursue writing professionally in 2013, she was a natural main character for the stories I have in mind for this series. The town I was raised in, in a suburb of Cleveland, had a quaint, historic feel that inspired much of my creation of Coolersville. Along with my lifelong love of all stories of the fantastical nature. Not something an editor is likely to be interested in. What they want to know is, what are your credentials? Previously published work, relevant courses and degrees?
As stated before, no need to say it twice! this book is the first in a series of, so far, 3 books. The second, tentatively titled “New Witch on Campus” just completed the final round of self-edits and book 3 is being outlined.

I’ve studied creative writing both on my own and at the local community college. I have one story published through Kindle Direct. As a side project, I’m working on a collection of short stories and poetry. I’ve also participated on the kick-off panel twice for the Cleveland NaNoWriMo group. And there are the credentials! :)

 

As requested on your website, I’ve included (XYZ Requirements) (body of email or attachment depending on instructions.) I would be happy to send you the full manuscript for review should you consider representation. I have included my phone number as well so you may reach me in any way that is most convenient.

 

I look forward to hearing from you and possibly working with you in the future. Too much, dude. You can leave this out. :)

 

Thank you for your time,
Sincerely, Carey H

 

Basically what I'm seeing here is that you need to restructure your query letter to provide 1) the hook, 2) the concise story summary highlighting the protagonist's conflict and making the reader care about them by evoking emotions, and 3) a focussed credentials section. Best of luck to you! Query letters are hard, don't be surprised if it takes you more than a few tries to get it whipped into shape. :)



#5 PureZhar3

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Posted 07 February 2018 - 08:11 PM

I have a few blanks in parentheses to adjust to the requirements and who I'm sending to. I've had a few friends go over it but they don't have a lot of experience with queries yet.

 

 

Dear (Insert name here):

For your consideration, I have written a 51,000 word, new adult, urban fantasy novel titled “Witches of Coolersville.” The story is set in small town Ohio and is the first in what will be an exciting series of supernatural adventure. ​Jump into the hook, put this at the end

“Witches of Coolersville” begins the story of 18 year old Tara Kavanagh as she moves to Coolersville, a small town in central Ohio, the summer before her freshman year of college to live with her paternal grandmother. ​Bored already. You need to start with the hook She discovers she is descended from a line of witches on that side of the family. She must make the choice to accept and learn more about her heritage and power or turn her back on it.

Tara has been a character in my head for more than 10 years. When I made the decision to pursue writing professionally in 2013, she was a natural main character for the stories I have in mind for this series. The town I was raised in, in a suburb of Cleveland, had a quaint, historic feel that inspired much of my creation of Coolersville. Along with my lifelong love of all stories of the fantastical nature.
As stated before, this book is the first in a series of, so far, 3 books. The second, tentatively titled “New Witch on Campus” just completed the final round of self-edits and book 3 is being outlined.

I’ve studied creative writing both on my own and at the local community college. I have one story published through Kindle Direct. As a side project, I’m working on a collection of short stories and poetry. I’ve also participated on the kick-off panel twice for the Cleveland NaNoWriMo group.

 

As requested on your website, I’ve included (XYZ Requirements) (body of email or attachment depending on instructions.) I would be happy to send you the full manuscript for review should you consider representation. I have included my phone number as well so you may reach me in any way that is most convenient.

 

I look forward to hearing from you and possibly working with you in the future.

 

Thank you for your time,
Sincerely, Carey H

​This is not a query.

​While there are quite a few things wrong with it, the biggest is that it simply is not about your character (what I gather is a quick synopsis). If there are more words focused on you and how you came to write this than there are actually describing a work, that's a problem. This is a pitch, whose sole purpose is to get the agents to read more. I suggest you look online and explore how to write and format a query letter, and then try writing this again based on that.

Also, even if it has series potential, you want to focus on the first book alone. Agents are agreeing to represent only the first work... and if that gets published and has good sales numbers, then it's time to get into whether or not the rest of the series will be published.

​Also, if this is self-published (that bit is unclear to me), then you can't really query this book at all unless it has magnificent sales records. Look more into traditional publishing and query writing before you move forward with anything else, I would suggest.

​Hopefully that helps!


If you have time, I'd appreciate it if you took a look at my query: http://agentquerycon...-realismsci-fi/


#6 galian84

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Posted 10 February 2018 - 02:18 PM

I have a few blanks in parentheses to adjust to the requirements and who I'm sending to. I've had a few friends go over it but they don't have a lot of experience with queries yet.

 

 

Dear (Insert name here):

For your consideration, I have written a 51,000 word, new adult, urban fantasy novel titled “Witches of Coolersville.” (51k is too short for a new adult or adult novel) The story is set in small town Ohio and is the first in what will be an exciting series of supernatural adventure. (Exact location doesn't matter, you've stated its urban fantasy so it's already assumed it takes place in our world. 

 

“Witches of Coolersville” begins the story of 18 year old Tara Kavanagh as she moves to Coolersville, a small town in central Ohio, the summer before her freshman year of college to live with her paternal grandmother. She discovers she is descended from a line of witches on that side of the family. She must make the choice to accept and learn more about her heritage and power or turn her back on it. (This is all very vague. Without any detail, it sounds like just another story about an ordinary girl who discovers she's a witch)

 

Tara has been a character in my head for more than 10 years. When I made the decision to pursue writing professionally in 2013, she was a natural main character for the stories I have in mind for this series. The town I was raised in, in a suburb of Cleveland, had a quaint, historic feel that inspired much of my creation of Coolersville. Along with my lifelong love of all stories of the fantastical nature. (All this information is unnecessary in a query letter)

 

As stated before, this book is the first in a series of, so far, 3 books. The second, tentatively titled “New Witch on Campus” just completed the final round of self-edits and book 3 is being outlined. (People feel differently about this, but I'd personally focus on Book #1 for now. If it doesn't sell, it doesn't matter if there's a Book #2. If it does well, your agent / publisher will want to know what else you have in the works)

 

I’ve studied creative writing both on my own and at the local community college. I have one story published through Kindle Direct (Should mention the name of your book if you've already been published). As a side project, I’m working on a collection of short stories and poetry. I’ve also participated on the kick-off panel twice for the Cleveland NaNoWriMo group.

 

As requested on your website, I’ve included (XYZ Requirements) (body of email or attachment depending on instructions.) I would be happy to send you the full manuscript for review should you consider representation. I have included my phone number as well so you may reach me in any way that is most convenient.

 

I look forward to hearing from you and possibly working with you in the future.

 

Thank you for your time,
Sincerely, Carey H

Hi Carey, this sounds like a back-cover blurb for a book, if that, not a query letter. I also added some spaces in between paragraphs to make it easier to read. Still in the learning process of query-writing myself, I did learn that a query should consist of three basic parts: Who your MC is, what he/she wants, and what's standing in the way of him/her getting what they want. More detail on your story is needed here, too. Suggest you read through some of the threads on this forum, as I've found them immensely useful, myself and get an idea of what a good query letter should look like. 

 

Good luck and I look forward to reading your revised query!






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