How to Write Successful Queries for Any Genre of Writing

If there’s one thing my students request when I give them an assignment, year after year, it’s always an example. And I understand. That’s why, during my recent throes of writing a query letter, I was so encouraged to find this great resource from Writer’s Digest (and if you’re not following them, what are you even doing?) This article gives some great tips for writing query letters, but most importantly, it provides “39 real examples of query letters that have worked for writers with commentary from their agents.” Manna from the gods.


Join a community

There’s safety in numbers, as they say, so think about joining a community and making some friends. Maybe it’s a critique circle, maybe it’s a book club, maybe it’s just a bunch of folks who like to drink coffee and chat about writing. Friends and family can vary widely in their support and understanding of your writing passion, so sometimes it’s helpful to go find your people.

Meetup is an obvious place to find some writing communities in your area, both in person and online, just search for “writing” and you’re off!

If you’re looking for a push to actually get you writing, you might consider joining NaNoWriMo, National Novel Writing Month, “something of a revolution that challenges writers everywhere to write an entire novel in one month. Crazy, but scores of dedicated fanatics have proven it’s possible. This is a wildly popular community that provides tons of support and writing strategies.”

Without knowing much about reddit, I checked out their Writer’s Group and found such helpful topics as “I want to write about dreamcatchers, but I’m not sure it’s culturally appropriate…” to a free random name generator, to someone asking for help writing a love letter to her boyfriend. The comments and threads were positive, funny, and welcoming. The only confusing part is that there’s a subreddit dedicated to write and another to writing. Choose one or both.

Or just so an internet search for “writing community,” scroll through the thousands of ideas, and pick one that suits you! I recently joined the #writingcommunity on Twitter and have been having such fun!


On finding “time” to write…

When I was younger, I fantasized about finding work as a fulltime writer—to actually make a living doing what I love. You can imagine how pleased I was, then, to land a writing job at Arizona State University, where they paid me good money to sit around all day, clacking the keys. Of course I was miserable, though. I wasn’t writing what I wanted to write and at the end of the day, all my writing juices were used up on my day job.

We writers too often throw ourselves off course with such fantasies. We imagine the perfect writing life to be off in a cabin somewhere, away from crying babies and nagging bills, and where the forest gnomes leave Wawa delivery on the porch multiple times a day. For many of us, however, this would be a fairy tale turned nightmare. Check out Jane Friedman’s “3 Principles for Finding the Time to Write” and share your thoughts by connecting with me below!