Yet Another Winner in the Query Letter Contest

Oh ye gentle querywarts who love to write Miss Snark about
your novels.

Try not to sound witless in the query letter.
It's a bad bad thing when after one sentence I want
to wad up the paper, and your SASE (with a kitten stamp
no less) and grind it to the floor under my hobnailed boot.

(Miss Snark does not actually wear hobnailed boots,
but she keeps one on her desk for these emergencies.
Miss Snark wears bunny slippers to work).

Here is the latest example:

"Dear Miss Snark:
My name is Felix Buttonweazer."

This is NOT an AA meeting.
This is NOT a debutante ball.
This is NOT the red carpet leading to
the Oscars.
You do not need to announce your presence.

I know who you are Felix...you (one prays to god)
have typed your name at the bottom of the letter.

A query letter of one page is about 250 words.
Why are you wasting them telling me something
I both can easily figure out and don't need to know?

That first sentence is important. Try not to waste it.

Now, if you need help with GREAT opening sentences,
go read Edna Buchanan. That lady knows how to
grab you good.


Juan Gabriel Llorca said...

Tell me, Snark...it would seem to me, from the reading of this post,that you actually do encourage the submissions of unknown authors...is my belief correct? Would you accept a query letter by e-mail? Go ahead, shout at me in print - tell me I'm an idiot, but tell more more of that agent-truth you're just dying for me to know...by the way,if you object to the three-dot punctuation, you need to read Celine...start with 'Death on the Instalment Plan'...know what? I bet you would have crucified James Joyce :)

Anonymous said...

Yes, Miss Snark does encourage new authors as long as the writing is good. But she does NOT accept e-queries.