8.02.2005

Is It Crap...Cover letters...double hockey stix


Dear Ms Snark,


That's Miss Snark to you bucko.

I am contacting you in regards to seeking representation for my completed, 108,000 word Contemporary Women's Fiction manuscript. A STATE OF GRACE is a story in which a woman travels to South America to escape the demons of her past and search for her true self, only to discover she was looking in every place except where the real answers lie in her heart.

"in regards to" ...about
"seeking representation for"...about (trust me, I know you know I'm an agent)
"in which a woman travels" ...a story about Grace's Amazing trip to South America
"to escape the demons of her past".....oh I give up.

You're using every cliche in the book.
I look for fresh and original writing. It's hard to cough up new ways to say "the demons of her past" but you'll just have to.





What if you thought your life was like a Sandra Bullock romantic comedy and suddenly it smashed to pieces like a dropped glass of Moet? How would you react if you discovered your husband was having an affair, your boss had filed for bankruptcy and you lost your job? What would you do if your best friend told you he's in love with you and has been for years? Flee the country, of course.


Well no. I'd call Jerry Springer and ICM and get a book deal after my chair throwing practice.
But..that's just me.

This actually might be sort of interesting maybe..and it's got some humor so I'm perking up here.



Determined to leave her troubles behind, Grace Winter embarks on a journey to South America to discover a new culture, and hopefully, a new Grace. Armed with ten kilos of chocolate, dry humor and a bad sense of direction, Grace finds smelly trekking boots, Bus Bingo and designer suits do not always mix. On a mountain climbing expedition romance leaders to disaster, and Grace finds the past can catch up with you, even on the other side of the world. Is life a romantic comedy or a hellish episode of Survivor? Grace is about to find out.


HERE"S YOUR LEAD!!!! Get rid of all that crap above and start with this. Heck this is about all you'd have to say for me to read the enclosed 3-5 pages.



I have worked as a freelance travel writer and lived and traveled in South America. A STATE OF GRACE is my first manuscript and currently I am working on other manuscripts- FOUR SEASONS and a trilogy EXPECTATIONS. I am an Australian author living in Canada.


Permanently? It matters. Geting PAID when you live in a furrin country is a bit of a trick. Miss Snark is on a first name basis with bankers who delight in taxing you for living in odd and strange locales like ...Canada.



Thank you for your consideration and time. I'd be happy to send you sample chapters and synopsis or a complete copy of the manuscript for your review. I look forward to hearing from you at your convenience.


Insert here my usual rant on closings. I've typed it six times. No more.

You saved the game in the third paragraph. More in that vein, and if your writing shows that flair, I'd read on.

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

Dear MISS Snark (Got it right this time!),
Thanks for the comments - and you can call off your mates at the bank and tax office. They are well and truly aware of my presence in Canada and the government was silly enough to give me permanent residence!
Thanks for running the Crap-o-meter over the letter, it was a great help!

Miss Snark said...

Im glad.
Thanks for taking the chance.
I respect your willingness to take a risk.

Maeve said...

I love the paragraph Miss Snark highlighted as YOUR LEAD.

Look forward. I'm interested in what is NOW happening to Grace.

Good luck!

al said...

Thanks very much Maeve. The good news is my sucky query letter made it past a few agents and one is reading the full at the moment, so maybe you'll get to share Grace's adventure if all goes well!

Miss Snark said...

See!!!! I told ya!! Good writing trumps sucky cover letters.

Oh wait, that was the rant in the comments from the post above this.

I hope Grace gets a shot at the big dance. Keep me posted!