Dear Miss Snark,
I recently heard about Snark Agency through my online writing and critique group, as well as the Agent Query website. I wanted to submit to you a query letter for the young adult novel I have written. (ditch this like a bad date)
A couple of weeks before her junior prom, Gayle Clarkson abruptly decides she would like to attend the event. Unfortunately she doesn’t have a date, a dress, or transportation to get her there.
Little Details, complete at 42,000 words, is a young adult romance novel that follows Gayle on her quest to go to prom using her “Prom Prep” manual. (you've buried this thing abou the manual , and it's your hook) Along the way Gayle learns about love and trust with Ryan, her crush of six years. She learns that friendship isn’t always what it seems when Jeremy, her best friend, attempts to sabotage her budding relationship. She also learns to dispel some of her preconceived notions regarding her young mother, Joanna, who micromanages each and every prom detail.
I currently freelance for several websites on a variety of topics, including kids math, parenting, and women’s issues. I have written four non-fiction books in the puzzle and games category, and they are currently available in most major bookstores. (Miss Snark adores puzzles. If she ever loses heart in her pursuit of Mr.Clooney, she's going for Mr. Shortz).
Thank you for taking the time to consider my work. If you wish to receive any portion of the manuscript or a synopsis please contact me via e-mail, or by phone. (SASE!!!!)
Encl: First Page of Manuscript (yup, this is the way to do that)
Well, we've all seen worse query letters. This one isn't all that enticing but it doesn't totally suck so I'd read pages.
Having long legs isn’t all it’s hyped up to be. I’m known for doing totally klutzy things. Like tripping over a footstool in the bookstore. ARGH.
“May I help you?” A tiny old woman appeared from nowhere to stand stiff in front of me.
I lifted my head from where I lay sprawled on the ground. Five books, previously held in a neat stack across my forearms, now littered the aisle. Several other items seemed jarred out of place.
The woman peered over the top of her turquoise bifocal eyeglasses and down her nose at me. Her brass nametag indicated she worked in the bookstore.
“No, thanks.” My mouth pulled up on the right side in an embarrassed grin. I pushed myself into a sitting position, brushed imaginary dirt off my knees, and began to gather the books now lying at odd angles on the floor.
“You’ve made quite a mess here,” she said with a tsk tsk. “I’ll help put them back, er … what’s your name dear?”
“Gayle.” I reached over and tried to align the books on a shelf.
She leaned in and squinted at the titles. “Oh, wedding books.” Her expression changed from stern disapproval to delight as she squatted down next to me.
“They’re not for me,” I said, thinking that should be obvious. After all, I was only sixteen. “They’re for my mother. She’s getting married. Again.”
“Is this her second marriage?” the clerk asked. She handed me one of the books on the floor.
“Uh, no. But I heard the third time’s a charm.”
I'd read the next pages. If it holds up, I'd read a partial. For YA though, your readers are three years or so younger than your protaganist so I'd be watching to make sure the story is ok for junior high girls (no orange cunts allowed in YA). I'd be watching for an authentic voice too.
(for example, no 16 year old I know ever says "Im only 16").