Sunday, February 10, 2013

1st draft of query letter.

Dear Editor/Publisher,

Fifteen year old Melissa was geared up to have a fun summer with her friends, but things altered when her nightmares became realistic, like a tractor digging for graves.  ‘Dreams, Ghosts, and Coffins’ is a Young Adult suspense novelette with a twist of true history. The word count average is 59,070.

Missy got trapped in a tunnel with Brandon, a boy she liked.  And to top it off, she found out her mom has a link to the person driving the tractor.  Her friends think she’s crazy with her so called dreams, but they too discovered something fishy was going on.  Brandon’s dad was an F.B.I. agent and helped solve the tractor case, but that didn’t stop other things happening, it only opened more doors.

I am a member of SCBWI and a graduate from the Institute of Children’s Literature.

Thank you for your time and look forward to hear from you soon.


Jeanette S. Andersen

What more do I need to add, delete, or change?  Thank you.


  1. This is a very good query letter. It has an excellent hook and a brief synopsis of the story wikthout giving to much away. From what I have learned, publishers like a brief bio. You might want to consider one. However, other than that, this is an excellent query letter.

  2. Thank you Daron. Not sure how to put that in or how to? Sounds lame eh? Any ideas?

  3. Jeanette,

    I liked your query. Some general observations.

    I hope you will be directing this query to a particular editor or publisher and that you change up the query to suit the particular editor or publisher each time you send it on.

    I'm not sure I understand what you mean by "like a tractor digging for graves." Do you mean that the tractor is realistic in digging for graves? Could you say instead, "...when her nightmares became true life. Consider a tractor digging for graves."

    I think you can be clear without giving things away.

    Perhaps it's just me, but I was a little lost. Good luck!

    1. I'll diffidently change the 1st and last paragraph to the person I send it too. Yes, she dreams of a tractor digging, but then realizes it isn't a dream, it's really happening across the street from her house in a field.

      Thanks for the suggestion Kathryn. Any help will be great.

  4. Hi Jeanette,
    I'm afraid I got confused by the first sentence, and didn't understand how the first and second paragraph are connected. Couldn't follow the timing of it. Did she start having nightmares in the tunnel? What does the tunnel have to do with the story? When did she discover that her dreams about the tractor became real? I had to read it a few times to understand she has prescient dreams and that one of them is sinister and involves her mom.
    I hope you take this in the spirit of me trying to be helpful and not critical. The fact that your previous commenters liked your query suggests it might just be my problem. Good luck.

    1. Don't worry Jagoda, you didn't offend me at all. In fact, the more I look at it I know the second paragraph isn't right at all. The wording isn't in order. Thank you for your comments.

  5. HiJeanette, I simply love your blog and have nominated you for a Very inspiring Blogger Award. To collect it's simple,click onto my blog and follow the rules.

    Have a great day Jen

  6. Hmmm...maybe change the start to something along the lines of:

    Fifteen year old Melissa was ready to have a fun summer with her friends, but things changed when her nightmares began to blend with reality. ‘Dreams, Ghosts, and Coffins’ is a Young Adult suspense novelette with a twist of true history. The word count average is 59,070.

    I do agree that there is a disconnect between the first and second paragraph. The verb tenses also seem to switch after the first sentence in the second paragraph. I think the tractor digging for graves either needs to be modified or removed.

    It's a good query! Good luck with it.

    Shannon at The Warrior Muse

    1. Shannon, you are the bomb. See, simple thinking is hard for me at times. My mind is over whelmed. lol. I need to mellow out. Thank you, I like it.

  7. You did a great job designing such a beautiful, creative page, Jeanette. You are quite talented and it's great that you're sharing your skills and ideas with us.