Querying Resources

This week I’m focusing on revising and editing my query-gulp- and in my query-research hunt, I’ve found some resources that I want to share with some fellow writer-warriors

Querying Resources

Query Guidelines

  1. Query Setup
  2. Query Setup: Writer’s Digest


Query Letters

Sarah J Maas Example

Dear Ms. Rydzinski:

What if Cinderella went to the ball not to win the heart of the prince, but to kill him?  In THE EYE OF THE CHOSEN, the first book of my fantasy trilogy, QUEEN OF GLASS, Celaena Sardothien is not a damsel in distress—she’s an assassin.  Serving a life sentence in the salt mines for her crimes, Celaena finds herself faced with a proposition she can’t turn down: her freedom in exchange for the deaths of the King of Adarlan’s enemies.

Before she can complete her mission, she must first train within the glass castle in the capital of the empire. As training with the Captain of the Guard revives her muscles, encounters with the Crown Prince threaten to do the same to her heart. But Celaena soon learns that the King of Adarlan might have plans more sinister than assassinations.

An ancient queen’s ghost charges Celaena with an enormous task: to discover and destroy the mysterious source of the evil king’s power. Torn between her desire to win her freedom and a mission much bigger than herself, Celaena thus begins an adventure she never wanted, which will uncover her forgotten, magical past—a past more dangerous than any tyrant…

I am a 2008 graduate of Hamilton College with a degree in Creative Writing, and I have been published in Hamilton’s literary magazine, Red Weather. Because of your interest in fantasy, I thought you might be interested in my trilogy, which is centered on a retelling of the Cinderella legend through the eyes of an assassin. My completed manuscript is available at your request. Below, please find the first ten pages of my manuscript. I look forward to hearing from you soon.

Thank you for your time and consideration,

Sarah J. Maas


  • Middle Grade Query


Dianna Winget Example

Dear Ms. Kole,

[1] According to your agency’s website you’re actively seeking middle-grade fiction, so I’m pleased to introduce my novel, A Smidgen of Sky. [2] This novel won me a scholarship to attend the Highlights Foundation Writers Workshop at Chautauqua. It was also awarded honorable mention in the Smart Writers W.I.N. Competition.

[3] A Smidgen of Sky is the story of ten-year-old Piper Lee DeLuna, a spunky, impulsive dreamer, whose fierce devotion to her missing father is threatened by her mother’s upcoming remarriage.

[4] Everyone else has long accepted her father’s death, but the fact that his body was never recovered from his wrecked plane leads to Piper’s dream that he might one day reappear and free her from the secret guilt she harbors over his accident. Her stubborn focus leaves no room in her affections for her mother’s fiancé, Ben, or his princess-like daughter, Ginger.

[5] Determined to stop the wedding, Piper Lee schemes up “Operation Finding Tina”—a sure plan to locate Ben’s ex-wife and get the two of them back together. But just as Piper succeeds with step one of her plan, a riot breaks out at the prison where Ben works, and suddenly nothing seems sure.

[6] Since middle-graders care deeply about things and people and love to daydream about their future, I think readers will identify with Piper Lee and find her an appealing heroine as she learns that you can both cherish the past and embrace the future.

[7] This story, set in the coastal region of Georgia, runs about 33,000 words and is somewhat similar in tone to Kate DiCamillo’s Because of Winn-Dixie.

[8] I’m a 1990 graduate of the Institute of Children’s Literature and my work has been published in U*S* Kids, Child Life, Columbia Kids, True Love, Guide and StoryPlus.

Thanks very much for your time. I have included the first ten pages and look forward to hearing from you.

Truly yours,

Dianna Winget



Query Week: QUEEN OF GLASS by Sarah J. Maas

I love this query letter! I always re-read it to remind myself how appealing and exciting it is.

Let The Words Flow


In case you didn’t see on Friday, this week is ALL ABOUT QUERYING.

Today, Sarah J, Maas will discuss her querying experience for QUEEN OF GLASS, and what made it successful (or not); Wednesday, Savannah Foley will be doing the same for her ANTEBELLUM query; and Friday, Mandy Hubbard—YA author extraordinaire and literary agency intern—will be analyzing their queries from an agent’s POV.

But what’s the point of all this?

To help you. To learn from our mistakes—and our achievements. To get a sense for what works, and what doesn’t. To know what catches an agent’s eye, or what repels them.

Feel free to post any questions you might have about the querying process–we’d all be more than happy to answer them! And don’t hesitate to give your own feedback about the queries we share!

We hope you’ll join us!




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Books read in 2017

Books read in 2017


  • Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir
  • Graceling by Kristen Kashore
  • Throne of Glass, Book 3 Heir of Fire by Sarah J. Maas
  • Throne of Glass, Book 4 Queen of Shadows by Sarah J. Maas
  • Throne of Glass, Book 5 Empire of Storms by Sarah J. Maas


  • Cinder by Marissa Meyer


Currently reading


  • A Darker Shade of Magic, Book 1 by V.E. Schwab
  • The Gunslinger by Stephen King
  • Mistborn by Brandon Sanderson
  • Eye of the World by Robert Jordan
  • Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas


  • Leviathan Wakes by James S. A. Corey
  • Admiral by Sean Danker
  • Banta by Nnedi Okorafor
  • Dune by Frank Herbert


  • My Brilliant Friend by Elena Ferrante


  • Story Genius by Lisa Cron
  • Writer’s Market 2017


What I would like to read next…

  • A Great and Terrible by Beauty by Libba Bray

White Stag #7

The antlered woman stirred the long oar into the deep, cool water. With each stroke, the water rippled, but oddly, almost as if it consisted of thick oil.

Earlier, they had climbed up the mossy hills from were they had stood, and then the creature led her through endless twists and turns within the forest. Sade could barely keep up. She feared blinking for the sheer terror of losing sight of the woman. Her feet had moved with the deft silence of a deer unlike Sade’s clumsy clunking about. Sade had boarded onto a small, wooden boat made of dark walnut wood.


Now, without emitting a sound, the woman swept the oar through the waters, and they made their way towards the forest that was underwater. Sade sat back, staring agape at the tree tops poking out of the water while their trunks were submerged; a few branches poked out from the murky depths like barren and lonely poles. It was like nothing she had ever seen before.

The sky above them had changed to a cold, depthless blue, and clouds rumbled in the distance, threatening rain. A sudden flash of lightning lit up the sky, and Sade was surprised to hear whimpering. It would have never come from the deer-like woman in front of her; a creature like that would surely be too proud to emit such a noise. She glanced all around her, and then saw a group of small, furry creatures clutching onto the leaves of the trees. Their faces and ears were similar to that of bats, and their eyes were larger than their face seemed capable of holding. Their tiny hands gripped at the leaves while a merciless gust of wind attempt to shake their round, fuzzy bodies from their sanctuary.

“We have to help them! They’ll drown!” Sade shouted unexpectedly, shoving her hair away from her face. She turned to get the stag-woman’s attention but discovered that she was already staring at her with her glittering axinite-brown eyes. It was as if the woman were considering her.

“They are your tenants. And these, your lands. Your people are drowning,” her strange voice was hard when she said it, but Sade could hear the gentlest layer of sympathy affected it.

“How can I have people?” roared Sade, “How the hell are these my lands? I don’t know what those things even are, but I know that they are drowning.”

“You caused this,” the woman extended her slender fingers indicating to the watery forests all around them. Sade looked all around her and saw the tops of trees barely over the surface of the growing waters. The sky rumbled louder and a whip of lightning crackled above. In the distance, she could see a pair of boulders not too far, and for a moment, she could have sworn another horned figure stood atop the rocks; but this time, the creature’s eyes were not brown, they glowed red.

Sade glanced back to the woman, and she stared off in the exact spot that Sade had looked in, but if she saw anything, she made no mention of it.

“I did not cause this. Maybe things-people like you can, but humans can’t cause forest floods.” The small creatures were now trembling atop the tree. They couldn’t be more than a few feet away.

The woman patiently gazed at her now, “Whether you are human or not is no matter. Your body is tied to this forest due to your sacrifice.”

“What the HELL does that mean?” Sade demanded.

The woman stood up in a huff, clearly not accustomed to being spoken to in such a rude manner, especially by a human child. An annoying human child. The boat rocked, and the smallest amount of water splashed against Sade’s knee, leaving it muddy. She firmly regretted not wearing pants. At least her brother’s –a stab of pain– Nirvana shirt was oversized enough to be a near dress.

“It means,” her dreadful voice vibrated against Sade’s ears, “that you made this maelstrom, now you fix it.”

And with that she vanished.

Sade was left saying words far worse than any twelve-year-old should be allowed.


If you would like to read installments of White Stag, check out my page above under “White Stag Installations.” Stay tuned for more White Stag each Thursday. Thank you for reading !


The Leshy (also known as Lesovik or Lezca) is a woodland spirit who is also a guardian of their forest. These lords of the forest are typically depicted to look satyr-like, with dark, jade eyes and are often covered with leaves and other foliage.

They’re known to be tricksters, so forest visitors should be wary. Leshiye do not like to be bothered by humans, so they live deep within their forests; however, when bothered, they are known to erase a traveler’s footprints, so the human becomes lost in their forest.


According to the Encyclopedia Britannia, the Leshy can be identified by the following, “…though he often has the appearance of a man, his eyebrows, eyelashes, and right ear are missing, his head is somewhat pointed, and he lacks a hat and belt. In his native forest the Leshy is as tall as the trees, but, the moment he steps beyond, he shrinks to the size of grass.” Though, I must say a man covered in live vegetation would probably be easy to recognize as a Leshy.

Still, others claim it is easier to hear or even feel the presence of a Leshy than spot one. In “Storytelling: An Encyclopedia of Mythology and Folklore” the author states, “His voice might imitate the rustle of the leaves or the sighting of the wind in the trees.” People claim that when the forest feels as if it were closing in on you, or as if the very trees were watching you, then a Leshy is not too far away.

People have met their deaths by the Lord of the Forest, fore the creature has led people astray, lured them to dangerous spots, kidnapped women and even tickled them to death…which is strangely macabre and adorable all at once….

Thankfully, even YOU, the fantasy traveler, can prevent a Leshy attack by simply adhering to the following guidelines:

  • Carry some bread to give as a gift (Leshiye love carbs)
  • Wear one’s clothes inside out or backwards (they think this is hilarious and that often breaks their malicious intentions)
  • Provide them with squirrels (this one has not been tested but Leshiye have gambled one another for winning the other’s forest squirrels which is why you see squirrels darting from one tree to another)



Works Cited:

Conway, D. J. Magickal, Mystical Creatures: Invite Their Powers into Your Life. St. Paul, MN: Llewellyn Publications, 2001. Print.

The Editors of Encyclopædia Britannica. “Leshy.” Encyclopædia Britannica. Encyclopædia Britannica, inc., 20 July 1998. Web. 23 Jan. 2017.

Sherman, Josepha. Storytelling: an encyclopedia of mythology and folklore. Armonk, NY: M.E. Sharpe, 2008. Print.


This weekend has been a bit rough with my anxiety, but despite the crappy feelings, I’ve managed to do the following:

  • Vacuumed
  • Make lunch for the next two days
  • Have dinner ready for next two days
  • Make an aggressive financial plan
  • Go to the gym
  • Attend a baby shower
  • Make outfits for the week
  • Graded 40 short responses prior to the weekend
  • Fixed phone problem
  • Made lessons for the remainder of the week
  • Made PowerPoints for the remainder of the week
  • Made worksheets for the remainder of the week

Here is what I’d like to do tonight:

  • Blog for pleasure
  • Read for pleasure
  • Get a good night’s rest

Here is what I’d like to do tomorrow:

  • Workout
  • Meditate
  • Get ready for work
  • 5 am writer’s club

Things to look forward to this weekend:

  • Seeing my mom for mani-pedis
  • Reading for pleasure each night
  • Writing and updating my blogs
  • Reading amazing work from writer’s group
  • Continuing revisions with my manuscript