Tag: query

Matching voice in query and sample pages

Matching voice in query and sample pages

How to match the voice in your query hook to your opening pages.

Query Swap Blog Tour

Query Swap Blog Tour

#QuerySwap needs your help

Query Swap

Query Swap

Query Swap Twitter event
Coming June 1, 2018

It’s Query Swap time again

To help you polish your query, I’m hosting Query Swap from 8am-8pm EST on June 1, 2018

Your hook is your selling point. It has to be perfect. But getting good feedback can often be difficult or expensive. That’s why I’m organizing the Query Swap Twitter party, an all-day event for people seeking critique partners to participate in feedback exchanges on query letters or back cover blurbs. The query swap Twitter party is designed to help writers connect with other writers. And since this is an exchange, both parties will benefit.

OMG a new contest?

No, it’s not a contest. Just an opportunity for writers to help each other.

Who are the mentors? Can I read their bio’s?

No mentors. The party is for writers in the querying process who are willing to exchange feedback on queries.

What about agents? Will agents be following?

This isn’t a contest. There won’t be agents or mentors. This is a chance for writers to connect and help each other.

How do I win?


All you need to do to participate is:

  1. Tweet a brief pitch about your MS with the tag #QuerySwap include genre and age category hashtags. (They might look familiar; they are the same as #Pitmad) No need to tweet multiple times since you can search the feed and look for a match too.
  2. Watch the feed and find someone with an MS in a similar genre, category, and tone
  3. Ask him/her to swap
  4. Exchange queries
  5. Give constructive feedback to your new Critique Partner.

Can I just recycle my #pitmad pitch?

Maybe, but it might need tweaking. In this swap, genre, category, and overall MS tone will be more important than plot in finding a good match. Someone with a snarky sensibility might be less suited to selling your Anne of Green Gables retelling, so make sure you look for a person who writes in a similar style.

example pitch:

#LGBT historic retelling of Frog Prince set in Polynesia also dragons #YA #F #R #QuerySwap


Dark portal fantasy with family drama and talking cats #MG #F #DIS #QuerySwap

Obviously, these won’t work for #pitmad, but they convey the necessary information for this event.

A word about the 280 limit: Proceed with caution, I have heard many people state they tend to skip longer pitches. (TLDR)

Want to help Query Swap Succeed? Share this post with your Facebook writing group or on social media

Hashtags … (These are the same as #pitmad)

Age Categories:

#PB = Picture Book
#C = Children’s
#CB = Chapter Book
#CL = Children’s Lit
#MG = Middle Grade
#YA = Young Adult
#NA = New Adult
#A = Adult


#AA = African American
#AD = Adventure
#CF = Christian Fiction
#CON = Contemporary
#CR = Contemporary Romance
#DIS = Disabilities
#DV = Diversity
#E = Erotica
#ER = Erotic Romance
#ES = Erotica Suspense
#F = Fantasy
#H = Horror
#HA = Humor
#HF = Historical Fiction
#HR = Historical Romance
#INSP = Inspirational
#IRMC = Interracial/Multicultural
#MR = Magical Realism
#M = Mystery
#Mem = Memoir
#LF = Literary Fiction
#NF = Non-fiction
#R = Romance
#P = Paranormal
#PR = Paranormal Romance
#RS = Romantic Suspense
#S = Suspense
#SF = SciFi
#SPF = Speculative Fiction
#T = Thriller
#UF = Urban Fantasy
#W = Westerns
#WF = Woman’s Fiction

Some tips:

  1. Don’t flood the feed with pitches for the same book. Pitching multiple books is ok
  2. Pitch only books you are querying
  3. Don’t just wait for someone to ask you first. Be proactive.
  4. Use the hashtags to simplify your search.
  5. Be polite.
  6. Remember this is a swap. Both parties must give feedback

I’m relying on writers to get the word out. Help #QuerySwap succeed Please share via social media, reblog this post, or sign up for the promotional blog tour!


Questions or concerns, please leave a comment.

Pitch Contests: why you should get picky

Pitch Contests: why you should get picky

Is Twitter really the best place to pitch your book? Before you enter a contest make sure you actually want to win.

Writing Logical Pitches

Writing Logical Pitches

Whether on Twitter, pitch contests, or in a query, effective pitches must tell a logical story

Getting an agent: Query: Bio

Getting an agent: Query: Bio


I wasn’t really as surprised by the rejection as much as I was the speed. In less than 24 hours after hitting send, I was staring at a polite, professional, boiler plate, “Thank’s, but no.”

Wow, my query bounced back so fast it got whiplash!

Eh? Whiplash?

No? Ok, moving on.

Since I was pretty sure that the agency didn’t have a message bot that scanned for key words and sent auto rejects. (though they probably wished they did.) It told me that my query was bad.

So now I have the tremendous task of patching up my query letter. Fortunately, the internet is overloaded with helpful tools to aid in my quest. Dozens of outlets exist where I can, for a nominal fee, get my query critiqued. There are also workshops, online courses, and even agents who have entire blogs and/or twitter feeds dedicated to improving queries. (Most notably the agent who recently sent me the ricochet rejection. Guess I’m a poor student.)

Unfortunately, these resources give out contradictory advice.

Example: Bio’s

Agent 1 “The bio is the most important part of your query letter…Even if the pitch is not strong, a good bio will get you noticed.”

Let’s see how that plays out.

Dear Agent,
I have a book. Bad things happen to normal people.
I’m Stephen King

Hmm.. I’m not Stephen King. I’m also a newb. Relying on my bio is not a good play.

Agent 2 “Tell me about your hobbies and interests. Being a debut writer will not hurt your chances. Use your bio to really let your personality shine through.”


I have a cat. I have an advanced degree in sarcasm, with endorsements in bitchiness, and cynicism.

maybe not,

Agent 3 “I don’t care about your dog. If it’s not relevant to the project leave it out. If you are a debut author, skip the bio entirely. It won’t hurt your chances.“

Despite what her website says, I have a sneaking suspicion that it won’t hurt because this particular agent doesn’t give debuts a second glance. But at the moment I’m willing to risk it.

I’m gonna go with option 3.

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