Friday, April 25, 2014

Pitching and Querying

I've gathered up some of the resources I've come across in the past couple of years about constructing pitches and queries.

The difference between a pitch and a query, as told by agent Kristen Nelson.


Author Jami Gold's Guide to Pitching.

Agent Rachelle Gardner on what she, as an agent, looks for in a pitch and the secrets of a great pitch.

Best-selling author Virginia Kantra on pitching in person at conferences.

Author Stina Lindenblatt on writing killer loglines (which can also be used as pitches).

Agent Suzie Townsend on how to choose comparable titles for your pitch.

Pitch contest host Sharon Johnson on refining your pitch.


Hint: Your query shouldn't
put the agent to sleep.
You might want to start with a post of my own about the elements of writing a good query letter, info I've gathered through my own research through links such as those below. But mine's just a summary, and it's a good idea to get the full picture, so here's a list of resources to get you going:

Author Jane Lebak on the true purpose of query letters.

Author Tracey Lyons on how to write a query letter.

Author Angela Quarles on how to write a good query letter, when to start, and other things to keep in mind, Part 1 and Part 2.

The Editors' Blog on how to write a query letter.

QueryShark: read it. Seriously, read the archives (not just the most recent letter); and then avoid making the same mistakes the writers of these queries made.

Agent Suzie Townsend's advice on making your query stand out.

Agent Janet Reid on writing a query for nonfiction  and why you need to include relevance.

Agent Jessica Faust's advice on query letters. Includes some queries that worked.

Example query letters as posted by author Carolyn Jewel.

On GalleyCat, 23 query letters that worked.

Publishing industry expert Jane Friedman's guide to writing queries that get requests.

How long you should expect to wait to hear back (or not) about a query.

Agent Kristen Nelson makes a vlog on using plot catalysts to write the perfect query.

Mistakes to avoid in queries:

Agent Rachelle Gardner on the top 10 mistakes she sees in queries.

Jane Lebak on QueryTracker on why you shouldn't write a first-person query.

6 common query problems by author Janice Hardy.

Author Chuck Sambuchino interviews agents about their query pet peeves.

4 mistakes agent Janet Reid finds that make you look unprofessional.

QueryTracker with  5 mistakes that make you look like an amateur.

(Also--How to choose agents to query/pitch to:)

Victoria Strauss's guide to finding the right agents to query without getting scammed.

Science Fiction Writers Association's post "How to find a (REAL) Literary Agent!" by A.C. Crispin (Includes how to know when you're ready to query, how to find a reputable agent, query writing advice, and how to know the agent is a good match.)

(updated 7/15/2014)


  1. Wow. There is so much great information here. The two links I picked were very helpful. Thanks for sharing all your research.

    1. Glad they helped! What's the point of research if I can't share what I learn, right? ;)