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Friday, July 29, 2011

How to Write Effective Query Letters

Have a question? Agree, disagree,
with me? Leave me your opinion.

The query letter shows an editor your
writing style, knowledge of the
publication, spelling/grammar
awareness and professionalism.

The editor grabbing article query
letter displays, in a page,
qualifications to write a specific
piece. You become qualified to write
for the publication after reviewing
writer's guidelines, and an examination
of several issues to understand
the target market.

Most editors prefer a query letter
over the completed manuscript. They
get tons of information, manuscripts,
thrown at them, daily. Editors have
turned to "no unsolicited submissions."

The article query letter is a way to
introduce you, your writing, to editors.
The query letter shows the editor your
writing style, knowledge of the
publication, spelling/grammar awareness
and professionalism. A query letter,
too, allows an editor to peel-in his/her
feedback. He/she may suggest a different
view-point to cover, for example.

Sometimes, if an editor liked your
writing style, he/she will offer you
another assignment, even though your
idea didn't make-it in the door.

The query letter is written in standard
business form. Your name, address and
other contact information is typed at
the top. Date the query letter. Address
it to an editor, actual name.

Hook the editor in sentence one with
an interesting idea. The hook can ask
a question, provide information, be a
personal experience anecdote or spot-
light a problem.

The editor is reading about your idea.
Make the pitch.

The pitch, second paragraph, explains
what you're offering. You'll expose
what's to be included in the piece,
article length and how your piece fits
his/her publication.

Paragraph three mentions your credentials,
samples, that makes you the only one to
write the article. Point-out work
published in like publications.

The query letter ends with a thank you
for an editor's time.

In closing, when an editor is interested
in the article, send it right away.
Remember, remind an editor of the request
for your article. Article titles are cited
in query letters and reminders.


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Marcella Glenn is a freelance writer who has written news reports, worked in an office, reviewed movies, published a newsletter and had her novel, "Grave Street House," published. She, too, is a Writing Consultant as well as a Personal Coach.

She has tried to go down some of life's other paths. A few paths were a mail-order business, the publishing of a pen-pal newsletter and selling plastic-ware. Only, she was back writing before realizing what she was doing.

She'd critique titles, paragraphs, news reports, that no one submitted to her. She'd stop herself, eventually. Marcella Glenn seemed to be enjoying the act of writing. This is how she knew writing was more than a hobby.

Let it be a lesson in your life too. Is writing calling your name? Or, acting? Teaching? Are you interested in engineering? Have the courage to go for your dreams. Simply, believe in yourself.

Meet Marcella Glenn on Twitter:

Grave Street House Interview
Authors Show Radio Announces Interview Lineup For Week Of February 16, 2009
Internet Radio features five new authors each week
February 16, 2009
Every week, The Authors Show, radio version features interviews with up and coming authors from around the world. This week The Authors Show radio features Marcella Glenn, author of  'Grave Street House'.

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