5 Query Letter Writing Tips From Publishing Professionals

By Maryann Yin 

Kweli Journal (GalleyCat)Given the number of aspiring writers in the world, it takes a lot of effort to land a deal for publication.

Over the weekend, Roaring Brook Press senior editor Connie Hsu moderated the “Publishing 101” panel at the Kweli Journal’s Color of Children’s Literature conference. The participants included Serendipity Literary Agency president Regina Brooks, Scholastic marketing executive Antonio Gonzalez, Tu Books publisher Stacy Whitman, and Crown Books for Young Readers publisher Phoebe Yeh.

These industry experts offered several tips on how to compose a strong query letter. Below, we’ve collected some of the advice that was shared by these experts.

5 Query Letter Writing Tips From Publishing Professionals

1. When you are describing your manuscript, figure out and include the “hook” of your story.

2. Do your research and uncover some comparative titles that you can mention in your letter.

3. When you are sharing biographical details, make sure to add in your most interesting attributes and marketable qualities.

4. Be upfront about what type of working relationship you want to establish with a literary agent and/or editor.

5. If you have several projects in-the-works and ideas for future stories in mind, remember to disclose that information.