Diary of a Struggling Writer – Query Letter

Posted February 28, 2010 by 7 Comments

Some of you may know that I have been working on a YA novel for some time now. My novel, Sublime, now stands complete, and I am querying agents in order to seek representation. I am one of many, and I know the road to getting published won’t be easy. But I have always been one determined, little girl. This year has been nuts—-getting married, running two clubs, teaching at both the middle school and college level, and winning Teacher of the Year. And now to drive myself to exhaustion, I will post regularly here to Novel Novice to describe my experiences in this unknown wilderness.

I intend to keep the wonderful NN supporters updated about everything from agent rejections, querying, and hopefully finding a publisher. I will even post some of my manuscript, and ask for your advice (cause who knows YA better than the fans of Novel Novice?). I have even begun work on creating a book trailer for my novel.

For my first entry, I will post my query letter. Don’t know what a query is? It’s a plea for someone to take pity on your work, and help you find a publisher. Basically: Dear Agent – Please notice me. Agents read hundreds, maybe thousands, or queries each year. Most queries receive the generated rejection letter: your work did not grab my attention, your work was not right for me, or they get no response at all. Occasionally, one will get a requests for a partial (meaning they want to read a portion of your manuscript), and hopefully this will be followed by a request for a full. But don’t get too excited when that happens fellow writers, my first request for a full was rejected. And so on I go……

Below you will find my query letter, as well as some sites that I have found useful when composing my query.

My agent stats for Feb are as follows: 1 request for a partial then request for a revision and re-submit, 1 request for a partial, and 2 rejections.

Dear Agent,

Tess, 16, is forced to watch her sister die in childbirth. The government claims she must watch in order to understand her world’s most vital lesson: she is part of a dying species, and there is no hope for salvation.

After the Miles incident, a violent display of desperation from a people left disillusioned by the economic and political turmoil of their country, the rights of the individual were traded away. Books and music were outlawed. Families forced from their homes were moved into government compounds. The chosen ones were created.

The chosen ones, genetically engineered humans, were created to protect the dying species. When Tess is assigned to work at Templeton, a training center for young, male chosen ones, she begins to discover the propaganda her government has fed her is nothing but lies. Templeton becomes a place of danger.

The chosen ones were created to defile and abuse the naturals as their species dies out. To make matters worse, the one person Tess comes to trust is part of the very species created to aid in her demise.

Sublime is a completed YA novel with a word count of 67,000. It is a coming of age story about first love, discovering one’s sexuality, and fighting for a sense of self in a dystopian society.

Below you will find the first 250 words of my manuscript.
Thank you for your time,
Tiffany Truitt

The panic attacks kept happening.

I heard my sister’s screams coming from inside the infirmary. The broken chair, discarded and forgotten, clung to me as much as I clung to it. It seemed funny I should feel more connection to the fragile, useless chair than to the woman screaming in the other room.


It’s not that I did not want to feel something for the woman. I just could not convince myself too. She had left me long ago.


If I made her a villain, I would never have to miss her.

My sister was dying. I would watch her die not in the comfort of a happy home, but in the compound, a place we were forced to live after the incident. We were like cattle trapped behind a fence.

I heard my name whispered faintly among the mutinous, erratic beats of my heart. A name whispered amongst a battlefield of dying men.

Dying women.

The women kept dying. The government could not explain why. Sure, they could cure cancer and AIDS, but they could not keep women from dying in childbirth. They could not save the female naturals. That is what they called us because we were conceived the old fashion way.

Helpful sites for writing queries:

Writing a Query Letter

Query Letter Mad Lib

Make sure to check our all entries under our Authors tab!


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7 responses to “Diary of a Struggling Writer – Query Letter

  1. Jenny Cecilie

    woooah, I’d like to read that novel!! : D
    Great beginning! 🙂

    and I’m sure you’ll get representation in no time as well!!

  2. Laurie (TimeStandStill)

    If I were and agent I would be very very curious and hopeful to respresent you and this story. I would think an agent like the one Pam Bachorz has would like thisl.

  3. I’m really looking forward to hearing about your journey! (I may be following in your footsteps soon!) Can’t wait to hear how it goes, and best of luck!

  4. That is a very good query letter, I hope to read it when you get it published. I’m sure you will, the story already grabbed me and made me want to read more. I the publishers are grabbed the same way it will be just a matter of time before your books hit the shelves. Happy Writing:)

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