Thursday, October 31, 2013

The Great Query Contest of 2013

Dear Ms. Agent,

Have you ever wondered why query letters should NOT start with rhetorical questions? 


Dear Mr. Spencer Hill, 

I has wrote a book. 


Dear Editor, 

If you ever want to see your guinea pig alive again, leave a publishing contract in a briefcase at...

 Spencer Hill Press has "open subs" coming up, so it's time to get those queries in shape with...


How to participate:

Paste your query into the comments section on the Ganzfield website contact form.

Please submit your query by Friday, November 8th. All genres are acceptable, however, I reserve the right not to post queries that contain material that people might find offensive (e.g., graphic language and/or explicit sex). Depending on the volume received, I'll probably have to pick and choose for query critiques, so not everyone will get a critique (I didn't cap it the last time, and I was critiquing for WEEKS).

I'll go through the entries and do several critiques throughout the next two weeks, which I'll post here at Disgruntled Bear. People who get critiques can then revise and resubmit their queries (revisions must be received by November 15th). I'll select the queries that I feel are the best-of-the-best from all received (including resubmitted ones) and then give the blogosphere a chance to vote during the week of November 18th. All queries received will be considered for the finals, even if they do not receive the online query critique.

The winner will get a $25 gift card to Amazon, Barnes & Noble, 
Book Depository, or the indie bookstore of her/his choice. 

Please spread the word!


Back in the days before I was an editor, I wrote a post about writing compelling query letters that still holds up--feel free to check it out:

Thursday, October 3, 2013

The Great Query Contest of 2013?

Hi folks! 

Back in 2010, we had a query contest on this site that included this entry: 

Dear Mr. Agentoftheyear,

Dying sucks--and high school senior Ember McWilliams knows firsthand. After a fatal car accident, her gifted little sister brought her back from the dead. Now anything Ember touches dies, and that, well, really blows.

Ember operates on a no-touch policy with all living things--including boys. When Daemon Cromwell breaks into her house, claiming her curse is a gift, she thinks he’s crazy. But when he tells her he can help her control it, she’s more than interested. There’s just one catch: Ember has to trust Daemon’s adopted father, a man she is sure has skeevy reasons for collecting gifted children like action figures.

Learning to control her fingers-of-death holds a powerful allure. Ember is willing to do anything to be able to hold her sister's hand again. And heck, she'd also like to be able to kiss Daemon. But when Ember learns the accident that made her a freak wasn’t an accident, she’s not sure who to trust.

Someone wanted Ember dead, and they still do. The closer Ember gets to the truth, the closer she gets to losing not only her heart, but her life. For real this time.

Ember is a YA Paranormal Romance complete at 82,000. I thank you for your time and consideration.


Jennifer ABC

Yeah, "Jennifer ABC" is that Jennifer, and finding this little gem in the blog archives made me giggle, because this is the query for the book that became Cursed...

... and look at what the guy's name was!

Sooo, I bring this up to see if there is any interest in a query contest again this year. If you're interested, please leave a comment below, and feel free to spread the word--the more interest there is, the more likely we are to make it happen.