Tuesday, September 25, 2012

I have found the query writing experts!

credit*
I've taught a How To Write a Query Letter class to several groups of 4th, 5th, and 6th graders. I've got to say, middle grade-aged kids are SO much smarter than I was at those ages! Be worried. Be very worried. These kids have got it going on, and they're not that far from stealing the book deals from us. Check out a few of my favorites from the most recent school I went to:

(And don't worry-- each of the kids made up a name for themselves. None of the names are their real names.)
Dear Oh. Z. Osborne,

I saw your blog and found out you have an interest in aliens and wizards, so I wrote a middle grade novel called THE NEW NEIGHBORS. I think you'll like it. I know I do.

Wizard is living the life most sorcerers do, with one exception.... THE NEW NEIGHBORS. The new neighbors moved into the volcano next door. At first he didn't think that anything was wrong with them, until he went over to welcome them to the town. When he was done welcoming them, he had suspicions that his welcome was to the planet-- not the town! Were they brain eating aliens? Have they come to take over the world? Find out in my new middle grade novel, THE NEW NEIGHBORS.

I have read many wizard books, such as HARRY POTTER and FABLEHAVEN. I also have a degree in sorcery, so I am a wizard. Thank you so much for your time.

Sincerely,

los macho amigo
wizardfanatic@alienvolcanoes.com
***
Dear Mr. McNutt,

I've heard that you liked stories that have animals take over. I think you might be interested in my middle grade realistic fiction TRAPPED, complete at 200 pages.

Obama and family are camping on the desert island of Velk-A-Bomba, and they got dropped off with no way to leave for five days. When a team of highly organized raccoons threaten to steal all of their food, Obama and family must make a plan to outwit the raccoons or starve.

I am a highly qualified writer. I have a PHD in writing. I'm president of the High Society Book Club, and for the last eighteen months, I've been stranded on an island with no food or water except the ocean. I invite you to look a little closer into my book. Thank you for your time.

Cassandra Day
cassandra.d@yahooe.com
***
Dear Mr. Beus,

I read in a magazine that you like stories about the future. So I think you would be interested in my middle grade novel, THE DISASTER, complete at 250 pages.

My book is about a 15 year old boy named Zach. Zach lives in an army camp, and they get attacked by villains from Uple. One of the villains, a shape shifter, gets in to the base where Zack is using a laser to shoot down the villains in their flying saucers. But the shape shifter gets a hold of the gun and aims it at earth instead.

I have a major in college for Inventions and the Future from U of U. I also have a minor writing degree from BYU. If you would like to read my book, let me know. Thank you for your time, and have a good day.

Hunter Hanson
[phone numbers]
***
Dear Mrs. Hancock,

I heard that you like monkeys. My book is a mystery / adventure, called THE KILLER FORTUNE. This book has 350 pages, and is also middle grade.

The main character is Monaca. She is a half flying monkey and half human, and lives in the desert. She finds a restaurant in the middle of nowhere. They give her a fortune cookie, then a minute later, the fortune comes true. Now she goes there every day, but today was different. She got this one fortune that said You will be hunted. Now can she escape, or will she be hunted?

I am an expert on monkeys and the desert and fortune cookies. I study them so I know I am an expert. So if you are interested, give me a call. Thank you for your time.

Ginger Fault
www.monkeys.com

Moral of the post: If you're having troubles writing your query letter, look into hiring one of the kids at your local elementary school. They're geniuses.



*credit: By Everaldo Coelho and YellowIcon [LGPL], via Wikimedia Commons

34 comments:

Mara Rae said...

Too funny! Those were a blast to read. I can't wait until Jack can write. He already comes up with some hilarious stuff, and he's not even three yet. :)

JeffO said...

"I have a degree in sorcery." Love it. Great stuff, thanks for sharing, Peggy.

Shell Flower said...

Wow, those totally cracked me up. I like the "highly organized raccoons" and "When he was done welcoming them, he had suspicions that his welcome was to the planet-- not the town!" These kids really know how to be concise, show the stakes, and they have GREAT inciting incidents.

Tracy Campbell said...

Such talent! :)

Elizabeth Seckman said...

I must get chocolate. Their superiority depresses me. I've spent years saying it's hard work and in one post you prove me wrong? LOL.

Patti said...

Those are awesome. I think I'll get my daughter to take a look.

Trisha said...

HAHA, oh these are classic. Thanks for the giggle Peggy :)

Chantele Sedgwick said...

Those are AWESOME! lol :D

Jessie Humphries said...

Haha. I love how they are experts at fortune cookies and the Future and being stranded on islands! That stuff is so cute!

Angela Cothran said...

Do you think they will hire out? I had no idea I could use all my expertise in my query.

I'm an expert at avoiding cleaning the bathroom, pushing off dinner until the last minute, and making my 3 day old hair look like I just washed it. My book is called LAZY PANTS.

Writer Pat Newcombe said...

Such old heads on young shoulders! So talented... We must all watch out.

Delia Moran said...

That's it. I'm putting my kids to work. :)

Emily R. King said...

Adorable. They are stinkin' geniuses.

BTW, I still have to have you look at my query. I'm getting there! I'll send it when I have a draft that isn't too embarrassing. :)

David P. King said...

Uh oh, there goes my chance at writing impressive queries. I'll have to take your advice and hire an expert. :)

Z said...

Muchas love! These are brilliant - where is my 6th-grade self when it's hard-core query time? I might have to ask you to recruit a pro for me!

mooderino said...

I'm going to start every query letter with "I heard you like monkeys".

mood
Moody Writing

Tara Tyler said...

too good! love their confidence, enthusiasm & creativity!

Gabriel C. Taylor said...

If only we could all tap into our inner child at will and draft such amazing queries.

M Pax said...

Those were awful fun to read. Obviously, I need to hire some kids.

S.P. Bowers said...

So that's what's wrong with my query.

Love their imaginations!

Carrie Butler said...

Who would reject a kid with a degree in sorcery? Not me! These are fantastic. :D

Shallee said...

OH MY WOW. Love these-- how smart are they to get these right off the bat?

My favorites are their qualifications. Love the girl living on the deserted island! lol

Richard said...

How much do they charge? I'll pay it!

Kelley Lynn said...

This is SO funny. Wow. Thanks for sharing!

E.D. said...

I am impressed! They are certainly much, much better at this than I was at their age!!

Demitria said...

Thanks for sharing! You are totally right about kids now a days. They have a lot more homework then I did back then.

Jolene Perry said...

LOVE THIS!!!!!!!

bethchristopher.com said...

Hysterical! I love middle-school kids. A friend's fifth grader "interviewed" me last night about writing. He asked if I was writing a series, and I told him that I have a second book in mind, but wasn't going to start writing it until the first one sells. He said, "Books get published all the time. My advice to you would be to start writing the second one tomorrow morning. You never know, a publisher could call you as soon as we hang up. So start it right away!"

I had to bite my tongue to keep from laughing. I hope he's right about the publisher "calling tomorrow." ;-)

Donna K. Weaver said...

These totally rock. I needed this. =D

Jeigh said...

Those are awesome! yes, I definitely need to have one of these kids write a query for me. You're an awesome teacher to inspire works like these!

Rebecca Barrow said...

"I also have a degree in sorcery, so I am a wizard."--that is too funny! I might put it in my query. That way I'll DEFINITELY get an agent's attention, right?

Lydia Kang said...

Looks like the next generation of writers is ready to go!

Susanna Leonard Hill said...

These are awesome! And I am worried... very worried! :)

John Waverly said...

Awesome! I like the general template of the queries. It felt very smooth and had all the important bits, and the creativity of the kids is great...I don't know why kids' creativity always seems new a fresh, but it does. Great job.