Query letters. They are scary things.  You spend years writing and perfecting your masterpiece, and then its acceptance or rejection comes down to this one page.  No pressure there. 

You have probably Googled information on writing a brilliant query, so why should you be listening to me?  You shouldn’t.  In my own search for this holy grail of admittance to publishing, I came across the best site ever.  It’s called Query Shark and it is the greatest education an author can receive on queries.

Query Shark is the brainchild of Literary Agent, Janet Reid of Fineprint Literary Management in New York City.  Each week, her blog posts several query letters that she attacks with the ferocity of… well, a great white.  But don’t panic.  The bloodletting stops short of death.  Ms. Reid supplies detailed comments on the problems and solutions for each letter.  Still, it’s like passing a bad road accident.  You don’t want to look, but can’t help yourself.  And when it’s all over, you’re quaking in your boots.  That’s a good thing.  It takes a little rough handling to get us authors to see the business side of writing.

Once your heart is beating at a normal pace, check the posts on common pitfalls, query letters that created interest, and Ms. Reid’s list of things that annoy her.  I guarantee, this is one blog that will not only open your eyes, but also leave your jaw rubbing the floor.

One final note.  For any of you who use the above link to submit something to Fineprint Literary Management, PLEASE, read their submission guidelines and follow them to the letter.  I don’t want blood on my typing fingers.


  • Great post. Very funny and also has information that's valuable. Thanks.

  • Yes, I've followed Query Shark for a number of months. Discouraging at times, but realistic. Thanks for the good post.

  • Thanks for your post and kind words about QueryShark. Just a reminder to all your readers that entries to QueryShark are NOT drawn from incoming queries to FPLM, or even queries to me.

    They are sent by people specifically for posting on the QS website.

    Your fingers are safe!

  • read their submission guidelines and follow them to the letter.

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