Query Letter Critique

Original Query Letter

 

CHOOSE YOUR OWN APOCALYPSE, is an 88,000 word work of women’s fiction. I would be delighted if you’d take a look at it.

 

When futurist scholar Glory Roberts joins a group of doomsday preppers, they transform from quirky survivalists to accidental terrorists — a standard case of becoming what you fear most while stocking the bunker (and making out with the teacher, in Glory’s case).

 

When Glory first arrives in Wyoming, she only intends to study how doomsday innovations might help the human race survive the next major extinction event. She hopes her findings will be enough to impress her mostly pickled, but highly lauded, PhD advisor. After a week or two in Wyoming, her goals also include staying out of federal custody.

 

Roy Shackleton, a meandering dude in a van, becomes the leader of Glory’s group of survivalists purely by accident. Despite knowing nothing about survivalism, he manages to teach rudimentary fire starting to a crowd of die-hard preppers while Glory takes notes. In the midst of their struggle for – they forget what – Glory and Roy start some sparks of their own. Most importantly, they learn that in this life, most disasters are of our own making.

 

I am a mostly respectable mother and teacher of cops from St. Paul, Minnesota, who grew up hunting jack rabbits in rural Wyoming with a group of people who looked like they should have bunkers, even though I’m pretty sure they didn’t.

 

Query Letter After I Got My Grubby Paws On It

 

CHOOSE YOUR OWN APOCALYPSE, is an 88,000 word work of women’s fiction. I would be delighted if you’d take a look at it.  Love your title!

 

When futurist scholar Glory Roberts joins a group of doomsday preppers, they transform from quirky survivalists to accidental terrorists — a standard case of becoming what you fear most while stocking the bunker (and making out with the teacher, in Glory’s case). Love the quirky humor in this opening, but I’m not convinced you need this paragraph. Most of what you say here is expanded upon later in the query.

 

When Glory first arrives in Wyoming, she only intends to study how doomsday innovations might help the human race survive the next major extinction event. She hopes her findings will be enough to impress her mostly pickled, but highly lauded, PhD advisor. After a week or two in Wyoming, her goals also include staying out of federal custody. Ha! This is cute.

 

Roy Shackleton, a meandering dude in a van, becomes the leader of Glory’s group of survivalists purely by accident. Despite knowing nothing about survivalism, he manages to teach rudimentary fire starting to a crowd of die-hard preppers while Glory takes notes. In the midst of their struggle for – they forget what – Glory and Roy start some sparks of their own. Most importantly, they learn that in this life, most disasters are of our own making. While I’m intrigued by your adorable writing style and sense of humor, I was expecting to learn about the stakes in this paragraph but instead I see more set-up. The most interesting part of your query is their transition from doomsday preppers to terrorists facing jail time. Can you cut some of the set-up and expand on that?

 

I am a mostly respectable mother and teacher of cops from St. Paul, Minnesota, who grew up hunting jack rabbits in rural Wyoming with a group of people who looked like they should have bunkers, even though I’m pretty sure they didn’t. I normally suggest not including personal information irrelevant to writing in a bio but this is so funny and perfectly in keeping with the voice of your query that I’d keep it.

 

Thanks for sharing, and good luck in your querying endeavors! 

Posted in query critique, query letter, writing advice

One Response to Query Letter Critique

  1. Ambiguous_A says:

    Loved this query! Seems quirky and fun.

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