With Pitch Wars coming up soon, a lot of mentors are sharing their successful query letters. As an alternate in the 2017 Pitch Wars class who then went on to sign with an agent and sell her book, I’d like to share the letter that hooked my agent, the fabulous Natascha Morris from BookEnds Literary.
There are so many fabulous articles and blog posts about how to write a winning query. I used those for mine, as well as help from my PitchWars mentor, author Beth Ellyn Summer. Together we worked together to craft a letter that best showed off my manuscript, PAPERBACK MIDNIGHT.
Without further ado, here’s what Natascha found in her inbox:
Dear Ms. Morris,
I recently read in your #MSWL that you’re seeking a story about hoarding and its effects on the family. The plot of my young adult contemporary romance, PAPERBACK MIDNIGHT, centers on hoarding.
Seventeen-year-old literary genius, Darcy Wells, has all the book boyfriends she needs, but when it comes to real life, she’d settle for a first kiss.
While she dreams of a happy ending plucked from one of the countless stories she’s memorized, Darcy is trapped behind book pages, hiding herself and the rest of the world from her mother’s hoarding. That is until a new apartment manager becomes more active in the upkeep of their building. Now Darcy must confront the hoard to save her home without driving her mother deeper under an avalanche of things.
As Darcy seeks the truth behind her mother’s compulsive shopping, she meets Asher Fleet, a teen pilot with a shattered future following a car accident. The two grow closer, and for the first time in her life, Darcy can’t find the right words. Fairy tales are one thing, but real love makes her want to hide inside her carefully constructed ink and paper bomb shelter. Soon it becomes clear: unlocking her mother’s illness and finally securing her own love story requires Darcy to stop hiding and start living her own truth. Even if it’s messy.
PAPERBACK MIDNIGHT is a young adult contemporary romance complete at 80,000 words. It would appeal to fans of Sarah Dessen’s Saint Anything. The story structure and lyrical style are reminiscent of Huntley Fitzpatrick’s writing in What I Thought was True.
I am a graduate of the Algonkian Author Salon novel writing program. PAPERBACK MIDNIGHT was selected for a 2017 #PitchWars unofficial mentorship. I’m also a former educator, songwriter, and currently the author of a teen lifestyle blog.
Thank you for your time and consideration,
Laura Taylor Namey
This query has a happy ending. Not only did I get Natascha…
If you’re interested in PAPERBACK MIDNIGHT, you can add it to your Goodreads Want to Read Shelf here.
Stay tuned for my official release date and cover reveal. And writers, if you have questions about coming up with the perfect query, ask away. Happy querying.
p.s. The adorable dog in the picture is my official muse, Rocco the miniature schnauzer.