Submission packages take a lot of time to put together. It’s very important to make sure you follow the specific directions on the agent or publisher’s website. You have to read every detail. You don’t want to go to all the work and shoulder the expense of submissions if it’s just going to get tossed in the trash because you didn’t follow directions.
Now for the test.
The next paragraph is a set of directions for submitting to a fantasti, albeit completely FAKE, literary agent. We’ll call her Ms. Persnickety. Follow the directions perfectly and you’ll be put into a drawing for a fantastic SCWW Prize Package. If you don’t follow directions, I might use your entry as a teaching tool. I’m not looking for a good hook, clever plot twists, or high concept. We’re just seeing how well we follow directions. The book doesn’t even have to be real.
All queries should be directed to Ms. Persnickety. (Don’t worry about a physical address. She only accepts email.) The query letter must fit onto one page. Please use one-inch margins. Do not use Calibri font. Please use 12-point Times New Roman or Courier New. Include genre, sub-genre if applicable, word-count and state of completion. Make sure to save your query letter as .RTF or .DOC format and email it, as an attachment, to firstname.lastname@example.org. The subject line should include the word “query” and the title of your manuscript. If your manuscript is a mystery, include the word chocolate someplace in your query. If it’s romance, include the word heart. If it’s anything other than romance or mystery, include the word tomato. Please do not sign your real name. Make up a fake one–preferably a clever one. (Ms. Persnickety likes a laugh every now and then.) The query letter should be dated. Please sign your fake name using only lower case letters. All queries must be received by midnight on Friday, January 29.
You have your directions. I’ll be blogging about query letters and the importance of following directions next week. The winner will be drawn from a pool of all the ‘perfect’ letters and announced on the blog.