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  1. #1
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    May 2011

    Completed Memoir, Query / Proposal

    I have a completed manuscript (my personal train wreck) and I am currently reworking the query. The query forum has helped me with that, but I am cautioned that non fiction queries have different hooks, makes sense, but everything that I read describes proposals, not queries. How does one present a completed memoir to an agent rather than a proposal?

  2. #2
    Senior Member Frank Baron's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Ontario, Canada
    If you're not famous, your memoir will not be published commercially unless the writing is outstanding. You can safely forget having to draw up a proposal. You need to sell your memoir as if it was fiction: Craft a dynamic query that demonstrates your writing chops. That should lead to a few requests for partials and fulls.

    The rest is up to your story, and how well you tell it.

    Good luck.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Kyle Anderson's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Frank is right. I was going to say more, but Frank really took the words out of my mouth on this one. You need to give the publisher something they can connect with and feast on. Something that stands out from the rest of the submissions.

  4. #4
    Junior Member Tim Chamberlain's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    United Kingdom
    Why not take a look at some of the blurbs on memoirs by non-celebrities which have been successful, this might give you an angle on how the publisher perceived how saleable these works would be ...

    There are a surprising number of non-celebrity memoirs that make it into print. I've not read it myself but Frank McCourt's "Angela's Ashes" springs to mind.

  5. #5
    Junior Member
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    Dec 2012
    Just outside the little village of Milan in the high plains of New Mexico.
    Of course you're right about novel-length memoir, but there are outlets for short-story memoirs. I have had a number of personal pieces published, and the ezines are not concerned that I am known from about my front door all the way to the back yard. It's all in the telling, and how familiar the story might be to readers. The small personal pieces are a great way to get your feet on the ground; you know the characters better than you ever will your fictional creations, and their looks and speech patterns will be as good as your descriptive powers. I am about to post one that I sent out to a market.

  6. #6
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Let me know how the process is going. I am in the same boat. Its not writing that's the problem its where to go from here.

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