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  1. #1
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2015
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    Is this ready to send off?

    In 2010, I was a Peabody and DuPont award-winning producer at CNN who was addicted to painkillers. And while it was a solitary existence, my recovery was a collective one led by my beloved father, a former alcoholic who knew what to do with a body gone mad. So begins THE OTHER SIDE OF COMING THROUGH, a 107,000 word-count memoir in which my father faces his past addiction in order to help me overcome mine.

    All there was to inherit from my father, I had. He was there for me when I underwent two liver transplants before turning 30. And I stood sentry when I found him jailed or drunk in the ER. So, it was fitting that this once broken soul inadvertently taught me to master the culture of addiction and living day-to-day with unmet expectations.

    Following a medical procedure, I became addicted to painkillers. Once doctors refused to refill my prescriptions, I put my already tenuous health at further risk by buying thousands of pills online, before pilfering painkillers from my arthritic dog. When a fateful accident forced my past and present to intersect during that fateful summer of 2010 I reluctantly entered rehab. Eventually, I detoxed amid a cast of colorful alcoholics and addicts—each providing enlightenment and levity—as I faced a classic tragedy: the tool you use to save yourself (pills) becomes the one thing that ultimately destroys you. In time, I learned that in order to overcome my addiction I needed to first truly and publicly posses it. Further, while I coped with the shame of having chased one disease (addiction) while running from another (liver failure), I examined the variances of how black and white women deal with depression.

    After rehab, I traveled home to Colorado intent on discovering a healthy sense of self after years of self-inflicted damage. I mined the impact my addiction had on my family, fiancé, and most importantly my father. In doing so, I accepted the dynamics behind a family who competed to be the most victimized, a family who tried in their own way to foster my recovery yet curiously hindered my father’s sobriety decades earlier.

    Currently I’m a freelance writer, and a blogger for The Huffington Post. Additional essays can be found in The New York Times, Newsweek, The Washington Post’s ROOT Magazine, The Atlantan, Jezebel, The Atlanta Journal Constitution, and sundry others. Additionally, I have extensive media ties that will help me market an addiction memoir that is wholly unlike those already in print.

    May I send the manuscript?



  2. #2
    Rogue Mutt
    Guest
    You really don't understand the concept of keeping it short.

  3. #3
    Junior Member
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    Oct 2015
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    15
    I’ve had an agent before, and the agents I know all want more than a simple paragraph or two.

  4. #4
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2015
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    15
    Five very short paragraphs is hardly long. And I have a lot of credentials I NEED to make known from the beginning. If you don’t have lots of credentials you can likely get away with two or three paragraph query.

  5. #5
    Rogue Mutt
    Guest
    Well since you obviously know everything why bother asking?

  6. #6
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2015
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    15
    I never said I knew everything. I simply stated my experiences in the industry thus far. If it’s too long, where would you cut? I am looking for specific, useful advice.

  7. #7
    Rogue Mutt
    Guest
    As I tried telling you the last time you posted this, the query is a pitch, not a synopsis. If you've had agents before, you should know this.

    After a medical procedure, I went from a Peabody and DuPont award-winning producer at CNN to a hopeless addict. The only one who could pull me out of this abyss was a former alcoholic: my father. THE OTHER SIDE OF COMING THROUGH is the 107,000 word-count memoir of how my father faced his own addiction to help me overcome mine.

    In 2010 I had surgery for [whatever] and afterwards became addicted to painkillers. Nothing, not even a stint in rehab, could keep me clean for long. I finally went home to Colorado, where I had to face the ghosts of my past. By reconnecting with my father, I learned the strength to overcome my addiction.

    Currently I’m a freelance writer, and a blogger for The Huffington Post. Additional essays can be found in The New York Times, Newsweek, The Washington Post’s ROOT Magazine, The Atlantan, Jezebel, The Atlanta Journal Constitution, and sundry others. Additionally, I have extensive media ties that will help me market an addiction memoir that is wholly unlike those already in print.

    May I send the manuscript?


    It's not clear from your version exactly what your father did, so that paragraph could be a little more specific. Anyway, you can say this sucks, but the point is to show you that it can be a lot shorter if you focus on what matters and lose all the extraneous details--those are for the synopsis.

  8. #8
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2015
    Location
    Elkins Park PA
    Posts
    343
    If you eliminate paragraph four, which adds nothing useful, and tweak it a bit the blurb is 228 words. A bit long, but not excessive, and it still fits on a single page. In general, after reading the original, I would have turned to the sample to see how your writing captures my attention, which is all you can ask of a query.

    For what it may be worth, my tweaked version is below:

    THE OTHER SIDE OF COMING THROUGH, is a 107,000 word-count memoir in which my father faces his past addiction in order to help me overcome mine.

    In 2010, I was a Peabody and DuPont award-winning producer at CNN addicted to painkillers—a solitary existence. My recovery was led by my beloved father, a former alcoholic who knew what to do with a body gone mad. He was there for me when I underwent two liver transplants before turning 30. And I stood sentry when I found him jailed or drunk in the ER. So, it was fitting that this once broken soul taught me to master the culture of addiction and living day-to-day with unmet expectations.

    Following a medical procedure, I became addicted to painkillers. When doctors refused to refill my prescriptions, I bought them online, and even pilfered painkillers from my arthritic dog. When a fateful accident forced my past and present to intersect during the summer of 2010 I reluctantly entered rehab. Eventually, I detoxed amid a cast of colorful alcoholics and addicts—who provided enlightenment and levity—as I faced a classic tragedy: the tool you use to save yourself (pills) becomes the one thing that ultimately destroys you. In time, I learned that in order to overcome my addiction I needed to first truly and publicly posses it. As I coped with the shame of having chased one disease (addiction) while running from another (liver failure), I examined the variances of how black and white women deal with depression.

    Currently I’m a freelance writer, and a blogger for The Huffington Post. Additional essays can be found in The New York Times, Newsweek, The Washington Post’s ROOT Magazine, The Atlantan, Jezebel, The Atlanta Journal Constitution, and sundry others. Additionally, I have extensive media ties that will help me market an addiction memoir that is wholly unlike those already in print.

  9. #9
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Posts
    1,142
    @Muttt: nice rewrite.

    @r k: The purpose of a query letter is to entice the agent to read the pages you send along. Looking at your version and RM's, I'd say RM's has the better chance of doing that.

  10. #10
    Rogue Mutt
    Guest
    Quote Originally Posted by jayce View Post
    @Muttt: nice rewrite.
    If only I could do that with my books. :-)

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