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  1. #1
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2016

    Query Critique Request

    Dear ______,

    Thank you so much for taking the time to read this. I am seeking representation for REVOLT, a 71,000-word young adult dystopian style fiction novel. It is set in a futuristic version of the United States and I hope you will enjoy the passion and excitement that comes from this high-energy story about developing into an adult and the sheer strength that comes from being an independent woman. As requested I have included a short description, bio, the first 10 pages and a one-page summary below.

    Riley’s life didn’t really start to get exciting until the day she died. On the day of her graduation Riley is asked to join a Government organization, the Knights, which had been tasked with ensuring peace in the country. The Knights faking her death had been the first of many surprises. Now during her training, Riley quickly makes both friends and enemies as she begins to excel far beyond her peers. Suddenly, she's juggling the affection of two boys while also trying to keep her anxiety disorder under control and maintain her position as Top Recruit.

    Her trainer and sort of boyfriend, Carter Verdant, warns her of those in charge of the Knights, but she is determined to ignore the red flags because after being raped as a teenager she’s desperate to believe there are still good people left in the world. When she finds a secret lab within the compound, though, she can no longer hide from the truth. She learns that she if she doesn't stop Rebecca, the leader of the Knights, then she will inject everyone in the compound with an experimental genetic modification serum.

    Only some will successfully survive the changes and will, as a result, serve as Rebecca's army as she takes over the nation and the world. The others? They will be executed.

    A revolution against Rebecca has begun and as much as she doesn't want to accept it, Riley knows she will have to play a critical role in it. It seems that the only way to protect the future is to delve into the secrets of her past, her family, and her very genetic make-up.

    I am currently an Undergraduate student at the University of Maryland, double majoring in Psychology and English Literature and Composition. My knowledge of psychological concepts really shines through within this novel. I am also the author of the ebook THE COVEN, a young adult fantasy novel, and am a published poet and journalist. While this is my first novel of this intended series, I have a 35,000 words of my second. Additionally, I currently serve as a writer for The Odyssey online and have had the opportunity to polish my writing skills by taking playwriting and creative writing classes as well as other various English and writing college classes. I’m looking for an agent to form a long-term relationship with for a long-term career writing young adult fictions that she feels passionate about selling.

    Thank you for your time and consideration.
    My Name

  2. #2
    Rogue Mutt
    That's really long and calling it a fiction novel screams Amateur because all novels are fiction.

  3. #3
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Okay, you need to study up on the query letter form; it's pretty much standard, no matter the genre. There's lots of instructional websites; the best around is Query Shark (It's maintained by a bona fide lit agent).

    Meanwhile, here are general pointers.

    1. Hold the length to 250 words.

    2. A QL is not a synopsis. You're not trying to tell your story, you're trying to entice an agent into asking for more pages.

    3. A QL should be about ten sentences on one page that focus on the main character: Who is she? What does she want? What's stopping her? What does she plan to do about if? What are the stakes if she fails. Period.

    4. Don't use empty phrases like "Blank Blank is a gripping story of desire and danger." This is telling. You must show that desire, show that danger, or leave it out.

    5. Keep your bio short and simple. List published works only if you were paid; self-publishing, freebie anthologies, etc. don't count. List educational or professional accomplishments only if they pertain to the subject matter of your book. If you've done nothing that qualifies here, skip the bio. The agent will understand that you're a newbie. (And don't worry, newbies are their future bread and butter.)

    6. Last paragraph should contain your title, word count, and genre. If the novel you're querying is part of a multivolume saga, simply mention that it has "series potential." (Once the agent sells that first one, she'll come running back for the other jewels in the crown.)

    7. Close with, "Thank you for your time and consideration."

    That's it. Good luck.

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