One of the most frequent questions we get here at DGLM from unpublished authors is about what makes a query work. What catches our attention? What turns us off? What are some common faux-pas? What should an author absolutely never do? How does one create that needle-in-the-haystack submission that will surely be plucked out of the groaning piles of slush? You get the picture.
We try to answer as best we can on our website, our blog, at conferences, pitch sessions, etc…. When one of our readers (thanks,Wanda B. Ontheshelves!) mentioned that she would love to read some of our slush, we thought that this could be a really great opportunity for writers to see what goes into the query process on the other end. So, during the week of March 1st, we will be dissecting and critiquing queries right here on the blog.
Here are the rules for people who want to take the chance that their query is one of the ones we post. Send us your query to firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line SLUSH WEEK SUBMISSION anytime between now and February 12th. By submitting a query with that subject line, you’re agreeing to let us post that query, minus your name and contact info, on the blog. Please note that these queries will not be considered submissions to DGLM, so if you were planning to query us in general, you still should. We’ll pick nine queries at random from the emails we receive (others won’t receive a response, but if it proves popular, perhaps we’ll give you another chance at a later date!) and each will be paired with one our nine staff members. During Slush Week, each agent’s daily post will be one of the letters along with the agent’s comments. We’ll let you know what about the letter speaks to us, what we think works, what we feel doesn’t and how these can be improved if they need to be.
Our hope is that our readers will not only have a chance to see samples of other queries, but also gain some insight into a part of the process that they wouldn’t otherwise see.
So rev up your keyboards, get creative, and send us your submissions!