Query letter tips
If you have not written a query letter before, we recommend you read the following tips.
A query letter (also called a cover or submission letter) should include:
1. Your name.
2. The title of your work.
3. The genre (e.g. crime fiction).
4. The number of words in the full manuscript. If it’s an unfinished non-fiction manuscript, state the number of words you aim to write. We do not recommend that you submit to us if you have an unfinished fiction manuscript.
5. A ‘pitch’ – a couple of sentences to a paragraph about your story and why we should read it. The pitch is not unlike the blurb you see on the back cover of a book. We do not expect that your pitch will be polished to the same extent that a blurb would be, but bear in mind that we receive thousands of submissions a year and a great pitch helps make a submission stand out. If you’re not sure how to write a pitch, just think of how you would describe your story to a friend.
6. Any writing ‘credits’ you may have – previous publication of stories, books or articles; any courses you have undertaken.
7. Your website, if you have one.
Ideally a query letter is not more than one A4 page in length if it were to be printed (generally that’s about four or five fairly concise paragraphs) – so use that as a guide even though you are writing the letter in an email.