Ali Herring

@HerringAli

Assistant Literary Agent, Spencerhill Associates. Twin mom +1. Eclectic in life & books. I♥️Jane Austen & scifi in equal doses. Query me: bit.ly/2EOFVFa

Metro Atlanta

Spencerhill Associates

Ali Herring @HerringAli · Jul 26

Q10: I'm generalizing, but sometimes concepts like falling stars (star becomes person), genies, etc. are hard to conceptualize. When you try to explain in query, it gets confusing. I've seen several today, so not just this query, but not following how this works. Pass. #10queries

Ali Herring @HerringAli · Jul 26

Q9: When queries are super long, I get bogged down in details. Still, I read the sample, but didn't connect with the writing. If you can get a high-concept pitch in a query--where you distill the plot & essence of a story into 1 (or 2) simple sentence(s), do it. Pass. #10queries

Ali Herring @HerringAli · Jul 26

Q8: Wasn't sure about the hook, but then I saw the comps and decided to keep reading. (Comps matter for many reasons). But in the end, I didn't feel engaged in the opening scene. Pass #10queries

Ali Herring @HerringAli · Jul 26

Q7: Cute voice, but I'm not really looking for kids chapter books at this time. Pass. #10queries

Ali Herring @HerringAli · Jul 26

Q6: Too similar to something one of my clients has done. Pass #10queries

Ali Herring @HerringAli · Jul 26

As a follow up to Q5, it's a great idea to follow editors as well as agents on Twitter, to see what they are buying, what they are tweeting about, their #MSWLs, etc. #10queries

Ali Herring @HerringAli · Jul 26

Q5: Super commercial dark fantasy MG that deals with loss which is nice to see in middle grade since kids this age are learning to tackle those tough subjects. High stakes and the title's to die for. This is literally what I see editors asking for. REQUEST. #10queries

Ali Herring @HerringAli · Jul 26

Q4: I'm going to pass on this one. The dialog doesn't feel authentic in what is supposed to be a chaotic first scene. You can get a good emotional response from strong dialog, so take advantage of your character's words! #10queries

Ali Herring @HerringAli · Jul 26

Q3: Pass. Query doesn't lay out much in the way of a plot arc so I'm not sure what's going to happen. Word count is also super high for a debut. I'm kind of sad though because it touched on material I generally love. #10queries

Ali Herring @HerringAli · Jul 26

Q2: I know several editors who like it when an author plays with structure, but I'm not connecting with the way this one's organized--even though the concept is interesting. I'm looking for an active engaging scene to hook me in the first pages. Pass. #10queries

Ali Herring @HerringAli · Jul 26

Q1: Torn on this one. Good hook, but similar to what's already out there. Clearly talented writer. Distinct voice across multiple points of view. Pass, but will ask to see other work as they mentioned they write in multiple genres. #10queries