Alec Shane @alecdshane · Aug 10

Q2: MG contemporary fantasy novella. Not the best fit for fantasy -although I'm hoping to change that down the line - and it's tough to place novellas from debut authors regardless. Pass. #tenqueries

Alec Shane @alecdshane · Aug 10

Q1: Few things say "I'm just blasting this exact same letter out to as many agents as possible" quite like "Hello!" as the only greeting. At least customize it by addressing it to the agent you're querying. Pass. #tenqueries

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

Laura Zats @LZats · Jul 25

That round of #500queries accounted for 28 days of my slush pile. You saw every query that came my way from March 1-March 28. Requests were higher than normal, with a total of 17% moving on to the partial stage!

Laura Zats @LZats · Jul 25

Q500: I was on the fence with this one--it might be a bit too religious for me, but I love the comps and the voice is good, so request! #500queries

Laura Zats @LZats · Jul 25

Q499: I like stories that deal with mental health. I do not like stories that are ONLY about mental health. Pass. #500queries

Laura Zats @LZats · Jul 25

Q498: Folks, I won’t open attachments or click links unless I request them. Pass. #500queries

Laura Zats @LZats · Jul 25

Q497: gen fic. Do not rep. Pass. #500queries

Laura Zats @LZats · Jul 24

Q496: Yeah, describing the plot of your story as simple, uninteresting, etc. because the *themes* are so important is not a good way to get me to read it. Pass. #500queries

Laura Zats @LZats · Jul 24

Q495: This query gave me the set-up to what could be a really cool ensemble UF, but I learned NOTHING about the plot. Pass. #500queries