Samantha Wekstein
@SWekstein
Literary Agent
Literary Agent @TL_Agency . She/Her, TerpšŸ¢, ENFJ, dog lover. Illustrators: wekstein-illustrators.weebly.com. Pitch to QueryManager.com/SamanthaWeksteā€¦
137 MSWL
124 Queries
87 Tips

Sometimes query advice doesn't apply to everyone. For ex, 250-350 words is sound advice, but not if you're writing SFF or historical. It's more important to establish context so we have enough info to understand goals, obstacles, and stakes than to keep it brief. #querytip

Samantha Wekstein
@SWekstein
Literary Agent
Literary Agent @TL_Agency . She/Her, TerpšŸ¢, ENFJ, dog lover. Illustrators: wekstein-illustrators.weebly.com. Pitch to QueryManager.com/SamanthaWeksteā€¦
137 MSWL
124 Queries
87 Tips

Vagueness is the enemy in a query letter. If you bring up obstacles, tell us what they are, if you make bold statements, clarify them with details. We have to read letters so swiftly, and it's easier to comprehend if you are specific. #querytip

Samantha Wekstein
@SWekstein
Literary Agent
Literary Agent @TL_Agency . She/Her, TerpšŸ¢, ENFJ, dog lover. Illustrators: wekstein-illustrators.weebly.com. Pitch to QueryManager.com/SamanthaWeksteā€¦
137 MSWL
124 Queries
87 Tips

A query letter shouldn't tell me things I already know, like that you're seeking representation (I know, lol), or quote lines from my wishlist. Instead, tell me what's intriguing about your project. Show your enthusiasm. Explain what will resonate with readers and me. #querytip

Samantha Wekstein
@SWekstein
Literary Agent
Literary Agent @TL_Agency . She/Her, TerpšŸ¢, ENFJ, dog lover. Illustrators: wekstein-illustrators.weebly.com. Pitch to QueryManager.com/SamanthaWeksteā€¦
137 MSWL
124 Queries
87 Tips

Another #querytip, specificity is key. Don't make vague statements to whet our appetite. Tell us what actually happens! Explain why things are the way they are. Give us examples that exist in your project. If I have lots of questions about the specifics, I'm likely to reject.

Samantha Wekstein
@SWekstein
Literary Agent
Literary Agent @TL_Agency . She/Her, TerpšŸ¢, ENFJ, dog lover. Illustrators: wekstein-illustrators.weebly.com. Pitch to QueryManager.com/SamanthaWeksteā€¦
137 MSWL
124 Queries
87 Tips

The five questions your query should answer: Who is your character? What do they want? What are the obstacles to them getting what they want? How will they try to overcome those obstacles? What will happen if they fail (a.k.a the stakes)? #querytip

Samantha Wekstein
@SWekstein
Literary Agent
Literary Agent @TL_Agency . She/Her, TerpšŸ¢, ENFJ, dog lover. Illustrators: wekstein-illustrators.weebly.com. Pitch to QueryManager.com/SamanthaWeksteā€¦
137 MSWL
124 Queries
87 Tips

Your query shouldn't start with hypotheticals. If you're beginning with "What happens when x meets y?" or "Imagine this specific scenario," then you're starting off on the wrong foot. Just be straightforward and tell us what your project is about. #querytip

Samantha Wekstein
@SWekstein
Literary Agent
Literary Agent @TL_Agency . She/Her, TerpšŸ¢, ENFJ, dog lover. Illustrators: wekstein-illustrators.weebly.com. Pitch to QueryManager.com/SamanthaWeksteā€¦
137 MSWL
124 Queries
87 Tips

I've said this before, but have someone who hasn't read your book read your query letter. You'll want to make sure it makes sense to someone who isn't familiar with your story. I get a lot of queries that seem to assume I know more about your world than I do. #querytip

Samantha Wekstein
@SWekstein
Literary Agent
Literary Agent @TL_Agency . She/Her, TerpšŸ¢, ENFJ, dog lover. Illustrators: wekstein-illustrators.weebly.com. Pitch to QueryManager.com/SamanthaWeksteā€¦
137 MSWL
124 Queries
87 Tips
Samantha Wekstein
@SWekstein
Literary Agent
Literary Agent @TL_Agency . She/Her, TerpšŸ¢, ENFJ, dog lover. Illustrators: wekstein-illustrators.weebly.com. Pitch to QueryManager.com/SamanthaWeksteā€¦
137 MSWL
124 Queries
87 Tips

#Querytip Don't mention your beta readers and their reactions in your letter. Just present your story and let us draw our own conclusions.

Samantha Wekstein
@SWekstein
Literary Agent
Literary Agent @TL_Agency . She/Her, TerpšŸ¢, ENFJ, dog lover. Illustrators: wekstein-illustrators.weebly.com. Pitch to QueryManager.com/SamanthaWeksteā€¦
137 MSWL
124 Queries
87 Tips

#querytip Telling me your project is ready for submission (to editors) in your query letter signals to me that you aren't willing to do more editorial work on it. I'm an editorial agent, so this is a bad sign.

Samantha Wekstein
@SWekstein
Literary Agent
Literary Agent @TL_Agency . She/Her, TerpšŸ¢, ENFJ, dog lover. Illustrators: wekstein-illustrators.weebly.com. Pitch to QueryManager.com/SamanthaWeksteā€¦
137 MSWL
124 Queries
87 Tips

Please only submit one project per query letter (and one at a time). Yes, even for picture books. #querytip

Samantha Wekstein
@SWekstein
Literary Agent
Literary Agent @TL_Agency . She/Her, TerpšŸ¢, ENFJ, dog lover. Illustrators: wekstein-illustrators.weebly.com. Pitch to QueryManager.com/SamanthaWeksteā€¦
137 MSWL
124 Queries
87 Tips

Replying to a rejection by pitching another project is not the way to go. #querytip

Samantha Wekstein
@SWekstein
Literary Agent
Literary Agent @TL_Agency . She/Her, TerpšŸ¢, ENFJ, dog lover. Illustrators: wekstein-illustrators.weebly.com. Pitch to QueryManager.com/SamanthaWeksteā€¦
137 MSWL
124 Queries
87 Tips

A problem I see in many fantasy queries is that authors want to start with the details of their world, but with so little space, what really matters is the character and their journey. The world should be introduced as you explain how your character interacts with it. #querytip

Samantha Wekstein
@SWekstein
Literary Agent
Literary Agent @TL_Agency . She/Her, TerpšŸ¢, ENFJ, dog lover. Illustrators: wekstein-illustrators.weebly.com. Pitch to QueryManager.com/SamanthaWeksteā€¦
137 MSWL
124 Queries
87 Tips

Querying a lit agent is like applying for a job. Do your due diligence. As you learn about that person, make sure you're as respectful and polite as possible. If you want to reach out to authors who know the person, that's fine! But respect their boundaries. #querytip

Samantha Wekstein
@SWekstein
Literary Agent
Literary Agent @TL_Agency . She/Her, TerpšŸ¢, ENFJ, dog lover. Illustrators: wekstein-illustrators.weebly.com. Pitch to QueryManager.com/SamanthaWeksteā€¦
137 MSWL
124 Queries
87 Tips

This is a PSA to please stop comparing your books to Harry Potter and The Hunger Games. #Querytip

Samantha Wekstein
@SWekstein
Literary Agent
Literary Agent @TL_Agency . She/Her, TerpšŸ¢, ENFJ, dog lover. Illustrators: wekstein-illustrators.weebly.com. Pitch to QueryManager.com/SamanthaWeksteā€¦
137 MSWL
124 Queries
87 Tips

#Querytip Know your genre. I'm seeing a lot of stories pitched as Magical Realism that aren't. This shows a real lack of understanding/awareness.

Samantha Wekstein
@SWekstein
Literary Agent
Literary Agent @TL_Agency . She/Her, TerpšŸ¢, ENFJ, dog lover. Illustrators: wekstein-illustrators.weebly.com. Pitch to QueryManager.com/SamanthaWeksteā€¦
137 MSWL
124 Queries
87 Tips

#querytip Personalization is about more than letting us know your book is in a genre we rep. What specifically about you and your project do you think will appeal to that agent?

Samantha Wekstein
@SWekstein
Literary Agent
Literary Agent @TL_Agency . She/Her, TerpšŸ¢, ENFJ, dog lover. Illustrators: wekstein-illustrators.weebly.com. Pitch to QueryManager.com/SamanthaWeksteā€¦
137 MSWL
124 Queries
87 Tips
Samantha Wekstein
@SWekstein
Literary Agent
Literary Agent @TL_Agency . She/Her, TerpšŸ¢, ENFJ, dog lover. Illustrators: wekstein-illustrators.weebly.com. Pitch to QueryManager.com/SamanthaWeksteā€¦
137 MSWL
124 Queries
87 Tips

#querytip If you are going to put that someone referred you to me in your letter, be sure that it is someone I've actually interacted with/heard of. If it's someone I respect, it can help, if it's someone I don't know, then how can I judge?

Samantha Wekstein
@SWekstein
Literary Agent
Literary Agent @TL_Agency . She/Her, TerpšŸ¢, ENFJ, dog lover. Illustrators: wekstein-illustrators.weebly.com. Pitch to QueryManager.com/SamanthaWeksteā€¦
137 MSWL
124 Queries
87 Tips