Sunday, April 06, 2008

 

The Art of the Query Letter

by LuAnn Womach

For freelance writers, the query letter is the element that either opens the door to the publishing world or slams the door shut without any warning. Writing a query is, in a sense, a balancing act between selling an idea without giving away too many details and selling yourself as a writer.

When I started taking my writing career seriously about 10 years ago, I think I subscribed to every writing newsletter I could get my hands on. I read them thoroughly and gleaned pertinent information that I believed was helping me with my queries. Sure, I'd land a few stories every now and then, but I wasn't establishing any consistency in bigger markets. Yes, I had a steady stream of assignments for regional magazines and newspapers, but something seemed amiss.

Last May, I took a leap of faith and left a full-time teaching career for the freelancer's life. I spent the first two months sending out three or four queries a week. Personally, I like Hope Clark's advice about keeping 13 queries in play. It's been pretty successful for me, too.

What really made the difference was a writing book I bought after reading a review. The book : The Renegade Writer's Query Letters That Rock by Linda Formichelli and Diana Burrell. I studied each letter and compared those queries that hooked an editor to the letters I had been writing. Now, I'm not saying the letters I was writing were bad, but they were lacking in passion for the subject.

Since reading the book, I've developed my own query style. And, it must be working. I've landed assignments in two national magazines. And hopefully, I'll land more!

As you write a query letter, remember that you need to show that you are insightful and have a genuine interest in the topic. Making personal connections should help you make a sale!

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Wednesday, July 11, 2007

 

Linda Formichelli Helps you Break into Magazines





Linda's 8-Week E-course on Breaking into Magazines

Next Session Starts Monday, July 30, 2007

If you want to write for magazines but don't know how to get started - or if you need some motivation to get you going - this course is for you.

In eight weekly lessons, Linda will walk you through:

  • Coming up with a salable idea
  • Finding markets that would be interested in your idea
  • Finding the right editors to send your idea to
  • Interviewing people for the query letter (the proposal that sells the editor on your idea and yourself as a writer)
  • Writing a winning query letter
  • Getting your query out the door!

Each lesson includes an assignment. You can do much of the assignments after work, during your lunch break, on weekends - whenever YOU have the time. The best part is, you can use the lessons you learn in this course over and over again. The more queries you write and send, the better the chances that you'll get published!

The basic course includes eight weekly lessons and the premium course includes personalized e-mail support as well (Linda sets aside Wednesdays and Fridays to answer e-mails). She says, "I am here to guide you through the program and to answer any questions you might have."

For more details on how the course works, the course schedule, and Linda's teaching philosophy, please download and read the E-Course FAQ on Linda's site (PDF format).

Premium Course - Eight weekly lessons, eight assignments, and eight weeks of unlimited e-mail support ($240)

Basic Course - Eight weekly lessons and eight assignments ($120)

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If you missed our last issue's 20 Questions Column with Linda Formichelli, Renegade Writer be sure to check it out! Linda knows all the tricks of the trade, and as you'll see in this unique WOW! interview, she's got a handle on balancing life & writing.

***NOTE: Please be sure to say that WOW! Women On Writing referred you :-)

FIND OUT MORE: http://www.lindaformichelli.com/course/

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