Monday, April 06, 2015

Query Critiques by the Query Queen

I debated doing this. It's a lot of work and I wasn't sure I really wanted to jump into the critique pool. But I'm running out of things to talk about and I have received requests.

So here goes. I'm offering to critique query letters. I will do so on this blog so if you're submitting be prepared for some brutal critique. I will be honest and I will be brutally honest and I can not promise how other readers will respond (although usually they are kind).

Here are the guidelines:

1. Address query to the Query Queen (not to be confused with the Shark)

2. Send only those queries you would send to agents when actually querying editors. 
No rough drafts allowed. 

3. Review the query guidelines on our website so you know exactly what your query should contain. 

4. The email subject should say, "Query Critique"

5. Include this phrase at the top of your letter, "I agree that the material in this email can be posted and critiqued on the BookEnds Literary Agency blog. I give permission for it to be archived for the life of the blog."

6. Submitting your query is no guarantee it will be used and I will not notify you if I do decide to use it. I would suggest you subscribe to the blog if you want to ensure you don't miss your critique.

7. Subscribe to the blog anyway. A critique on your query will be beneficial, but we learn more from reading what is said about other queries, and critiquing them ourselves, then we ever will from our own.

8. Query critiques can be sent to

Good luck!



Colin Smith said...

It'll be interesting to see what things catch your interest in a query, and what things you don't like. Different agents have different tastes, and for those in the query trenches this will be an education, and hopefully give encouragement. All the best to you--I hope you get plenty of takers. :)

Elissa M said...

I've learned a lot from Query Shark and other sites. Definitely looking forward to seeing another agent's take on queries.

AJ Blythe said...

Fabulous opportunity. Thanks, Jessica. I look forward to learning more about query letters (and once it's final subbing my own).

I also look forward to your brutal honesty - it's the only way to learn!

Question: for this crit does the ms have to be complete? I'm assuming, like Query Shark, it doesn't but don't want to jump the gun!

LĂ©onie Kelsall said...

Oooh, opportunity! Shall gird my loins (or hoist the granny knickers, in more modern parlance!)

Anonymous said...

Thank you for doing this! I'm probably in the minority in that I prefer brutal honesty. Sure it hurts, but I can't fix it if I don't know it's broken. Thanks so much!

John Berkowitz said...

Thanks for doing this, Jessica. I'm looking forward to receiving feedback from a professional.

BookEnds, A Literary Agency said...


The book does not have to be complete. Some write the query before the book and that's all good.


AJ Blythe said...

Thanks, Jessica, fabulous news.