Sending a Query Letter

 

What Is a Query Letter?

Rather than sending an entire manuscript straight away, publishers first want you to send a query letter. Many publishers utilize a three-step process in which you first submit a one-page letter that summarizes your manuscript and explains why you think readers would buy it. If the letter catches the publisher’s attention, often you will be asked to send a 10-50 page sample of the manuscript. Then if the publishing company is still interested, they will ask to see the entire manuscript for a final decision.

Since we work exclusively with young writers, we want you to send your one-page query letter along with the first 10 pages of your manuscript. This provides us with a better assessment of your skills as a writer. This is important since even if we think that your writing isn’t quite ready for commercial publishing, we still want the experience to be an educational and beneficial one for you. If we do not accept your query for the next stage in the process, you will receive a “Not Yet” letter along with specific recommendations on how you can improve your writing and an invitation to resubmit your work once you have rewritten it.

Query Submission Guidelines

We only accept queries and sample pages electronically. Do not send a query letter by snail mail, phone, in person, via Twitter, or through our Facebook page.

The body of your email should contain a one-page (250 word) query letter about your manuscript. When submitting a query letter, describe your manuscript in a way that will make us want to read it. Also tell us why you think a person browsing through a bookstore or clicking though Amazon.com would choose to buy your book.

Also in your email provide your name, age, current or most recent school/college attended, and mailing address. (Your age is an important detail as we exclusively publish authors between the ages of 13 and 22. If you do not specify your age in your query, we will assume you fall outside that range.)

Write QUERY and the title of your manuscript in the subject field of your email. Attach the first 10 pages of your manuscript to the email. The manuscript sample should be in 12 point Times New Roman and double spaced. [Note: if your total manuscript is less than 100 pages in length, query us through our Young Writers Chapbook series.]

Send your email to submissions@verbaleyze.org.