Crush Your Query with Kristi Belcamino

From crafting your query, to researching agents, to writing the dreaded synopsis, to tracking your progress until you get THE CALL—Kristi Belcamino will be your guide through the query trenches.

Your Instructor: Kristi Belcamino, author of the Gabriella Giovanni mysteries

Where: Online — Available everywhere!

When: This class is not currently enrolling. To be notified when it is offered again, Click Here

Enrollment: 16 students

Price: $250

Class Description

You've finished a book! Congratulations! This is a big flipping deal.

It seems as if everybody WANTS to write a book, but few people ever do.

So, pat yourself on the back. Pour a big old glass of booze or eat a piece of delicious chocolate. Buy yourself a new guitar or pair of shoes. Whatever floats your boat. But celebrate.

And then ... get back to work.

You are going to need to fortify yourself to dive into the query trenches.

This class is going to help you navigate your way on that journey: from crafting your query, researching agents, writing the dreaded synopsis, and tracking your progress until you get THE CALL. You are going to learn how to polish a query that will stand out from the hundreds of queries an agent gets EVERY day.

This class will walk you through every step of the process and give you examples of what has worked. Students will learn how to use social media and contests to network and snag an agent, what to look for in a good agent, and why no agent is better than a bad agent. In addition, students will learn how to track queries and follow up, and why sometimes breaking the "rules" pays off.

Kristi Belcamino will share details of her own slog through the query trenches. She’s published a four-book mystery series through HarperCollins and her first young adult mystery just came out from Polis Books.

She’s also a query coach with Manufixed, teaches classes on querying at the Loft Literary Center in Minneapolis, and wrote “Crush Your Query: How to write a kick-ass query and navigate the query trenches.” So she knows a little bit about the subject—and she's here to be your guide.

What This Class Covers

Week 1

Preparing to Query

Students will learn if they are ready to query and consider checklist of items to help determine that. Class will discuss social media presence, involvement in writing organizations and attending writing conferences and pitch sessions. Students will spend time working on an author bio and a three to four paragraph summary of their book to use in their query.

Query Letter Basics

Basic format of a query. What to say, what not to say, basic components of a query letter and examples of successful query letters that have helped writers receive multiple offers of representation. Query letters will be broken down into manageable chunks.

Assignment: Write first draft of query and turn into instructor for critique.

Week 2

Researching Agents & The Dreaded Synopsis

What to look for in an agent so you can find an agent that is just right for you. (And what happens when you don’t have an agent that is right for you and why no agent is better than a bad agent.) This session will focus on how to develop a list of target agents and how to continually update that list. How to develop your list of agents to target and find your top five “dream agents.”

The Dreaded Synopsis

When agents ask to include a “brief synopsis” what exactly does that mean? Students will learn the basics of synopsis writing and look at different techniques to come up with one. This session will give examples and tips on just how to do that.

Assignment: Come up with list of 25 agents right for you. Start work on the synopsis. Students can resubmit revised version of query based on instructor feedback for additional critique.

Week 3

The Query Process

You have your query letter written, a synopsis, blurb, and author bio ready to go, now what? Basics on sending out your queries, how many at a time, what time of year, day of the week, etc. In addition, students will learn how to track their sent queries and maintain sanity while waiting, because the publishing world operates on an alternate universe of time known as Super Slow.

You’ve sent your queries out. Now what?

How and when to follow up on a query. What to say and when to say it. What happens when a writer gets feedback on a manuscript from an agent, but no offer of representation? What are the next steps a writer should take? When you do get feedback, how do you respond?

The Call and The Critique

What to say when you get an offer of representation and what questions you should ask. Students will learn how to be prepared for that call and will comprise a list of questions they should keep in their wallet for when that call comes.

Assignment: Finish writing synopsis and compile list of questions to ask agents and editors.

Goals Of This Class

  • Student will leave the class with a polished, ready-to-go query
  • Students will receive personal detailed feedback and critique from an acclaimed author
  • Students will have a solid game plan to seek literary representation
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