The Art of the Query Letter with Sarah LaPolla

Learn to effectively write and pitch a query letter under the guidance of a literary agent in this two-week course.

Your Instructor: Sarah LaPolla from the Bradford Literary Agency

Where: Online — Available everywhere!

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

Enrollment: 30 students

Price: $99

Class Description

Ah, the dreaded query letter.

You spend months—maybe even years—writing your book. Now you've got to sum the entire thing up and sell yourself, in just a few sentences. Not an easy task.

A great query letter is about so much more than a convincing synopsis. It’s about relating, conversing, understanding, and grabbing a hold of an agent. Look around the internet and there's a lot of advice on how to write queries. Some of the advice is good. Some is bad. Some is conflicting. The best way to find out what an agent wants? Ask an agent. Like, for example, Sarah LaPolla, an agent at the Bradford Literary Agency.

Sarah knows exactly what's going to stop an agent in his or her slush-pile tracks. In this two-week course, she'll read your queries, critique them, answer your questions about the process, and provide valuable insight into the publishing industry.

* Everyone who enrolls will get a critique of his or her query letter.

What This Class Covers

Week 1

  • LECTURE: Sarah will review the core components of a good query letter, explain what works and what doesn't, show examples of good queries as well as bad queries, and direct you to helpful resources.
  • Students with a working query will be welcomed to submit it for feedback (though if you don't have a working query and just want to learn the process, you're welcome to join, too).  
  • All queries will be posted to an online, private forum (viewable only to members of the class), and students will be encouraged to critique each other, as well. 
  • Throughout the week, Sarah will be available to answer questions via the discussion forums. 

Week 2

  • LECTURE: Once you've polished your query letter, you've got to send it out. Sarah will explain the best practices for querying literary agencies, researching agents, and provide tips and tricks for navigating the process.
  • Sarah will post her critiques of the query letters, so students can view, discuss, and comment on them. Sarah will also pick five particularly strong entries, to use them as teachable examples.
  • Sarah will also be available to answer more questions, and at the end of the class we'll check to make sure that everyone who asked a question got an answer.  

Goals Of This Class

  • Learn how to write an attention-grabbing query letter
  • Learn the right way to send that query out
  • Gain valuable insight on the publishing industry directly from the source
  • Get a detailed, personalized critique on your query letter for a literary agent
  • Learn research techniques for finding the right agent
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