Query Criticism

If you’ve been reading along you know I’ve been sending out queries. Most of the responses have been general rejection until a few weeks ago. Whenever a submission’s response pops into my inbox I am uncertain of the outcome. Crazy I know because I think if it was good news they would call me. But always, this little part of me hopes they accepted my story and want to schedule a meeting to discuss something along the lines of publishing. So far most submission responses have been generic rejections except for the last one. I finally got a rejection with some positive and the negative feedback.

It’s amazing how criticism can stop someone in their tracks. I was looking for more places to send, writing more stories, writing and promoting this blog when this email made me stop and think. Why am I writing? But it took me some time to continue on and just say, “this is one story. This isn’t the end.” Also, I didn’t expect this story to be wildly successful. Just something I thought could be out there on the shelf of a bookstore or in someone own personal collection.

It still can be. I have decided not to quit on this story and it’s characters. While, this was just this one person’s criticism there have been quite a few rejections and maybe this is what the others are thinking. Maybe it was what I was thinking deep down. As a writer I think I always knew something was off. It’s hard to see being so close to the story. Handing it off isn’t always easy either. Friends and families just give a once over and gush over the perfect.  I was thinking of reading and editing one more time. Seeing if the narrative voice does need tweaking. I’ve been away from this character for some time. Fresh eyes can be all that’s need to make this story everything I know it can be. Even if, in the future, it’s not published I don’t think this was ever a waste of time. I’ve learned so much.  Here I go, back to the writing board.

Query Letter Concern

I find query letters frustrating. They seem so simple until the writing begins. So many tips out there but only one real template. I don’t want it to sound like very other but queries seem to have such specific sound. Over the years I have submitted a few short stories to writing contests and I have been rejected but none of them needed a query letter to enter.

This is my first query letter. I wrote a children’s picture book (without art). I have found a few places to send the book. The agent/publishing research is easy. It’s the writing. There are not a lot of examples or templates for writing children’s picture book query letters. I don’t think I’m worried about rejection. I expect it. My writing and or story may not be everyone’s cup of tea. I don’t want a bad query letter holding back my book from a future. Most likely this concern and frustration is all from my focus on detail, which I will have to learn to overcome.