In the next few weeks, I’d like to post one blog a week about querying. Because it’s something I’m struggling to figure out. To master.

The funny thing about a query letter is that it is far more nerve-wracking than writing a novel. If not every single word in a novel is perfect, 1/120,000 ain’t so bad. But a query is short… this is your entire book crammed into about 300 words. Writing a synopsis was even harder for me.

But soon, I’ll be posting on how I went about learning to craft a query letter, what I hope agents will learn about my writing through my query letter, and how to deal with rejections to my query letter. If you’re trying to find an agent like me right now, I know it’s hard. Insane. A leap into a canyon.

It disturbs me when people ask me when I’m going to “send my book off to get published.” If you don’t write and have no real interest in navigating the publishing world, reading these posts may still be helpful. It might help you appreciate the strife of publication. Of query letters. Of agent guidelines. Of rejection.

So, I hope you learn something, and believe me, we’ll be learning together.


About Derek Berry

Derek Berry is a novelist and spoken word poet. Derek is the author of Heathens and Liars of Lickskillet County (PRA Publishing, 2016). He co-founded and organizes The Unspoken Word, a literary non-profit based out of Charleston, SC, which provides an intendent home for the poetic arts through regular readings, workshops, and community fundraisers. He is on the Executive Board of the Charleston Poetry Festival, the inaugural production of which will be Fall 2017. His work has appeared in The Southern Tablet, Cattywampus, Charleston Currents, Illuminations, RiverSedge, and other journals.He has performed in venues across the United States and Germany. He has worked as a photographer’s assistant, busboy, and bookseller. He currently works at a curation facility for Cold War History.

Posted on June 14, 2011, in novel, publishing, query, Word Salad, Writing. Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. What’s your book about? Do you have a query-submission plan of attack yet?

    My blog’s all about dealing with literary agent and literary journal rejections too. Maybe we can keep each other company while we wait. I’m posting submission response times so that other writers don’t have to wait in the dark anymore. Feel free to post how long it takes to hear back from particular agents, if you’re interested in helping keep count.

    Good luck with the process!

  2. Sounds a cool idea. I just thought it’d be something fun to do while blogging about writing. Well, you can check out info on my book at this post: https://derekberry.wordpress.com/2011/05/16/why-you-should-subscribe-here/
    And yeah, that’d all be great, in fact.
    I’ll make sure to read your blog, to figure things out!

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