Queries & Proposals



How to Find a Literary Agent

Nathan Bransford

A good, concise post on the various ways to find a literary agent to represent your work.


25 Things Writers Should Know About Agents

Chuck Wendig

Excellent—and brief—points about the author/agent relationship and other things to know or consider before querying.



The Querying Process

How to Write a Query Letter

Nathan Bransford

Straightforward advice (and links) on writing a query letter from a former literary agent, who is now a published middle-grade author. (Guess what? Even he had to go through the process of querying to get an agent. Knowing people in the industry doesn’t guarantee a free ticket.)


How to Revise Query Letters So They Actually Work

Query Shark

The best website around for helping writers perfect their query letters. Listen to the Query Shark. She bites if you don’t.


The Naked Truth (about submissions)

Greenhouse Literary

An honest and forthright post about why agents do what they do. Always remember: if you don’t like an agent’s policies, DON’T QUERY THEM. It’s simple, really. Don’t fight or respond rudely,* just move along to the next agent. Everyone will be less frustrated. I promise.


Twitter and the Query Process

Red Sofa Literary

Don’t ever query via Twitter. Or Facebook. Or any social media. Dawn explains why.


On Word Counts and Novel Length

Colleen Lindsay

Word count guidelines for a variety of genres and types of books.


Word Count Dracula

Jennifer Laughran

Word count guidelines for children’s through young adult books.


Slush Pile Triage

Jennifer Laughran

An overview of how one agent assesses her email inbox, including slush.



How to Write a Synopsis

Nathan Bransford

Helpful how-to on writing those tricky synopses. (Yes, we all hate writing them. It’s one of publishing’s perennial hazing rituals.)



Start Here: How to Write a Proposal

Jane Friedman

Nonfiction is its own beast when it comes to querying and finding an agent. Most of the time, it requires creating a proposal. Here’s how.  


Researching Comp Books

Jill Corcoran

A few tips on finding books that are similar to yours or in the same market. Not every agent or editor asks, but it’s always good to know what the competition will be.



Factors in Deciding Which Book to Publish

Michelle Witte

There are numerous reasons why agents and editors will reject a query or manuscript, not simply because a manuscript sucks. Which means you shouldn’t tell yourself that’s the reason why you’re getting rejections. It could be plenty of other things.


Personalized Rejections

How Publishing Really Works

There are several good reasons why agents can’t write a personal response to every manuscript they reject. Here’s why.