Queryfest, part XXIII: Grace is in the details. So, today, is Catherine.

Have you been finding the real-world examples we’ve been examining of late constructive, campers, or have you been twiddling your thumbs, tapping your fingers, and wishing with all of your might that Queryfest might end, so we might get back to discussing craft? Or — and I must admit, I would have begun suspecting this, …

Queryfest, part XXII: if it be the winter of Millicent’s discontent, can spring be far behind?

Before I fling all of us headlong into yet another examination of what strategies do and do not work well on the query page — that’s why you tuned in tonight, right? — I’d like to take a moment to reiterate some advice I gave all of you eager New Year’s resolution queriers a couple …

Queryfest, part XXI: all right, Mr. DeMille, I’m ready for my close-up, or, that pesky credentials paragraph revisited

Before I launch into today’s foray into all things query-related, a quick announcement about a long-time member of the Author! Author! community: lawyer, novelist, and musical comedy author extraordinaire Mary Hutchings Reed‘s daring novel about what goes on behind the beautifully-veneered doors of a high-powered law firm, Courting Kathleen Hannigan, has just become available as …

Queryfest, part XX: tying yourself up in knots to please that agent, or, they couldn’t possibly mean what they say, could they?

If you’ll forgive my getting personal for a moment, have you ever been in a relationship — romantic, friendly, coworkerish — with someone who was just positive s/he knew precisely what you wanted without ever having asked you what your actual preferences were? You’d never gone downhill skiing, perhaps, because you’re secretly afraid of heights …

Queryfest, part XIX: looking on the bright side, or, deck the halls with…more query faux pas?

Okay, okay: so it’s not actually snowing in Seattle this holiday season. A West Coast girl can dream of a white Christmas, can’t she? Speaking of holiday fantasies, since many of my young readers have been out of school this week, I had planned to devote it to posting readers’ queries, so we could talk …

Queryfest, part XVIII: and had I mentioned the desirability of doing your homework?

That’s right, campers: it’s time for another one of my little object lessons on the desirability of taking context into account. Quick, tell me what the snapshot above depicts. A trifle difficult to hazard a reasonable guess without knowing what falls outside the bounds of the photo, is it not? Since light has a delightful …

Queryfest, part XVII: please don’t skip this one if you’re not querying memoir, or, the Buddha-like qualities of Barney Fife

As those of you intrepid souls who followed Pitchingpalooza may recall, last summer, I stumbled upon perhaps the worst salesman it has ever been my pleasure to encounter, a carpet and linoleum purveyor subsequently known chez Mini as Duh, Obviously the Owner’s Ne’er-do-well Nephew. DOONN for short. I believe he thought we were calling him …

Queryfest, part XVI: weaving together all of those disparate elements into a Millicent-pleasing whole, or, could we possibly see some practical examples, please?

“What?” those of you who have been following Queryfest lo! these many weeks cry in astonishment. “Another post on how to put together a query letter? Surely, by now, we’ve covered the basics?” The basics, yes. The finesse, not entirely. Bear with me here. As those of you stalwart souls who have been following this …

Queryfest, part XV: selecting the elements that will grab Millicent’s attention, or was this honestly the most exciting news story of the day?

Since I’ve gone down to posting only once or twice per week — a rate I hope to be ramping up again, perhaps as soon as tomorrow — I’ve noticed something interesting, campers: reality seems to have slowed its rate of tumbling all over itself to provide me with practical or symbolic examples of whatever …

Queryfest, part XIV: I’m back, and in celebration of that, shall we all agree to strike the phrase worthless credential from the language, please?

Before I launch into either an explanation of my recent unanticipated hiatus from posting or the much-anticipated next installment in Queryfest, a brief announcement for Seattle-area members of the Author! Author! community: this coming Sunday, November 20th, I and fellow editors Kyra Freestar and Sarah Martinez shall be answering writers’ questions on matters editorial from …