I’ve been writing query letters professionally for over 20 years – I even wrote a book about it.
Here’s how to write query letters with AI:
Write query letters with AI by following these 7 steps: 1) Understand the genre and audience, 2) Identify key elements, 3) Craft a hook and synopsis, 4) Personalize, 5) Open and close the letter, 6) Compare and contrast, and 7) Explain credentials. Use AI for language, ideas, and tone suggestions.
In this guide, you’ll learn everything you need to know about how to write query letters with AI.
What Is a Query Letter?
A query letter is a one-page letter sent to literary agents or publishers to introduce and pitch a book project. The purpose of the query letter is to entice the agent or publisher to request more information about the book, such as a proposal, sample chapters, or the full manuscript.
A successful query letter should include several key elements:
- A strong hook grabs the agent’s attention and summarizes the book’s premise in one or two sentences.
- A brief synopsis of the book that conveys the plot, main characters, and conflict, usually no more than a paragraph or two.
- Information about the author, including any relevant writing credentials, such as previous publications or awards.
- A closing that thanks the agent for their time and consideration, and offers to provide additional information or materials if requested.
It’s important to note that a successful query letter should be professional, concise, and free of errors.
It’s also important to research and target agents or publishers who are a good fit for the book’s genre and subject matter.
And you can do all of this (or parts of it if you choose) with AI.
How To Write Query Letters With AI (Ultimate Guide for Writing Beginners)
AI writers like ChatGPT and Jasper can help you write good query letters that get you an agent.
You insert well-engineered prompts into AI to guide the software to give you ideas for content, characters, plot summaries, personalization, and more.
Here are the steps I take for myself and my clients:
- Understand the genre and target audience
- Identify the key query elements
- Crafting the hook and synopsis
- Personalize the letter
- Open and close the letter
- Compare and contrast
- Explain your credentials
Some people might call these the 7 steps to writing a query letter for a literary agent.
Step 1: Understanding the Genre and Target Audience
The first step in writing any query letter is to understand the genre and target audience for the novel.
This usually involves researching the genre, identifying a target audience, and matching the novel to the audience. You can then tailor your query letter to the right literary agent, genre, and reader group.
Here is a deeper breakdown:
- Research the genre. Start by researching the conventions and expectations of the genre. This includes reading books in the genre and analyzing their structure, style, and themes. Hopefully, you’ve already done this but just in case, it needs to be said.
- Identify the target audience. Next, identify the target audience for the novel. This includes considering factors such as age, gender, interests, and reading habits.
- Match the novel to the audience. Once the genre and target audience are identified, the next step is to match the novel to the audience. This involves analyzing the novel’s themes, characters, and plot, and determining whether they align with the interests and preferences of the target audience.
AI can help with understanding the genre and target audience by providing relevant information and insights.
Here are some AI prompts that a writer could use:
- What are the conventions of the [genre] genre?
- Who is the target audience for [genre] novels?
- What are the most popular themes in [genre] novels?
- What are the key elements of a successful [genre] novel?
- Who are some authors that write similar books to mine?
Step 2: Identifying the Key Query Elements
The next step in writing a query letter is to identify the key elements of the novel, including the main character, conflict, setting, themes, and stakes.
Every successful story (and query letter) includes these elements:
- Identify the main character. Analyze the main character of the novel. This includes analyzing their personality, backstory, motivations, and goals.
- Identify the conflict. Pinpoint the conflict or problem that the main character faces. This can be external or internal and can take many forms.
- Identify the setting. The setting of the novel is the place where the story takes place. This includes the physical location as well as the cultural and historical context.
- Identify the themes. The themes of the novel are the underlying ideas or messages that you (as the author) want to convey. This can include topics such as love, death, power, justice, and redemption.
- Identify the stakes. The stakes are the consequences of the conflict. This includes what the main character stands to gain or lose based on the outcome of the conflict.
AI can help with identifying the key elements of the novel by providing suggestions for characters, conflicts, themes, settings, and stakes.
Here are some prompts that a writer could use to get AI to help:
- Who is the main character of my novel? What are their motivations and goals?
- What is the central conflict of my novel? What is at stake?
- What are the themes of my novel? How do they relate to the genre and target audience?
- What is the setting of my novel? How does it impact the plot and characters?
- How can I raise the stakes in my novel? What are the consequences of failure for the main character?
Step 3: Crafting the Hook and Synopsis
Now is the time to craft the hook and synopsis.
The hook is a sentence or two that grabs the reader’s attention and sets the tone for the novel. The synopsis is a brief summary of the plot that introduces the main character, conflict, and stakes.
This is what I do:
- Craft the hook. This can include using intriguing language, posing a question, or making a provocative statement. It can even be what I call the story synopsis (see the next bullet point).
- Write the synopsis. This should be written in a way that engages the reader and makes them want to know more. The focus is on interesting characters in interesting settings facing interesting conflicts or else they face serious and interesting consequences.
- Edit and revise. Once the hook and synopsis are written, the next step is to edit and revise them for clarity, concision, and impact. This may involve getting feedback from beta readers or writing groups.
AI can help with crafting the hook and synopsis by generating ideas and providing suggestions for language and tone.
Here are some prompts that a writer could use:
- What is a catchy and memorable hook for my novel?
- How can I summarize the plot of my novel in a way that is engaging and intriguing?
- Give me three different examples of a back cover book blurb for this story
- What are some key themes or plot points that I should highlight in my synopsis?
- What is the tone of my novel, and how can I reflect that in my hook and synopsis?
- Can you suggest some strong verbs and adjectives I can use in my hook and synopsis?
For more about this topic, I wrote a good article about How To Write a Query Letter Hook with 60+ query letter hook examples.
Step 4: Personalize the Query Letter
Another step in writing a query letter is to personalize it for the literary agent you are submitting to.
This involves researching the agent’s interests and preferences and tailoring the letter to match.
You can personalize a query letter with these tips:
- Research the literary agent. Find out the literary agent’s interests, preferences, and submission guidelines. This can include reading their blog, following them on social media, or attending a writer’s conference where they are speaking.
- Tailor the letter to the agent. Once the agent’s preferences are identified, the next step is to tailor the letter to match. This can include referencing books or authors that the agent has represented, highlighting similarities between the novel and the agent’s interests, and/or addressing the agent by name in the letter.
- Follow the agent guidelines. Always follow the guidelines for how to write the query letter, what to include, and how to send the query letter to them. You may need to create a custom query letter for each agent but it is well worth the time and effort.
AI can help with personalizing the query letter by providing information and insights about the literary agent and their preferences.
To get the best results, you may need to feed the AI some data from the agent’s social media, website, or agent bio.
Here are some prompts that a writer could use:
- Based on the information I pasted above, what are the submission guidelines for [agent’s name]?
- What is [agent’s name] interested in representing?
- What are some books or authors that [agent’s name] has represented in the past?
- Can you suggest some ways to personalize my query letter for [agent’s name]?
- What are some common mistakes that writers make when submitting to [agent’s name], and how can I avoid them?
Step 5: Open and Close the Query Letter Properly
When it comes to opening and closing a query letter, it is often best to keep it simple and straightforward.
- Address the agent or publisher by name. Double-check the spelling and gender. You don’t want to get this wrong.
- Provide the basic details. State the title, genre, and word count of the book. You can do this at the beginning or end of your query letter but don’t forget to do it.
- Less is more. Avoid long-winded greetings or goodbyes.
The opening should be brief and to the point and should aim to grab the agent or publisher’s attention with a compelling hook.
The closing should thank the agent or publisher for considering the submission and should indicate that the requested materials have been included with the query letter.
Here are examples:
Opening: Dear [Name of Agent/Publisher],
I am writing to seek representation for my [genre] novel, [Title], which is approximately [word count] words in length.
Closing: Thank you for considering my submission. I have included [requested materials] with this query letter.
As usual, AI can be a great assistant writer for the beginning and end of your query letter.
You can use these prompts:
- Please write a simple greeting and salutation for this query letter.
- Please write a concise sentence that gives the title, genre, and word count of my novel.
- Give me three different examples of that concise sentence.
- Write a sentence that says what is included in this query letter (i.e. sample chapter, synopsis, etc).
Step 6: Compare and Contrast Other Related Books
One optional element of a query letter for a novel is to compare and contrast the novel with other related books in the genre. With that said, many successful query letters I’ve read include this section.
Here are some tips for writing this section of the query letter:
- Find related books. Identify books that are similar to your novel in terms of genre, theme, or tone.
- Compare and contrast. Talk about how your novel is similar, and how it is different.
- Differentiate. Highlight what makes your novel unique and fresh in comparison to these other books.
- Be highly specific. Use specific examples and details from the books to support your comparisons.
- Be honest and objective. Don’t oversell your book or denigrate others.
AI can offer suggestions for relevant books and highlight similarities and differences between them.
Here are some AI prompts that I use:
- What are some books that are similar to mine in terms of genre and theme?
- Can you suggest some specific similarities and differences between my book and these other books?
- What makes my book unique in comparison to these other books?
- How can I use specific examples from these other books to support my comparisons?
- Can you help me identify the target audience for my book based on these comparisons?
By using AI to help with this section of the query letter, writers can ensure that they are accurately representing their book and its place in the market, while also highlighting what makes it unique and compelling.
You’ll read many of these book comparisons in the example query letter section closer to the end of this guide.
Step 7: Explain Your Credentials
s section is optional, but if you have any relevant credentials that can lend credibility to your work, it’s worth mentioning them briefly.
However, it’s important to be honest and not exaggerate or make up credentials.
Don’t talk about unpublished work, and only mention credentials that are relevant to the book or the writing process.
Some examples of relevant credentials that can be mentioned include:
- Previous publications in literary journals or other publications
- Awards or accolades for previous writing
- Relevant degrees or certifications in the subject matter of the book
- Professional experience in a field related to the subject matter of the book
- Membership in writing groups or associations
If you don’t have any quality credentials, that’s okay!
It’s not a requirement for getting your book published. Instead, focus on the strengths of your book and your writing, and emphasize your passion for the project.
Keep the query letter concise and engaging, and let the writing speak for itself.
Here are some AI prompts that you could use to help write the credentials section of your query letter:
- What are some relevant degrees or certifications in the subject matter of my book that I can mention?
- Can you suggest any professional organizations or associations related to the subject matter of my book that I can mention?
- What are some publications or writing credits that I can mention to lend credibility to my work?
- Can you suggest any awards or accolades related to writing that I can mention?
- How can I emphasize my passion for the project in a way that lends credibility to my work?
- Can you suggest any relevant experiences or expertise that I can mention to highlight my qualifications?
You will need to give the AI information about yourself. For example, you can copy and paste your resume and cover letter into the AI tool.
Here is a video demonstration of how to write query letters with AI:
Dos and Don’ts of Writing Query Letters with AI
If you’re wondering about how to write a query letter to a literary agent, you’ll want to follow certain dos and don’ts in the industry.
Check out this table where I summarized the most important lessons learned from 20 years of writing query letters:
|Query Letter Dos||Query Letter Don’ts|
|Research the literary agent and their preferences||Make up credentials or exaggerate your qualifications|
|Use AI to generate ideas for language and tone||Rely too heavily on AI and ignore your own creativity|
|Keep the query letter concise and engaging||Ramble or include unnecessary information|
|Highlight the plot, characters, conflict, and stakes||Provide too much detail or spoil the ending|
|Personalize the query letter for the literary agent||Use a generic or impersonal letter|
|Include any relevant credentials or qualifications||Talk about unpublished work or projects|
|Edit and revise the letter for clarity and impact||Submit the letter without proofreading or editing|
|Follow the submission guidelines||Ignore submission guidelines|
17 Query Letter Examples + Templates
It doesn’t matter if want to know how to write a query letter for a novel or how to write a nonfiction query letter, I’ve included examples and templates to help you.
And, usually, more than one.
Mystery Query Letter Examples
Dear [Agent’s Name],
I am seeking representation for my mystery novel, THE HIDDEN ROOM, complete at 80,000 words. This story is perfect for fans of Tana French and Gillian Flynn.
When successful criminal defense attorney, Maria Rodriguez, takes on a high-profile murder case, she quickly finds herself in the middle of a dangerous game of cat and mouse. The victim is a wealthy businessman with powerful connections, and the police are desperate to pin the crime on someone.
As Maria delves deeper into the case, she discovers a connection between the victim and her own past. Digging further, she uncovers a hidden room in the victim’s mansion that reveals a dark secret that someone will do anything to keep hidden. Suddenly, Maria finds herself the target of a ruthless killer who will stop at nothing to protect their secrets.
With the help of a rogue private investigator and a mysterious stranger who seems to know more than he’s letting on, Maria races against time to solve the case before she becomes the next victim.
THE HIDDEN ROOM is a fast-paced, twisty thriller that explores the lengths people will go to protect their secrets and the devastating consequences that can result.
I have a Bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice and have worked in the legal field for over a decade, giving me a unique perspective on the inner workings of the justice system. My short fiction has been published in various literary magazines, and I am an active member of my local writing community.
Thank you for your time and consideration.
Dear [Agent’s Name],
I would like to inquire about representation for my 85,000-word mystery novel, THE MISSING KEY. The story follows forensic psychologist, Dr. Grace Evans, as she tries to solve a complex case of murder and betrayal.
When Dr. Evans receives a call from her childhood friend, Detective Max Thompson, informing her of a double homicide in their hometown, she reluctantly returns to help with the investigation. As the case unfolds, Dr. Evans realizes that the victims, a wealthy couple, had many secrets and that their deaths may be connected to a long-forgotten tragedy from their past.
With the help of her friend Max and the town’s new police chief, Dr. Evans begins to unravel the complicated web of lies, deceit, and greed that led to the murders. But as she gets closer to the truth, she finds herself in grave danger, and she must race against time to uncover the killer’s identity before they strike again.
THE MISSING KEY is a fast-paced and engaging mystery that will keep readers guessing until the very end. The novel touches on themes of family, friendship, and the consequences of our actions.
I am a debut author with a degree in psychology, which has informed my writing and provided me with a unique perspective on the subject matter. I have attached the first three chapters of my manuscript for your review.
I appreciate your consideration to this matter and eagerly anticipate your response. Thank you kindly.
Thriller Query Letter Examples
Dear Ms. Johnson,
As a fan of suspenseful, fast-paced thrillers with complex characters, I am reaching out to you regarding my debut novel, THE SLEEPWALKER. I believe it will appeal to readers who enjoy the works of Gillian Flynn, Tana French, and Paula Hawkins.
After waking up covered in blood and unable to recall the events of the previous night, forensic psychologist Dr. Sarah Johnson is called in to consult on a series of murders in her hometown of Havenwood, Colorado. The victims all have one thing in common: they are all sleepwalkers, and each one has been killed while in the midst of a sleepwalking episode.
As Sarah investigates the murders, she begins to have her own sleepwalking episodes, which are becoming increasingly dangerous. She discovers that her mother, who died when Sarah was a child, was also a sleepwalker and was killed while sleepwalking. As Sarah delves deeper into the case, she realizes that the killer is targeting not just sleepwalkers, but those with a genetic predisposition to the disorder.
As the body count rises and the killer closes in on Sarah, she must confront the secrets of her past and come to terms with the fact that she herself may be the ultimate target. With a cast of complex, flawed characters and a plot that will keep readers on the edge of their seats, THE SLEEPWALKER is a 90,000-word thriller that explores the line between sanity and madness.
I am a practicing psychologist with a background in forensic psychology and have published several articles in academic journals. This is my first work of fiction, and I am excited to share it with readers who love a good thriller.
Thank you for taking the time to look over my submission. I eagerly anticipate receiving your response at the earliest opportunity.
I came across your profile on Manuscript Wish List and I was impressed by your interest in thrillers that keep readers up all night. My debut novel, THE DARK HOURS, is a suspenseful thriller that I think would be a strong addition to your publishing roster.
The story follows Alex, a successful lawyer who seems to have it all: a loving husband, a beautiful home, and a promising career. But when her husband is brutally murdered in their own bed, Alex’s life is turned upside down. She becomes the prime suspect in the investigation, and as evidence mounts against her, she realizes that someone is framing her for the crime.
Desperate to clear her name and find the real killer, Alex sets out to uncover the truth. As she delves deeper into her husband’s past, she discovers dark secrets that threaten to destroy everything she thought she knew about him. With her own life in danger, Alex must race against the clock to uncover the truth before it’s too late.
At 85,000 words, THE DARK HOURS is perfect for fans of Gone Girl and The Girl on the Train.
I am a freelance writer with a background in journalism and a passion for storytelling. My short fiction has appeared in several literary magazines, including The Paris Review and Tin House. I am also a member of the Mystery Writers of America.
Thank you for taking the time to review my submission. I eagerly anticipate your response in the near future.
Fantasy Query Letter Examples
I came across your profile on Manuscript Wish List and was immediately drawn to your interest in epic fantasies that feature diverse characters and cultures. I’m excited to introduce you to my debut novel, THE BLOOD OF DRAGONS, a 100,000-word tale that transports readers to a world of magic, dragons, and political intrigue.
After years of war and unrest, the kingdom of Isadoria is finally at peace, thanks to the powerful and just rule of Queen Adalyn. But when she is mysteriously assassinated, chaos descends upon the land once again. The queen’s three daughters, each with their own unique abilities, are the only hope for restoring peace and uncovering the truth behind their mother’s death.
Alyssa, the eldest, possesses the power of fire and is determined to claim the throne and avenge her mother. Sophia, the middle sister, can communicate with animals and is determined to use her gifts to uncover the identity of the queen’s killer. And Mia, the youngest, has the rare ability to control dragons but must come to terms with her power before she can use it to help her sisters.
As the sisters navigate a dangerous political landscape, they uncover a web of lies and deceit that goes beyond their mother’s murder. With the help of unlikely allies, including a band of rebel dwarves and a shapeshifting rogue, the sisters must use their strengths to unite the kingdom and defeat the powerful enemies who threaten to tear it apart.
As a lifelong fan of fantasy and mythology, I’ve poured my passion into crafting a rich and immersive world filled with magic and adventure. I’ve also drawn on my experience as a cultural anthropologist to create a diverse cast of characters and cultures that reflect the complexities of our own world.
Thank you for considering THE BLOOD OF DRAGONS.
I am excited to submit my debut fantasy novel, THE SWORD OF THE STORM, for your consideration. At 120,000 words, it will appeal to fans of Brandon Sanderson’s Mistborn series and Robert Jordan’s The Wheel of Time.
In the Kingdom of Hylia, magic is forbidden and the ruling council maintains strict control over its use. But when a young blacksmith apprentice, Aria, discovers she possesses magical abilities, she must go on the run to avoid the council’s wrath.
With the help of her mentor, a powerful sorceress, Aria sets out on a journey to find an ancient artifact known as the Sword of the Storm. Legend has it that the sword has the power to defeat the council and restore magic to the land.
Along the way, Aria meets a band of rebels who share her desire for change. Together, they embark on a perilous quest, facing treacherous terrain, dangerous creatures, and powerful enemies who seek to stop them at all costs.
As Aria’s powers grow stronger, so does her determination to fulfill her quest. But when a betrayal threatens to tear her group apart, Aria must choose between her own ambitions and the greater good of the kingdom.
I am a lifelong fan of fantasy and have been influenced by the works of J.R.R. Tolkien and George R.R. Martin. I have also written for several online publications and blogs, including Fantasy-Faction and The Portalist.
I appreciate your time and consideration regarding my submission.
Romance Query Letter Examples
I am excited to submit my debut contemporary romance novel, LOVE IN THE VINEYARD, for your consideration. The novel is complete at 85,000 words.
Caroline is a talented sommelier who has dedicated her life to her passion for wine. When she inherits her grandfather’s vineyard in Napa Valley, she must leave her fast-paced life in New York City to manage the business. Despite the challenges of the new venture, Caroline finds comfort in the stunning vineyards and the warmth of the local community.
Enter Jackson, a ruggedly handsome and successful businessman who is looking to invest in the vineyard industry. Sparks fly when Caroline and Jackson meet, but their differing perspectives on the industry and their past heartbreaks threaten to drive them apart.
As they work together to save the vineyard from bankruptcy, they begin to see the world through each other’s eyes and find themselves falling in love. But when a devastating secret from Jackson’s past is revealed, their newfound happiness is put to the ultimate test.
LOVE IN THE VINEYARD is a heartwarming story about finding love where you least expect it and the healing power of wine and community. Fans of Kristan Higgins’ Now That You Mention It and Susan Mallery’s The Summer of Sunshine and Margot will enjoy this novel.
Thank you for considering my manuscript.
Dear [Agent’s Name],
I am excited to introduce my new contemporary romance novel, THE ART OF SEDUCTION, complete at 75,000 words. Fans of Christina Lauren and Sally Thorne will enjoy this enemies-to-lovers workplace romance with a dash of humor and heart.
Mia Grant is a talented graphic designer working for a top advertising agency in New York City. She’s determined to climb the corporate ladder and win the coveted promotion, but there’s one thing standing in her way: her boss, James Reynolds. He’s arrogant, insufferable, and drives her crazy with his endless demands and unreasonable expectations.
James Reynolds is a brilliant businessman and the youngest CEO to lead a Fortune 500 company. He’s used to getting what he wants, and what he wants is Mia. He’s convinced she’s the missing piece in his company’s rebranding project, and he’ll stop at nothing to make her work for him. But Mia is no pushover, and she’s not about to let him steamroll over her dreams.
As they clash and compete for control, the tension between them sizzles and sparks fly. But when they give in to their attraction, they realize that they might have found something worth fighting for. But can they overcome their pasts and trust each other enough to take a chance on love?
THE ART OF SEDUCTION is a standalone novel with a happily-ever-after ending. It explores themes of ambition, trust, and second chances, and will appeal to readers who enjoy witty banter, office romances, and a strong, independent heroine.
I appreciate your consideration.
Science Fiction Query Letter Examples
I am writing to seek representation for my science fiction novel, ECHOES FROM THE FUTURE. With your experience in representing thought-provoking and character-driven science fiction, I think you will appreciate my work.
The year is 2050, and humanity has made a remarkable discovery. By tapping into the fabric of time and space, scientists have unlocked the secrets of the multiverse. In doing so, they have created a device that allows people to communicate with their future selves.
When Eve, a young scientist, tests the device, she discovers a shocking truth about her future. She will lead a revolution against a tyrannical government that has taken control of the world. Faced with the daunting task of changing her destiny, Eve embarks on a dangerous journey to find allies from the future and prevent the dystopian future she has seen.
As Eve delves deeper into the multiverse, she discovers that the government is not the only enemy she must face. There are other forces at play, including an ancient race that seeks to control the multiverse for its own sinister purposes. With time running out, Eve must gather the strength to confront these enemies and save not only her future but the fate of all humanity.
At 85,000 words, ECHOES FROM THE FUTURE is a character-driven science fiction novel that explores themes of destiny, free will, and the power of individual choices to shape the future. I believe it will appeal to readers who enjoy the works of Ursula K. Le Guin and Octavia Butler.
Thank you for taking the time to review my submission. I eagerly await your response.
I am reaching out to you in hopes of finding representation for my science fiction novel, ALIEN CODEX. At 95,000 words, it is a standalone work with series potential.
When NASA’s Voyager spacecraft returns to Earth in 2020, it brings back more than just data. Hidden within the code of the spacecraft’s recordings is an alien message that has been overlooked for decades. Dr. Avery Shaw, a brilliant cryptographer, discovers the message and realizes it holds the key to unlocking an alien civilization’s knowledge and technology.
As Avery works to decode the message, she attracts the attention of powerful individuals who will stop at nothing to get their hands on the knowledge. She must stay one step ahead of them while navigating the dangerous world of alien politics and trying to decipher the alien technology before it’s too late.
As Avery delves deeper into the alien code, she discovers that the aliens have been watching humanity for centuries, and the message is a warning about an impending threat. With time running out, Avery races to decipher the code and save humanity from destruction.
ALIEN CODEX is a thrilling science fiction novel that explores the consequences of unlocking the secrets of a powerful alien civilization. It will appeal to fans of Arthur C. Clarke and Ted Chiang.
Thank you for your time and consideration.
Memoir Query Letter Examples
Dear [Agent’s Name],
I am writing to seek representation for my memoir, BENEATH THE SURFACE, a 75,000-word story about overcoming a debilitating illness and finding purpose in life.
In my mid-twenties, I was diagnosed with a rare autoimmune disorder that left me bedridden and struggling to hold onto my identity. As a former competitive athlete and adventurer, the news hit me hard. But with the help of my supportive family and friends, I refused to let the illness define me. I fought back, seeking alternative treatments, changing my diet, and working with medical professionals to regain my health.
My journey to recovery was not easy, but it was a transformative experience that allowed me to discover a new path in life. In BENEATH THE SURFACE, I share my story of resilience, self-discovery, and growth. Along the way, I found myself drawn to the ocean, and began exploring its depths through scuba diving. Through this new passion, I found healing and purpose, and ultimately became a certified scuba instructor.
My memoir will resonate with readers who have experienced health challenges, or who are seeking to find meaning in their lives. My journey is one of hope and determination and will inspire readers to push through their own obstacles and find the courage to pursue their passions.
I have a Bachelor’s degree in English Literature and have been published in several online publications. I have also built a following through my personal blog, where I share my experiences and offer support to others facing health challenges.
I believe that BENEATH THE SURFACE would be a great addition to your list, as it shares themes with several books that you represent, such as Wild by Cheryl Strayed and Brain on Fire by Susannah Cahalan.
Thank you kindly for taking the time to read my submission. I appreciate your attention to my work and eagerly anticipate your response.
I am excited to submit my memoir, RUNNING HOME, for your consideration. As a devoted marathon runner, I recount my journey from an overweight and insecure teenager to a confident athlete who found healing and purpose through running.
At the age of 16, I weighed over 200 pounds and struggled with anxiety and depression. Desperate for change, I turned to running, initially as a way to lose weight. But as I started to push my limits and set new goals, I discovered the true power of running. With every mile, I gained more than just physical strength. I found mental clarity, emotional stability, and a sense of belonging in the running community.
In RUNNING HOME, I share the highs and lows of my running journey, from my first 5K to my first Boston Marathon. I also explore how running helped me confront my past traumas, including a difficult childhood and a toxic relationship, and find healing and forgiveness.
My book will appeal to a wide audience of runners, fitness enthusiasts, and anyone who has faced challenges and found resilience through physical activity. As a blogger with a dedicated following of 5,000 readers, I know firsthand the interest and demand for stories that inspire and motivate others to pursue their passions.
I believe RUNNING HOME would be a great fit for your list, as it complements other inspiring memoirs and health and wellness titles. Thank you for considering my submission. I would be delighted to provide you with the full manuscript.
Contemporary Query Letter Examples
Dear [Agent’s name],
As an avid mountain climber and cancer survivor, I am thrilled to submit my debut novel, SUMMIT OF HOPE for your consideration. I understand that you are interested in inspiring stories of resilience, and I believe that SUMMIT OF HOPE will be a perfect fit for your list.
The novel follows the story of Kasia, a 32-year-old Polish woman who receives the devastating news that she has terminal cancer, the same disease that killed her mother too young. Determined to live her life to the fullest, Kasia decides to embark on a journey to climb the tallest mountain in the world, Mount Everest.
Kasia is a tenacious, headstrong woman who has always been drawn to mountain climbing. She is joined on her journey by her best friend, Piotr, an experienced climber who helps her train and prepare for the grueling climb. However, their journey is not without obstacles. The harsh conditions of the mountain, coupled with Kasia’s deteriorating health, create a conflict that tests her physical and mental endurance.
The setting of the novel is the stunning but treacherous terrain of Mount Everest. The stakes are high as Kasia’s time is running out, and the consequences of failure are dire. She has a limited amount of time to reach the summit and fulfill her lifelong dream, but the mountain will not make it easy for her.
Through Kasia’s journey, SUMMIT OF HOPE explores themes of loss, determination, and the resilience of the human spirit. The novel is complete at 82,000 words.
Thank you for considering SUMMIT OF HOPE. If you’re curious and want to know more, I would be happy to share some additional materials with you.
I am excited to introduce my debut contemporary novel, REWIND, to you. The story follows twenty-something Maya, a successful architect with a problem: her life is stuck on repeat. Every day is the same, from her monotonous job to her dead-end relationship with her boyfriend of five years, Peter. But when Maya discovers a magical device that allows her to travel back in time and relive moments in her past, she sees an opportunity to change her fate.
At first, Maya is thrilled to have a chance to do things differently, to fix past mistakes, and to create a better future. But the more she uses the device, the more she realizes that changing the past has consequences. Each time she travels back, the world around her shifts, and the people she loves begin to disappear. As Maya struggles to understand the device’s power and its limitations, she must confront the difficult truth that sometimes, the past cannot be rewritten.
REWIND is a 73,000-word contemporary novel that will appeal to fans of Emily Henry’s Beach Read and Christina Lauren’s The Unhoneymooners. I have a degree in English literature and have been writing for the past five years. When I’m not writing, I enjoy hiking and experimenting with new recipes in the kitchen.
Thank you for considering my query. I would be happy to provide a full manuscript upon request.
Non-Fiction Query Letter Examples
Dear [AGENT’S NAME],
I am excited to present my nonfiction book, SELF-MADE THEY, a powerful exploration of the complexities of gender and identity, based on interviews with individuals from diverse backgrounds.
As a transgender journalist and activist, I have spent years collecting stories from people of all ages, races, and orientations about their experiences with gender. Through these interviews, I have come to understand the nuanced and often deeply personal ways that people grapple with gender identity in their daily lives.
SELF-MADE THEY is a groundbreaking work that examines the ways in which society constructs gender roles and the impact this has on individuals. The book explores topics such as nonbinary identities, transphobia, and the intersections of gender with race, class, and disability. It also includes my own personal journey as a trans person navigating a world that is often hostile to gender nonconformity.
My writing has been featured in several national publications, including The Atlantic and Out Magazine, and I have spoken on panels about gender identity and activism at conferences across the country.
I believe that SELF-MADE THEY will be an important and timely addition to the conversation around gender identity and will appeal to a broad range of readers interested in issues of social justice and personal identity.
I would love to share a sample chapter or the full manuscript with you. Thank you for taking the time to check out my work.
Dear [AGENT’S NAME],
I am writing to you to pitch my book, SECRETS OF THE LOST CITY: UNRAVELING THE MYSTERIES OF MACHU PICCHU. This nonfiction work explores the history and culture of the ancient Inca civilization, the story of the rediscovery of Machu Picchu, and the ongoing efforts to preserve the site for future generations.
Through extensive research and interviews with archaeologists, historians, and local experts, SECRETS OF THE LOST CITY provides a comprehensive account of the Inca civilization and its remarkable achievements, including their engineering marvels and sophisticated social and political systems.
The book also delves into the intriguing story of how Machu Picchu was rediscovered by Hiram Bingham in 1911 and the controversies that have surrounded his discovery ever since. Finally, the book explores the challenges of preserving Machu Picchu, including the impact of tourism, environmental degradation, and ongoing efforts to study and conserve the site.
As an experienced travel writer and historian, I have written for several national publications, including National Geographic Traveler, Smithsonian, and The New York Times. I have also published several books on world history and culture, including my most recent book, The Lost Kingdoms of South America.
I believe SECRETS OF THE LOST CITY will appeal to a broad range of readers interested in history, travel, and culture. The book will be approximately 80,000 words and will include original photographs, maps, and illustrations.
I would be happy to answer any questions you may have about the project.
Short Query Letter Examples
I am seeking representation for my 70,000-word young adult contemporary novel, THE ART OF FAKING IT. It will appeal to fans of To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before and The DUFF.
When seventeen-year-old Liz competes for a scholarship against her ex-boyfriend, she fakes her way through an art competition. But her lie gets complicated when she meets art prodigy Jay, who discovers her secret. As Liz navigates her fake relationship with Jay, she must decide if it’s worth sacrificing her integrity for a chance at success.
I appreciate your consideration.
I’m excited to introduce you to my YA science fiction adventure, STARBOUND. Seventeen-year-old Cassie discovers she’s not from Earth when an alien artifact bonds with her DNA. With the help of her alien friends, including the charming Zane, Cassie must journey across the galaxy to find her true home while fighting a ruthless alien race determined to capture her. As Cassie grapples with her growing feelings for Zane and her fear of never fitting in, will she be able to save her new home and her heart before it’s too late?
STARBOUND is 80,000 words and the first in a planned trilogy. I have published short stories in literary magazines and am a full-time writer.
Thank you for considering my manuscript.
The Best AI Writers for Query Letters
I have tested 50+ AI writers and these are my favorites for writing query letters.
ChatGPT is cheaper but Jasper offers more pre-made templates and workflows. Both AI query letter writers produce amazing, original content.
I personally use these two writers every single day.
Other alternative AI writers for query letters include:
Final Thoughts: How To Write Query Letters With AI
There is a lot that goes into writing query letters (with or without AI).
As obvious as it sounds, one of the most important elements of a successful query letter is the words and phrases that you use. That’s why I collected hundreds of these words and sentence templates pulled directly from successful query letters and put them all in a book.
You can check it out here: Query Letter Swipe File: Exact Words, Phrases and Templates to Write Query Letters, Get Literary Agents and Publish Books for Life
Check out the other query-letter-related articles on this site. Start with the list I’ve hand-selected below.
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