The Worst Query. Ever?


This is a compilation of things that don’t belong in a query letter when seeking publication. It’s like a greatest hits of what not to say. So, naturally, it was was fun to write.

Dear Madame Sirs, and all Employees hitherto,

Hello and may I please introduce myself? Once again, and to be clear, we did meet in the convention center bathroom last May. What a coincidence that I had to go at the same exact moment as you! (All weekend long, imagine that!) During those precious moments, I provided you with a verbal account of my life story, some jokes, and finally, a copy of my manuscript, a comedy about nurses, pets, cheese and the mining industry. I slid it under the stall to you. I also provided you with extra toilet paper. Does that ring a bell? Ding-a-ling!

Enthusiastically, I hope we have put that little encounter behind us and let bygones be bygones. (Do over!) Therefore, I humbly seek the opportunity to send you my latest word-child, just birthed from my mind’s womb. Fortunately for you, that opportunity is right now. Here it is! Ta Da!

Keep reading. Please. Make your eyes continue to travel from left to right, down this page. If you do that, your world will transform. It will morph into something new and unidentifiable. After you read my semi-non-fictional autobiographical young adult picture book, your former ways of thinking and feeling will be turned upside down. Have you ever stayed awake for more than three days? The end result is much like that. Like doing drugs. Have you done any? Yes?! It will be like the best drugs you have ever taken. If that happens to be only Tylenol, consider my story to be the Tylenol that comes on golden hand, through parted clouds, straight on a sunbeam and into your open mouth. Say Ahh! My book will be likened to the Great Drug From the Sky! As you may already suspect, this masterpiece will alter the landscape of literature as we know it. Forever.

Perhaps you did not receive it all the other times I sent it? Check your spam settings (you never know what other little gems are in there), because I send it every morning at 10 am. I’ve done this the past 17 months in an effort to be predictable, which I hope you will appreciate. I am dependable! Relentless! Yes, we both know that’s what it takes to get published these days.

So, dear penpal-agent-editor, just imagine me, silently jogging up behind you after work to give you a hearty slap of congratulations on the back. [Illustrator’s note: SMACK!] I choose you, the esteemed one-and-only to whom I bequeath this work. Believe you me when I tell you that you are going to LOVE THIS. So, buckle your seatbelt and put on a pair of rain pants! Take hold of my hand—never mind the clamminess–and let me lead you into a dark, uncharted, unforgettable, nail-biting literary frolic deep into the tangled avant-garde of my subconscious.

My oeuvre is a lot like Harry Potter. In terms of word count. I am talking about that whole series, not just book one. It is also like Mr. Potter’s franchise in terms of potential for a big audience and an avalanche of money. My masterpiece contains action, adventure, fantasy, science fiction, drama, romance, and a dash of autobiography (mine). And, because it is what it is–a manual for life–I dare say it is a self-help guide with deeply satisfying spiritual elements. Truly, it defies all categories! Barnes and Noble will need to rearrange the furniture to make room for this whole new genre! I will also mention that my mother says my book reminds her of watching Bob Ross paint on the television, which is to say it is intensely soothing and hypnotic.

Who will read this book, you ask? Well! Pull up a chair and I will tell you right now: PEOPLE WHO READ. My fan base is growing, even as I write these words. I gain one new Twitter follower every couple of days! In fact, my dog and neighbor’s baby love this so much that they fall into a deep and peaceful sleep whenever I read it aloud. (Rapidly, I might add.) Think about the calm and tranquility we can give to humanity with this book!

Here’s a nutty idea. Let’s play pretend for a moment; you do not like it. This is hard to imagine, but I suppose, not impossible. Therefore, would you like me to write a something else? Your biography, perhaps? An account of my own personal, deepening depression? The History of Chalk? I will happily tweak to your preferences. My wish is your command!

I bow to you now, and sign off with deepest thanks for your time, and at least one minute of unbroken eye contact,

Yours truly,

The writer who is changing society, oodles of words at a time.