Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Third Time... Strike or Charm?

I’m not ignoring my blog, I’ve just been stupid, crazy busy. I have to finish one complete edit of UnAltered by November 4th. The rules of submission, state that the manuscript must be mailed by that magical date and I’m only on 189 of 262 pages.
The good news is that I’ve shaved approximately 4,000 words. The bad news I may have gone a bit heavy on the contractions and once those are fixed….well, you get the gist.

Another exciting news tidbit is the uber YA agent Suzie Townsend has skipped over to the Nancy Coffey Agency and is holding a query contest next Tuesday from 9 am to 10 am, est. Anyone can enter, but wear your rhino skin as she says she’ll be brutally honest. Googling Teflon underwear shops as soon as I'm done here...

Enough excuses. I eliminated a portion of the original query and now have a shorter, more in-yo-face kind of query. Okay, maybe not, but I’m trying to learn how to roll here, be kind.

This is the end product:

Dear Ms. Thang,

According to your website, you are seeking dystopian YA with character driven plots and real emotional power. You may enjoy my novel, UnALTERED.

“Primitive birth, genetically unaltered…mutt.” All names sixteen-year-old Ezra Thibodeaux is grotesquely familiar with. But she only has one goal: be the best Cadet Smith 902 she can be. In other words, assimilate or die. But when the Freedom Fighter’s grandson, Thorne bin Laden sets his targets on her, assimilation becomes the least of her worries.

Raped, pregnant, and selected for survival exercises, she faces the toughest decision of her life. It’s made tougher when fate reunites her with a boy from her past. If she chooses to keep her baby, she must fight her way out of One Globe or die. If she doesn’t, she’ll never have to tell the boy she loves she’s pregnant…with their enemy’s child.

UnALTERED is an 78K word YA dystopian. Per your submission guidelines, I’m including the first ten pages in this email and look forward to sending the remaining manuscript at your request.


So, any more advice or is everyone sick to vomit of this query? I’m kinda feeling that way…


  1. The pumpkin picture is perfect for a post-query moment. I wish I could help. I've drafted nonfiction queries and had no success yet. After a second read, I notice two sentences in the second paragraph begin with But. Also not sure you need the "quotes" around the words to describe Ezra. Best of luck.

  2. @ Stacy. Ugh! Thank you, I missed those double 'but's. Thank you, oh no, I've done it again. Doubles....

  3. "Why is it the same nonpubbed writers must comment on everyone else's blog. Spread your discontent, Nancy, you still suck."

    You are one obnoxious loser.
    p.s. I'm not Nancy.

  4. @ Anonymous, Morgan Deadchild, you should go with the name Nancy. I love Weeds.

  5. Good luck completing the work in time.

    Suzie has already rejected my manuscript, so I can't take advantage of the opportunity. Good luck to those who do. I hope the brutal honesty isn't too brutal.

  6. I think the query thing Suzie is doing is so awesome! I know what you mean about working on a query for so long that it makes you sick to look at it. You have painted the stakes so well!

  7. Good luck with all the revisions on the ms and with the query. I've been crazy busy, too. Does it ever end? I don't think so!

  8. Looks good to me! Best of luck with everything :) You can do it!

    Sarah Allen
    (my creative writing blog)