Query letters – don’t be coy

The setting: Overworked and Underpaid Editor’s batcave. Overworked is slaving over edits while the beagle is going through the mail.

Beagle: (holding up a piece of paper in her grubby little paw) ‘Hallo ‘hallo, what have we here? A query letter?

Overworked: (looking up) Huh? A snail mail query? (shakes head) Yet another author who didn’t read our submission guidelines.

Beagle: Can I growl and rip it to shreds, huh, huh?

Overworked: Of course not. That’s only when they send insulting letters.

Beagle: But I like it when they insult you. It verifies everything I think about you.

Overworked: (glaring) No problem, short pants, I’ll give that designer chewie bone and fresh bottle of tequila to the Rottweiler down the way. He shows me some respect.

Beagle: (visibly backtracking) Riiight…as I was saying, Priestess of All Things Literary and Noble, you want me to read this query to you?

Overworked: Sure, go for it.

Beagle: (jumps up on Overworked’s desk and settles into a patch of sunshine – yes, this batcave has skylights) Ok, she starts out by saying that her story is worth telling.

Overworked: Alert the presses; there exists a type of author who feels she has a story worth telling. This is, indeed, newsworthy.

Beagle: She goes on about how the story is filled with mirth and humility and purpose and passion.

Overworked: Good. I hate it when they tell me their story has no passion, no purpose, and is duller than your humor.

Beagle: (reading on) She says she sees it as her responsibility to bring her particular story to the world, to inform the public.

Overworked: Ah, a crusader, we have. What else? Like what’s it about?

Beagle: (scrunching her eyebrows) Um…well, the author doesn’t want to bore you by describing the story.

Overworked: (puts bloody red pen down and stares at the beagle) Come again?

Beagle: Well, she includes a bio and some of the fun things she’s done with her life so you can get a better feel for who she is.

Overworked: Beagle, I don’t care if she hangs from stalactites in her Victoria Secrets and yodels “I’m An Oscar Meyer Wiener.” If I don’t know anything about the story, then why would I want to continue this ridiculous conversation?

Beagle: Um…well, she seems really nice.

Overworked: So does the tax collector, and that douche bag invested all our city’s money in shaky stock options and lost it all – nearly bankrupting the city. A bio doesn’t get your foot in the door. It’s always, always, always about the story, beagle. Never forget that. A groovy bio is icing on the cake.

Beagle: Groovy? Did you really just say groovy?

Overworked: The poor woman is being coy with her query letter, and she committed a fatal error because I know nothing about her story. She has no idea that editors’ interests can’t be piqued with so little information. She’s trying to tease, and I just don’t swing that way. Send her a rejection notice  – and no paw prints this time. I got a nastygram from an irate author who thought it unseemly to allow a small beagle to answer query letters.

Beagle: You know what’s unseemly? The idea that anyone would hang from stalactites in their Vickie Secrets singing “I’m An Oscar Meyer Wiener.” I would at least sing “Born To Be Bad,” and wear my black leather bustier.

Overworked: TMI, beagle…way TMI.

6 Responses to Query letters – don’t be coy

  1. NinjaFingers says:

    …I think we need to stop the beagle’s margaritas.

  2. Sally Zigmond says:

    Love it!

  3. Lauren says:


    So that’s where it is! Dang it, beagle, return that at once. FedEx! Overnight!

  4. Sean says:

    This is possibly the least funny thing I’ve ever read.

  5. Bill Webb says:

    How about coy blogs? And I am still reeling from the visual of either you or the beagle in Vickie Secrets hanging from inverted sharp rocks and singing commercials. Whoa!

  6. This is possibly the least funny thing I’ve ever read.

    I don’t believe anyone is holding a gun to your head forcing you to read.

Tell me what you really think

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

<span>%d</span> bloggers like this: