How to Query a Literary Agent
Time & Location
The query letter has one purpose, and one purpose only: to seduce the agent or editor into reading or requesting your work. The query letter is so much of a sales piece that it’s quite possible to write one without having written a word of the manuscript. All it requires is a firm grasp of your story premise.
For some writers, the query will represent a completely different way of thinking about their book—because it means thinking about one’s work as a product to be sold. It helps to have some distance from your work to see its salable qualities.
Join editor Elle McKenzie of Ladderbird Literary Agency as she walks you through the process of querying a literary agent followed by a Q&A.
About Elle McKenzie:
Elle holds a B.A. in Screenwriting and Playwriting from Drexel University. Before joining Ladderbird Literary Agency, Elle worked at Hotchkiss Daily & Associates as an Assistant Literary Agent and 21Ninety as a Managing Editor. She loves to read a variety of genres but is particularly drawn to stories with strong female voices.
What she's looking for? Elle is seeking POC-driven and/or Queer-driven stories for Children (Picture Books), Middle Grade, Young Adult, and Adult audiences. She is easily drawn to fiction with a strong emotional core, layered world-building, complex characters, nuanced relationships, and forward-moving plots. Equally alluring, she also enjoys nonfiction narratives that identify in history, memoir, pop culture, and/or true crime genres. Overall, Elle loves works that draw on literary traditions and reimagine them as something completely, captivatingly new. Children ● Art-driven picture books MG / YA / Adult ● Fantasy grounded in reality with series potential ● Contemporary with a focus on current issues and diversity ● LGBTQ+ romance (YA / Adult) ● Coming of age (YA) ● Lyrical and ambitious storytelling Fiction Crime, Family Saga, Fantasy, Historical, LGBTQ+, Mystery, Romance, Picture Books, Science Fiction Thriller Nonfiction Biography, History, Memoir, Pop Culture, True Crime
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