How NOT to Write a Query

A couple of years ago, my friend hosted a bad query contest on her blog. My submission won! It was a lot of fun to write, but more than that it shows exactly the kind of stuff we shouldn’t put in our queries when we finally reach that stage. Read on and enjoy!

Dear Chosen One,

What I am about to tell you is of the utmost importance, and therefore, also top secret. I trust your oath as an agent and am revealing this clandestine information to you and you alone. I have included a standard agreement of nondisclosure so we are both on the same page. God breathed these words into my soul, and the words oozed from my fingers as I bled onto the keyboard in hour upon hour of mental excursion into the realm of story.

This 90,000 word supernatural Christian fiction suspense is the story of an ordinary woman whose stable life is shaken, first by her loss of memories, and then by the deft movement on God’s behalf to give her the ability to see the realm of angels and demons. Do you see the impact this could have on the world? After realizing her gift, she embarks on a quest to save the world from a blood-thirsty demon bent on vengeance.

After much prayer and petition, God revealed your name to me as I was blog-surfing. I don’t normally read blogs, I’m not sociable, and I have very little to learn that I don’t already know. But on that day, I happened to cross your name. I hunted down your Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter accounts. After I checked out your church affiliations, children’s schools, and bank, I scoured around for a list of your clients and contacted each and every one of them for an hour long interview. When I drove by your house, I noticed that you drove a Toyota Camry—a stable, reliable car—and I knew you were the right agent for me.

The world is ready to hear this story. The world needs this story. The only question now is whether or not you’re ready to accept such a huge responsibility. Catering to one of such importance as myself will be time-consuming, but profitable. I guarantee ultimate success with this novel. Don’t let me down—I have a whip, and am known for using it. Just ask my critique friends at The Novel Workshop, or what’s left of them.

Sincerely, The Dark Woman

About Ralene Burke

Whether she’s wielding a fantasy writer’s pen, a freelance editor’s sword, or a social media wand, Ralene Burke always has her head in some dreamer’s world. And her goal is to make it SHINE! She has worked for a variety of groups, including Realm Makers, The Christian PEN, Kentucky Christian Writers Conference, and as an editor for a number of freelance clients. Her first novel, Bellanok, is being published as a 4-part serial! When her head’s not in the publishing world, she is wife to a veteran and homeschooling mama to their three kids. Her Pinterest board would have you believe she is a master chef, excellent seamstress, and all around crafty diva. If she only had the time . . .

6 comments on “How NOT to Write a Query

  1. That is hilarious!

  2. Hehe…I’ve read this before but it still makes me snicker. 😛

  3. Hey, how did you get my query letter?


  4. Hee hee. It was written on blood-red stationery in a silver calligraphy pen too, right? Too funny.

  5. Thanks, all. Yeah, I had fun writing it–took a few cues from Robynn’s–and rounded it out with blood-red stationary…but it was black ink. lol….

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