Two months ago I emailed a letter to a group called YA Stands.
On the first week of the month, YA Stands accepts letters for writers seeking help to improve query letters for their Young Adult manuscripts. It selects one writer and his or her query letter.
After writing several different drafts of the query letter for Sons of the Edisto, I wrote another. I still did not feel confident in it. The concept of Sons is simple. Two boys grow up in a town dominated by the cruelty of their fathers, and when people are murdered outside the town, they must decide whether to stand against their fathers or stand back while more people die.
When Nicole Steinhaus informed me my query was chosen, I felt like a beauty queen in a small pageant. I felt like I won something. To receive advice and critique is part of becoming a writer. Yes, becoming a writer. Learning how to accept and mold advice received is another art form.
I had challenges most writers face. I didn’t know how to put the information together. I put in parts of the book that somehow did not connect the central theme. Paragraphs did not connect. Trying to plug in the father vs. son and ultimate friendship heart of the book proved difficult.
Fool or not a fool, I decided why not give permission for Nichole to share it on the YA Stands’ blog. Last Monday, she posted the four rounds of my query letter. Find out what happened.
I recommend keeping up with the YA Stands’ blog or sending your letter the first week of the month. I am so grateful to have received the makeover on my query letter.
By Rebecca T. Dickinson