QueryTracker Blog

Helping Authors Find Literary Agents

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Contest: Hit Me With Your Worst Query!

All right, people. This is the last of the QueryTracker.net’s Second Anniversary Carnivalrific Contests! This carnival has been a whirlwind of total fun. I hope you still have some juice left.

Today’s contest: World’s Worst Query Letter.

That’s right, all you query-obsessors. The worst you can come up with. (NO agent-bashing. They’re our friends. We love them.)

Some ideas to make your query its worst:
* Inflate those word counts. There's no such thing as too many words, right?

* Tell us how much your mother loved it. Or better yet, your dog. Or gerbil. Or whatever.

* Include how many pet iguanas and Madagascar hissing cockroaches (wink, Mary) you have. Down to the last one—count twice if you need to. Agents need to know that kind of stuff.

* Be sure to leave out pertinent information about the plot. Nobody wants to know what the book is about in the query. Pshaw.

* Use the words, “It’s the next Harry Potter!” at least twice for emphasis.

* Spell my name wrong. Agents (no, I am not an agent, but for the purposes of this contest…) love that. Or better yet, go wild and abandon the greeting all together!

* Start with a rhetorical question. Maybe, “Have you ever wondered what lies between platforms 9 ¾ and 9 7/8?”

* Make me spew Sprite out my nose. Srsly. I want the best worst query letter you’ve got.

Now I’d love to see you ramble on and on and not tell me anything about said novel, but I actually have to read these things, so let’s limit it to one page of your worstness, okay? Okay.

The contest will be open today, May 28th, through Sunday May 31st. You can access the entry form here (a free QueryTracker.net membership is required to enter the contest).

Entries will be judged on originality and humor. Winners will be announced next Thursday, June 4th and will receive the following amazing prizes:

1st prize: A query critique from agent Jim McCarthy of Dystel & Goderich Literary Management (PS. Jim is up for nomination of King of the Carnival! Go vote here!) Read what he's interested in seeing here.

2nd prize: One Year QT Premium Membership

3rd prize: Steve Weber's Plug Your Book: Online Book Marketing for Authors (I just received this book and it rocks!! Enter. Win. Rule the world.)

And don’t forget! Everyone who enters this contest (and any of our other fantabulous contests) will receive another entry in the Grand Prize Drawing for a chance to win a custom-designed website from Purple Squirrel Web Design.

I can't wait to read you at your worst!

Elana Johnson writes science fiction and fantasy for young adults. Besides a serious addiction to the Internet, she can never get enough reality TV, Dove dark or reasons to laugh. Click here to visit her blog.


Stina said...

Oooh, cool. If I have time (okay, can't stop laughing at that one), I might try for this one. Had to give up on the anagram because I was just too busy.

Scott said...

Careful what you wish for, Elena (sorry, just practicing for my absolutely worst query)! Be afraid, be very afraid! ; )


B.J. Anderson said...

This is awesome. I can't wait to read what comes of this.

Elana Johnson said...

Dude, Scott I almost fell off my chair laughing. I thought, "the guy doesn't know how to spell my name??" ROTFL!!

Stina - find time girl! I want to read yours!

BJ - are you going to enter? I can't wait to see what comes of it either. :D

Stina said...

Wow! I wish real queries were that easy to write. I even included something for Michelle. ;)

kerribookwriter said...


I just had to tell you that I had the best time writing this letter. It is absolutely ridiculous but it made me laugh at my own self.

Can you imagine if an agent actually received some of these? Poor people!

Anyway, my entry is on its way and thanks for a fun "stress relief" contest.

Now, I can get back to stressing over my real queries!

So sad to see the carnival ending but must get back to my WIPs before they wither and die.