How to Write a Killer Query: The Do’s and Don’ts – Webinar with Agents Danielle Barthel and Jaida Temperly

Danielle Barthel Jaida Temperly-featuredWriting a killer query letter requires a great hook and a clear premise. The first sentence should immediately catch the reader’s attention, while the ending should leave the reader wanting more. This may sound simple, but writing strong query letters takes practice, patience, and an eye for detail. That is why we’re here: to discuss what to do and not to do in order to make your query-writing endeavors as successful and straightforward as possible.

In this live 90-minute webinar — titled “How to Write a Killer Query: The Do’s and Don’ts” —  instructors and literary agents Danielle Barthel and Jaida Temperly share their expertise with you while you’re in your pre-submission stages. Danielle and Jaida have been in the industry for three years, delving into the New Leaf Literary & Media, Inc. slush pile on a weekly basis, reading thousands of queries from writers with varying skill levels. Seeing this many queries has given them a well-rounded view of what works and what doesn’t.

Plus, as a bonus, Danielle Barthel or Jaida Temperly will critique your query letter! It all happens at 1 p.m., EST, Thursday, October 22, 2015, and lasts 90 minutes.

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  • How to hook your reader
  • How to effectively use comparative titles
  • How long your pitch should be
  • Key information to include in (or keep out of) your pitch
  • What to say in your bio paragraph
  • Examples of strong queries
  • What to avoid saying

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All registrants are invited to submit one, complete query letter (sans sample pages). All submitted queries are guaranteed a written critique by either Jaida Temperly or Danielle Barthel.

Please Note: Even if you can’t attend the live webinar, registering for this live version will enable you to receive the On Demand webinar and a personal critique of your material. Purchasing the On Demand version after the live event will not include a critique.

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Jaida Temperly, of New Leaf Literary & Media, is very excited to be building her client list. Her clients include Kody Keplinger, Eric Telchin, Amber McRee Turner, and Maggie Heinze. She also represents illustrators Betsy Bauer, Genevieve Santos, and James Lipnickas.

After a brief stint in medical school at UW-Madison, Jaida moved from Wisconsin to NYC for an internship at Writer’s House. After five months, Jaida joined New Leaf Literary & Media, assisting Joanna Volpe for the past three years before starting to build her own list of clients.

For Children’s, MG, and YA titles, she’s drawn to quirky, dark stories (The Mysterious Benedict Society, Coraline, Escape from Mr. Lemoncello’s Library, I Don’t Like Koala, etc.) For Adult Fiction, she loves those with strong mystery, high fantasy, or religious undertones (The Westing Game, A Discovery of Witches, and The DaVinci Code). You can follow her on Twitter: @jltemperly.

Following her completion of the Denver Publishing Institute after graduation, Danielle Barthel began interning at Writers House. While there, she realized she wanted to put her English degree and love of the written word to work at a literary agency. She worked as a full-time assistant for three years, and continues to help keep the New Leaf offices running smoothly in her role of Coordinator of Team and Client Services.

Danielle is looking for upper MG, YA, adult, and non-fiction manuscripts. She’d love to find an amazing MG epistolary, engrossing YA realistic contemporary stories like THIS IS WHAT HAPPY LOOKS LIKE and ANNA AND THE FRENCH KISS, well-crafted fantasies, and retellings of all kinds. A strong romantic subplot, especially with expertly crafted tension, is never a bad thing, and she’s particularly fond of historical romance (especially set in England). For non-fiction, she’s open to unique and poignant lifestyle and cookbooks. You can follow her on Twitter: @debarthel.

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  • Aspiring writers beginning the query process
  • Anyone wanting to brush up on their querying strategy
  • Writers who want more industry resources
  • Industry hopefuls looking to work in agenting
  • Writers who have not yet been successful in querying and need some guidance
  • Writers looking to improve their existing queries
  • Non-agent literary professionals wanting to learn more about queries

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The webinar is broadcasted via the internet with live audio delivered through your computer speakers or over your telephone. The live webinar’s visual presentation is displayed directly from the Presenter’s computer to your computer screen. The Q&A is managed through a chat-style submission system with questions being read and answered by the Presenter for the entire class to hear. In the event some questions are not answered during the live session, an e-mail with questions and answers will be sent to all webinar attendees. By attending the live webinar and/or asking questions, your full name may be stated during the live event and captured in the recording.

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