Skip to main content

Successful Query: Margaret Rogerson & An Enchantment of Ravens

This post is part of a series called Successful Queries. It features actual query letter examples to literary agents that were successful for authors. In addition to the query letter, you’ll also see the thoughts from the writer’s literary agent as to why the letter worked. Today’s features debut author Margaret Rogerson and her agent Sara Megibow (KT Literary).

Margaret Rogerson (left) writes fantasy for young adult readers. Her books draw inspiration from old fairy tales, because she loves stories in which the beautiful and the unsettling are sometimes indistinguishable. Her debut novel, AN ENCHANTMENT OF RAVENS, will be published in September 2017.

Margaret Rogerson 200
Sara Megibow

Sara Megibow (right) is a literary agent with nine years of experience in publishing. Sara specializes in working with authors in middle grade, young adult, romance, erotica, science fiction, and fantasy, and represents New York Times bestselling authors Roni Loren and Jason Hough and international bestselling authors Stefan Bachmann and Tiffany Reisz.

Margaret’s Query:

Dear Sara Megibow,

I am currently seeking representation for my YA fantasy AN ENCHANTMENT OF RAVENS, which is complete at 81,000 words.

Isobel is a prodigy portrait artist with a dangerous set of clients: the sinister fair folk, immortal creatures who cannot bake bread, weave cloth, or put a pen to paper without crumbling to dust. They crave human Craft with a terrible thirst, and barter their most glamorous and treacherous enchantments for Isobel's work. She prides herself on resisting every temptation. But when she receives her first royal patron—Rook, the autumn prince—she paints mortal sorrow in his eyes. Devastated by the humanity she has inflicted upon him, he spirits her away to the autumnlands to stand trial for her crime.

Waylaid by the Wild Hunt’s ghostly hounds, the tainted influence of the Alder King, and hideous monsters risen from barrow mounds, Isobel and Rook depend on one another for survival. Their alliance blossoms into trust, then love, violating the fair folks’ ruthless Good Law. To save both their lives, Isobel must drink from the Green Well, whose water will transform her into a fair one—at the cost of her Craft, for immortality is as stagnant as it is timeless.

As the Alder King rouses from his slumber to hunt them down, Isobel faces a choice. She can sacrifice her talent for a guaranteed future, or arm herself with paint and canvas against the ancient power of the fairy courts. Because secretly, her Craft represents a threat the fair folk have never faced in all the millennia of their stale, unchanging lives: for the first time, her portraits have the power to make them feel.

The full or partial manuscript is available upon request. Thank you for your consideration!


Margaret Rogerson

Commentary from Literary Agent Sara Megibow:

This query letter caught my attention right away because of its beautiful, sensual, lyrical language. And what a conflict! The query tells us that our heroine must choose between keeping her art or giving it up to live an immortal life with her beloved. To me, this reads as a story about a young woman learning to love while staying true to herself. That theme really calls to me as a feminist, a woman, a mother, and a lover of young adult literature. In short, this query presents the perfect combination of an intriguing story and superior craft.

Here are some elements of the pitch that stand out to me: First, we have a heroine who is a portrait artist. I love this! I see a lot of fantasy heroines who are assassins or princesses, but a painter? That’s really unique! Also, the inciting incident is beautiful and engaging—the heroine is taken to stand trial for the crime of painting mortal sorrow in the eyes of the autumn prince. Wonderful! Then, look at this amazing world building—the details are lush and gorgeous (just like the final cover of the book)—especially when we hear about the “terrible thirst” of the “sinister fair folk.” All in all the details here are stunning and the pitch captures the gothic feel of the story itself.


AN ENCHANTMENT OF RAVENS is a debut book by Margaret Rogerson—releasing September 26, 2017 from Margaret K. McElderry Books/Simon & Schuster. It’s not a series—this is a stand-alone work that will leave readers breathless with wonder. As with most of my clients, Margaret came to me via query slush pile, and from this query I asked to read the full manuscript. The rest is history—we signed together and sold the book shortly thereafter. Follow Margaret’s debut journey on her website:

Screen Shot 2016-08-08 at 2.57.50 PM

The biggest literary agent database anywhere
is the Guide to Literary Agents. Pick up the
most recent updated edition online at a discount.

If you’re an agent looking to update your information or an author interested in contributing to the GLA blog or the next edition of the book, contact Writer’s Digest Books Managing Editor Cris Freese at

Your Story Writing Prompts

94 Your Story Writing Prompts

Due to popular demand, we've assembled all the Your Story writing prompts on in one post. Click the link to find each prompt, the winners, and more.

How Inspiration and Research Shape a Novel

How Inspiration and Research Shape a Novel

Historical fiction relies on research to help a story’s authenticity—but it can also lead to developments in the story itself. Here, author Lora Davies discusses how inspiration and research helped shape her new novel, The Widow’s Last Secret.

Poetic Forms

Saraband: Poetic Forms

Poetic Form Fridays are made to share various poetic forms. This week, we look at the saraband, a septet (or seven-line) form based on a forbidden dance.

Karen Hamilton: On Cause and Effect

Karen Hamilton: On Cause and Effect

International bestselling author Karen Hamilton discusses the “then and now” format of her new domestic thriller, The Ex-Husband.

Plot Twist Story Prompts: The Ultimatum

Plot Twist Story Prompts: The Ultimatum

Every good story needs a nice (or not so nice) turn or two to keep it interesting. This week, have a character give or face an ultimatum.

6 Things Every Writer Should Know About Sylvia Beach and Shakespeare and Company

6 Things Every Writer Should Know About Sylvia Beach and Shakespeare and Company

Sylvia Beach was friend to many writers who wrote what we consider classics today. Here, author Kerri Maher shares six things everyone should know about her and Shakespeare and Company.

How Writers Can Apply Business Tools to Their Writing

How Writers Can Apply Business Tools to Their Writing

Author Katherine Quevedo takes an analytical look at the creative process in hopes to help other writers find writing success.

Nick Petrie: On Following the Most Compelling Story

Nick Petrie: On Following the Most Compelling Story

Award-winning author Nick Petrie discusses how he listened to the story that wanted to be told in his new Peter Ash thriller novel, The Runaway.

Poetry Prompt

Wednesday Poetry Prompts: 596

Every Wednesday, Robert Lee Brewer shares a prompt and an example poem to get things started on the Poetic Asides blog. This week, write a punishment poem.