Successful Queries: Agent Melissa Jeglinski and "Ink"

This series is called “Successful Queries” and I’m posting actual query letter examples that succeeded in getting writers signed with agents. In addition to posting these query letter samples, we will also get to hear thoughts from the writer's literary agent as to why the letter worked. The 62nd installment in this series is with agent Melissa Jeglinski (The Knight Literary) for Amanda Sun's debut young adult novel, the urban fantasy INK (Harlequin Teen, June 2013).
Author:
Publish date:

This series is called “Successful Queries” and I’m posting actual query letter examples that succeeded in getting writers signed with agents. In addition to posting these query letter samples, we will also get to hear thoughts from the writer's literary agent as to why the letter worked.

The 62nd installment in this series is with agent Melissa Jeglinski (The Knight Literary) for Amanda Sun's debut young adult novel, the urban fantasy INK (Harlequin Teen, June 2013).

(What to write in the BIO section of your queries.)

Ink-amanda-sun-novel-cover

Dear Ms. Jeglinski:

I am seeking representation for INK, a 75,000-word YA Urban Fantasy set in Japan.

When her mom dies, sixteen-year-old Katie never expects to end up living in Shizuoka with her English-teaching aunt. It's bad enough that she can't read or write much Japanese, but when Katie stumbles into the middle of an ugly breakup, put her on the radar of Yuu Tomohiro, her new school's arrogant and gorgeous kendo star. After his bullying provokes her to spy on him, she discovers his secret passion for drawing, and that his badass attitude is mainly reserved for his kendo matches.

But it isn't Tomohiro's kendo talent that has Yakuza gangsters honing in on him-it's his drawings. Because everything Tomohiro sketches in ink comes to life, and something always goes wrong.

Now Katie has to decide whether to stay away from the guy she's falling for, or to face the Yakuza alongside him. And the worst part? The ink itself is hunting Katie, and there may be one person Tomohiro can't protect her from-himself.

I have been previously published as the 2007 Fiction Contest winner in Room Magazine, and in the Drollerie Press anthology Playthings of the Gods (Feb 2011). I have a story forthcoming in the Tesseracts 15 anthology (Sept 2011).

Thank you for time and consideration.

Sincerely,

Amanda Sun

COMMENTARY FROM AGENT MELISSA JEGLINSKI:

This project (INK) was sold to Harlequin Teen in a two-book deal and will be published as INK in July. An e-novella prequel will be out in June.

I don’t have many Urban Fantasy projects in my roster, but when I realized that Amanda’s protagonist was an orphaned North American, I thought I might be able to relate to her culture shock issues. What really got my attention was the line: “…and something always goes wrong.” I was intrigued by what that meant and wanted to discover more. The key here is that Amanda left me with questions that I wanted the answers to.

Was this a short query? Yes. But the great thing was that it didn’t overwhelm me with tons of details because it could have gotten bogged down with the story’s complexity and left me too confused to request the full. Instead, she concentrated on giving me the main aspects of the story: characters, conflict, genre, setting. Amanda also had some good writing credits behind her. (And once I started reading the manuscript, I was totally captivated by the writing!)

(Never open your novel with a dream -- here's why.)

Check Out These Great Upcoming Writers Conferences:

Image placeholder title

This guest column is a supplement to the
"Breaking In" (debut authors) feature of Natalie
in Writer's Digest magazine. Are you a subscriber
yet? If not, get a discounted one-year sub here.

Other writing/publishing articles and links for you:

Image placeholder title

Want to build your visibility and sell more books?
Create Your Writer Platform shows you how to
promote yourself and your books through social
media, public speaking, article writing, branding,
and more.
Order the book from WD at a discount.

Tags
terms:
query letters
e.g. vs. i.e. (Grammar Rules)

e.g. vs. i.e. (Grammar Rules)

Let's look at the differences between e.g. and i.e. with Grammar Rules from the Writer's Digest editors, including a few examples of correct usages.

20 Authors Share Their Biggest Surprise in the Writing Process

20 Authors Share Their Biggest Surprises in the Writing Process

Experienced writers know to expect the unexpected. Here are surprises in the writing process from 20 authors, including Amanda Jayatissa, Paul Neilan, Kristin Hannah, and Robert Jones, Jr.

Ruth Hogan: On Infusing Personal Interests in Fiction

Ruth Hogan: On Infusing Personal Interests in Fiction

Author Ruth Hogan discusses the process of learning a new skill in writing her new novel, The Moon, The Stars and Madame Burova.

Do You Find an Editor or Agent First?

Do You Find an Editor or Agent First?

It's a common question asked by writers looking to get their first book published: Do you find an editor or agent first? The answer depends on each writer's situation.

writer's digest wd presents

WDU Presents: 7 New WDU Courses, a Chance at Publication, and More!

This week, we’re excited to announce seven new WDU courses, a chance at publication, and more!

What Is a Professional Editor and Why Should Writers Use One?

What Is a Professional Editor and Why Should Writers Use One?

Editor is a very broad term in the publishing industry that can mean a variety of things. Tiffany Yates Martin reveals what a professional editor is and why writers should consider using one.

From Script

How to Find the Right Reader for Feedback, Writing Female Characters and Tapping into Emotionally Authentic Characters (From Script)

In this week’s round up brought to us by Script Magazine, read film reviews from Tom Stemple, part three of writing female characters, interviews with Free Guy scribes Zak Penn and Matt Lieberman, The Eyes of Tammy Faye screenwriter Abe Sylvia, and more!

Writing Mistakes Writers Make: Chasing Trends

Writing Mistakes Writers Make: Chasing Trends

The Writer's Digest team has witnessed many writing mistakes over the years, so this series helps identify them for other writers (along with correction strategies). This week's writing mistake is chasing trends in writing and publishing.

Lessons Learned From Self-Publishing My Picture Book

Lessons Learned From Self-Publishing My Picture Book

Author Dawn Secord shares her journey toward self-publishing a picture book featuring her Irish Setter named Bling.