Query Letters Galore: Query Roulette 2016

Ten minutes to pitch your novel: think you can do it? Dozens of enthusiastic novelists did just that at Query Roulette 2016 this past Wednesday, sharing their query letters with some of the best literary agents in town.

12 agents, including Monica Odom and Sarah LaPolla (Bradford Literary Agency), Heather Flaherty and Susan Hawk (The Bent Agency), and Sarah Younger (Nancy Yost Literary Agency), were present to share their expertise and even look for potential clients.

For those that aren’t familiar with the event, writers have the chance to schedule ten-minute appointments with multiple agents, receiving line-by-line attention for their query letters.

“I thought it was extremely valuable,” said first-time attendee Elisa Koopmans. “I can’t think of a better even than connecting authors in the [WNBA] with literary agents.”

Peg Tilley, a writer who came from Washington, D.C., to attend the event and lives in Alabama, reflected the same sentiments. “It’s wonderful. There’s a lot of buzz happening in the room, and we Southerners are not used to such buzz.” She also appreciated the diverse perspectives each agent brought to analyzing a given pitch.

The writers aren’t the only ones who benefit from Query Roulette. Emily Brown, literary agent at Foundry Literary + Media, had a great time helping several authors with their pitches. “The [query letter] is not necessarily an intuitive document,” she said, and “everyone has different issues, wants, and expectations.” While Query Roulette is a fantastic opportunity for agents to seek out new clientele, it’s also a rewarding experience where they can give authors the resources they need to build a path towards publication.

If you missed this year’s event, don’t worry! Take another look at your manuscript, rewrite your query letter, and sign up as soon as you can. Query Roulette 2017 will arrive before you know it.

About Blog Editor

The Women’s National Book Association was founded in 1917 by female booksellers who weren’t allowed in the men’s organizations. Nearly 100 years later, the WNBA is still supporting women in the book industry through literary events, networking, literacy projects, workshops, open mic nights, book clubs, and many other entertaining programs throughout the season!

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