Welcome to the second edition of Queries That Work! This week, I want to thank Gail Nall for allowing me to share the query letter that helped her snag agent Julie A. Weber for her debut middle grade novel, BREAKING THE ICE, to be published in spring 2015 by Aladdin/Simon & Schuster.
Gail says of her letter: “It’s fun to go back and read this, because not only has the title of the book and the name of the main character changed, but one of the plotlines I discuss in the query is quite different now.”
Take heed, fellow writers: Writing the query and signing with an agent does not mean your work is done! It is simply the beginning of the next phase.
Now, onto the letter:
QUERY: Breaking the Ice by Gail Nall (Aladdin/Simon & Schuster, Spring 2015)
Dear Ms. Weber:
Twelve-year-old Chloe Demirjian-Carter dreams of being a champion figure skater. She practices every day and does everything she’s supposed to do. But when the judges award her perfect program with less-than perfect scores, Chloe lets them know exactly what she thinks.
As a result, Chloe’s coach dumps her and she’s kicked out of her prestigious training rink. No one wants a skater with a big mouth–no one except the misfit Falton Figure Skating Club. But joining Falton may be the second-biggest mistake Chloe’s ever made. No one takes skaters from the “Fall Down” club seriously. If Chloe wants to win the Regional competition, she has to find a way to change the judges’ minds about her new club. Which wouldn’t be so hard if she was the loudmouth skater everyone thinks she is.
A middle grade novel complete at 50,000 words, DON’T FALL DOWN is a cross between Kate Messner’s SUGAR AND ICE and the movie Stick It. The manuscript won honorable mention in the 2012 SCBWI Midsouth Fiction Contest. I am a member of SCBWI, and have experience in the world of competitive figure skating. The first three chapters and the synopsis are pasted below. Thank you for your time and consideration.
Another fantastic query! Much like last week, we have a main character who is very passionate about her avocation and very good at it, and we have an obstacle that could get in her way of achieving her goals. We also have an author who has personal experience in the topic at hand. I like that in this one we also have what I suspect will be a group of underdogs … kids in the “Fall Down” Club that we’ll come to root for.