Oct 19, 2010

QUERY - THE ACADEMY

Dear Public Query Slushpile,

At thirteen years old, Lucy Gibbons has her career set. She will follow in the footsteps of her late ballerina mother and become the principal female dancer of the Montgomery Ballet in England. With the school verging on bankruptcy, what better money-maker than a young ballerina taking over where her famous dead mother left off?

Or, at least, that's what her instructors at Montgomery's have in mind. All Lucy wants to do is enjoy her first year in England - make friends, explore London, perfect her arabesque, and find one straight boy in a sea of gays.

When she snags all the good roles, however, and meets all the right people, her fellow first years turn their noses up at her. Turns out it's pretty lonely at the top. She pulls some strings amongst her newfound connections and gains her best friend Alex a supporting role. Bad move. Alex isn't what they're looking for, and if Lucy doesn't fire her, Montgomery's might garnish a bad review and lose its sponsors.

THE ACADEMY is a young adult novel of 50,000 words that follows Lucy's journey from tutus and pointe shoes to every prima ballerina's ultimate dilemma: fame or friendship? Will Lucy please her instructors and follow her dreams, or does limelight really wreck a girl's complexion?

I am a dance teacher and bookseller with a bachelor's degree in English literature. This is my first novel.

Thank you for your time and consideration.

2 comments:

The Las Vegas Writer said...

This sounds like a book I'd be interested in reading and for your first novel, you have the idea down for a query letter. I have a couple observations though.

1. What is the time period? When I hear London, I think historical.It could just be me.

2. This sentence is awkward - "When she snags all the good roles, however, and meets all the right people, her fellow first years turn their noses up at her." Maybe try something like, "Snagging all the good roles and meeting all the right people place Lucy at the top, but her fellow first years aren't impressed. Turns out it's pretty lonely at the top." - Just a suggestion.

4. I would suggest taking out "Will Lucy please her instructors and follow her dreams, or does limelight really wreck a girl's complexion?" As mentioned in the sentence before, you gave a clear idea of what the conflict is (good job by the way).

5. Love your credentials. It gives the agent an idea of why you're writing THIS book and that's what they want. I would omit THE ACADEMY being your first novel and just wrap up with "Thank you for your time and consideration."

Good luck :)

Kristina Fugate said...

This is a pretty neat idea. I'd read the book :)

I'd consider working on that first line--I believe it could be stronger. While, I suppose it is pretty striking for a thirteen year old to have her career set, it could still be a little stronger. It didn't really hook me right off the bat.

I'm a little confused about Lucy's problem when it comes to Alex. Why does she have to fire him? Why doesn’t the instructor do it?

Also, I believe you can cut that bit in the fourth paragraph when you say, "that follows Lucy's journey from..." The query should've already showed us this information. You don't need it if the query is doing everything it's supposed to.

All in all, this just needs a little polishing and it should be ready to go :) Good luck!