Sep 15, 2009

QUERY - The Broadwater Challenges

Dear Agent,

Congratulations on your recent success with _________________ by __________. Perhaps you would be interested in our project.

Imagine Watership Down with dragons instead of rabbits. That’s The Broadwater Challenges, our approximately 69,000-word middle-grade fantasy novel.

Harold may be the son of a dragon king, but he sure doesn’t feel like one. He doesn’t want any part of the Three Challenges, the dangerous competition that the six dragon kings have set up for their heirs. He didn’t mean to pick that fight with T’Roc, the menacing son of his own father’s chief rival. He didn’t expect to fall for Rosewing, the beautiful daughter of another king. He doesn’t know what he did to make Canus, the leader of the outlaw Clanless Ones, angry enough to want to kill him. And then there’s that kraken on the loose, hunting dragons and threatening his family. Of course, Harold could ignore it all and nap on the beach. But sometimes being the son of the king means doing what you have to do, not what you want to do.

We have several published short stories to our credit, including one of Harold’s earlier adventures in [name redated], a fantasy/sci-fi magazine for children. Both of us are members of the New Jersey Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators. In fact, The Broadwater Challenges won an NJSCBWI Award for Best Young Adult Fantasy. While it was written as a standalone novel, we also have outlines for two sequels.

Please be advised that this is a simultaneous submission. We can provide sample chapters or the full manuscript upon request.

Thank you for your consideration.


P.S. - I know that an actual query would not have a P.S., but I do have a specific question about our query. Harold is a slightly overweight vegetarian dragon. This fact, of course, causes some serious problems for him throughout the novel. We do not mention that anywhere in the query. Should we?

THE SECOND CHANCE (3rd revision)

Click here to read the original query.
Click here to read the first revision.
Click here to read the second revision.

Okay - I took some of each of the other queries, all the great suggestions I have been given, and put a little more of myself into this one. . . hope it is starting to work! And thanks again to everyone who has been commenting on my query - you are all a GREAT help!

Dear Agent:

Jerry awakes in a hospital bed thinking of a woman he hasn’t seen in seven years. With his company closed and a broken past he is now determined to fix, Jerry travels to Pennsylvania to reclaim the only woman he has ever loved. Except there’s a problem: she’s dead - and when she left seven years ago, she was pregnant.

With the help of a teacher named Amy, Jerry meets his son, Jake. The moment is bittersweet as Jerry is presented with a box of notes from Debbie that was never sent and the news that the disease that took Debbie’s life was passed on to Jake. The box of notes provides Jerry with some comfort and closure towards Debbie. The mitochondrial disease that caused heart failure for Debbie was causing Jake’s heart to be smaller in size than normal.

As Jerry becomes a father to Jake, he finds himself falling in love with Amy. Struggling to let go of the past and appreciate the future, Jerry is tested once again on the day he is going to propose to Amy. After finding Jake face down in living room a victim to the disease that now takes two people he has loved, Jerry must find the strength within himself to be strong again for Amy and for his second chance.

THE SECOND CHANCE is a 67,000 word novel that encompasses the personal journey. It is set through the eyes of a man as he learns to become a better person through some of life’s hardest lessons. It is also a reminder that it is never too late to go back and change things.

My short stories have appeared in such publications as The Pike Press, Bright Light Café, and the Cynic Online Magazine.

Thank you for your time and consideration.


Jim Wisneski