Here’s Good Query-Writing HelpPosted: November 20, 2008
If you hate writing query letters, or if you have questions about submitting a query, you might want to pay a visit to The Urban Muse, Susan Johnston’s site. Her post, “10 Tips on Querying Magazines and Websites,” offers practical help you can use to your advantage. I wrote about the site back in April when Susan also had posted some good query-writing tips. You can read about that here.
This time, I especially liked Susan’s on-target advice about what to do if you don’t yet have writing clips:
Play up your expertise relating to your topic. If you don’t have any writing clips yet, don’t mention it in your query. You can find other ways to play up your background without admitting that you’re a newbie. For instance, ‘as a former nurse, I am well versed in healthcare issues such as ….’ Or, ‘Sibling rivalry is a topic that I’m intimately familiar with thanks to my three children.”
She also has good suggestions about follow-ups and using an eye-catching subject line. In fact, all the tips in Susan’s article are helpful. I find her posts well worth reading — they give me a different way of looking at some writing practices — and that’s a good thing. (Her post yesterday, “When Pubs Don’t Pay,” is a good example).
Although I’m years beyond being a newbie, I often learn a lesson or two by reading The Urban Muse. You might want to make it a regular stop, too. In addition to The Urban Muse, Susan publishes The Urban Museletter, which also features tips on writing.
© 2008 Laverne Daley