Query Critique 20

Alexz Stayer is a seventeen-yearold runner with a dream: to win a medal. Too bad she always finishes fourth. Every. Single. Meet. After six years of consistent losing, the probability of victory is close to zero. The odds get even worse when her coach pulls a disappearing act. Contingency of triumph. Certainty of pain. And a replacement coach with a wicked hot British accent, who devours books instead of doing his job. I’d make this into a complete sentence. The game is on!

HITTING THE WALL, my 40,000-word contemporary YA novel, explores how long one should pursue a dream (even if it’s unrealistic) before giving up. I’d avoid a “moral of the story is” line in the query letter. People tend not to like them.This novel would appeal to fans of Anna Katmore, Beth Choat and Simone Elkeles.

Your time and consideration are greatly appreciated,


The first thing I noticed is that this query letter is very short. You have more room available, so use it to establish conflict. And stakes. I’d like a little more indication what the stakes are. Yeah, it would be disappointing if she didn’t win, but what does she really stand to loose.

So ramp up the stakes and the conflict. Utilize the space you have!



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