Query Critique 43

Dear [Agent],

I’m writing to you because I read you are seeking middle grade fantasy novels with strong female characters [or other appropriate specifics].

Twelve-year-old Cat Brökkenwier wishes her world was just a bit more like her favorite books. But real life as a homeschooler has depressingly few faeries or castles. And her mom has made it abundantly clear: if Cat gets caught daydreaming one more time there will be Consequences. I don’t feel like consequences should be capitalized.

But Cat has a secret. She sees elves and goblins among people the way her friends see elephants and pirate ships among the clouds. I would start with this idea. It’s best to tell the reader upfront what exactly it is that makes the main character unique. Mrs. Dalyrimple, the strange old lady at the craft fair, says that’s because the fae were real, and Cat can see their descendants because she’s one of them. Is this Mrs. Dalyrimple important to the story, because she seems to get a lot of detail in the query if she’s just a passing character. Oh yeah, and since Cat has this fae-dar she could become the last Princess of the Fae. Again, the random capitalization on princess is a little strange to me. All she has to do is learn everything there is to know about the fae-born hiding among us and win their hearts before another, more sinister candidate beats her to it. Or worse, before her mother finds out. The query letter is a little on the short side. This means that you can (and should) elaborate more on the conflict and stakes. Who is this sinister candidate? What are they going to do if they win? How will that affect the fae-born and Cat specifically?

The Last Princess put your title in all caps is a funny, adventurous quest story full of lively multi-cultural characters and tough choices. Don’t tell me the story is funny, show me. Also, be more specific about the genre. THis is obviously middle grade, and also a fantasy. Is it urban fantasy? Historical fantasy? Be specific. Complete at 66,000 words, The Last Princess is the beginning of a five-book series or a stand-alone book, and will appeal to fans of Emily Windsnap or The Sisters Grimm. Italicize The Sisters Grimm.

Thank you for your consideration.

Fairy-ly Awesome

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