Query Critique 70

Dear (Agent whose name I’ve absolutely spelled correctly)

(Something personal about how I found you and why we’d be a good fit, to show this isn’t a mass submission)

11-year old misfit GWENDOLYN GRAY has a big imagination, which can cause a lot of trouble in a world where creativity is a crime. But when she finds a mysterious relic from THE CITY’s past, her imagination won’t stay confined to the inside of her head, and her life goes off the rails–forests spring up in the middle of the road, furry orange creatures run amok in her bedroom, and she certainly didn’t mean to make MISSY CARTBLATT grow a pair of rabbit ears… The words in caps are a little distracting. I would nix that. Fun premise, though.

Now she is being hunted by the faceless gentlemen, MISTER FIVE and MISTER SIX, who are determined to drain her imagination before it infects the rest of The City and disrupts its delicate balance.

With the unexpected help of SPARROW and STARLING, two young explorers who are lost between worlds, Gwendolyn escapes to the fantasy realm of TOHK, meets a dashing airship captain, and battles bloodthirsty pirates. Gwendolyn must learn to unleash the power of her fantasies to stop the faceless gentlemen and save both worlds, or be erased. But the secret at the heart of The City might be more than Gwendolyn can bear–after all, you can’t save the world when it ended a long time ago… This last sentence is sort of vague for my taste. There are quite a few characters introduced in the query. Make sure they’re all doing something for the query.

THE GIVER meets THE NEVERENDING STORY, wrapped up in a steampunk bow. List your word count and genre. Also, have you read Lisa McMann’s The Unwanteds, because it has a very similar premise. Might make a good comp title. And because it is so similar, you may want to focus on how your book is different.

Creative Guy (Guy to his begrudging friends) is a first-time author and a fifth-grade teacher with a questionable habit of testing his work on captive 10-year-olds, who all claim to love it, but probably just want him to hurry up so they can go to recess.


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