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  • Writer's pictureCarrie Pestritto

Congrats to Faerl!

Updated: Dec 19, 2021

The first WFH query critique winner is Faerl—thanks for entering! Here is her original query:

And here is my critique:

I'm a big fan of THE DEVIL WEARS PRADA, so there is a lot about this premise that sounds like fun to me. However, the original query was waaay too long. Pitch letters should read like back cover copy—you want a concise, narrative description of the story that draws the reader in and gives them a sense of the writing/tone of the book itself. I pared down the query to be more succinct and to have a bit of a cliffhanger at the end that leaves the reader wanting to know more.

I also changed the genre from "the space between romance and women's fiction" to rom-com. First off, it's very hard to sell something that doesn't squarely fit into a traditional category and secondly, it's important for authors to know their genre. I recommend doing plenty of research into this before sending off a query letter—you don't want to classify something incorrectly and give an agent a less-than-stellar impression.

My only other suggestion is to think about what makes this book stand out from its competitors and be sure to make that clear in your pitch. Right now, this feels too re-hashy and agents generally aren't interested in seeing an alternate version of something that's already been published. What sets this apart from the plot of THE DEVIL WEARS PRADA? What makes it unique? How does it portray the fashion industry or share the story of the-ingenue-in-the-big-city in a way that feels fresh and exciting?

I hope these thoughts are helpful and wish you the best of luck in your querying journey! If anyone has any questions or comments, chime in below.

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