Thursday, December 10, 2009

It didn't win, but I loved it most

There was a contest for writerly versions of Christmas Carols over here.

There was a lovely winner who got a critique: congrats to Sonja.

This one though, by Susie, this one is what I will now be singing:



The Twelve Tips on Queries
(to the tune of The Twelve Days of Christmas)


1. On most agent websites, query samples show,
word count in the very first line

2. On Cheryl Klein’s submission page, she implies
Word counts are boring-
But Most want it in the First line

3. On The Wendy Sherman webpage, sub instructions say
tell us why you chose us-
Word Counts are Boring
But Most Want it in the First Line

4. On Janet Reid’s blog, she quite often says
I Don’t care Why you Picked me-
Tell us Why You Chose Us
Word Counts are Boring
But Most Want it in the First Line.

5. On Janet Reid’s blog, she's also said
250 Words!
Don’t Care Why You Picked Me
Tell Us Why You Chose Us
Word Counts are Boring
But Most Want it in the First Line

6. On the Wendy Sherman webpage, sub instructions read
No More than 2 full pages-
250 Words!
Don’t Care Why You Picked Me
Tell Us Why You Chose Us
Word Counts are Boring
But Most Want it in the First Line

7. On the Greenburger webpage, sub instructions say
Include Bio and Synopsis-
No More than 2 pages
250 Words!
Don’t Care Why You Picked Me
Tell Us Why You Chose Us
Word Counts are Boring
But Most Want it in the First Line

8. One day in Twitterverse, Jenn Laughran wrote,
Synopses are of the Devil-
Include a Synopsis
No More than 2 pages
250 Words!
Don’t Care Why You Picked Me
Tell Us Why You Chose Us
Word Counts are Boring
But Most Want it in the First Line

9. On the Wendy Sherman webpage, sub instructions say,
Don’t refer us to your website-
Synopses are of the Devil
Include a Synopsis
No More than 2 pages
250 words!
Don’t Care Why You Picked Me
Tell Us Why You Chose Us
Word Counts are Boring
But Most Want it in the First Line

10. In Nathan’s query samples, he clearly says,
“Cool, she’s got a website!”-
Don’t refer us to you website
Synopses are of the Devil
Include a Synopsis
No More than 2 pages
250 words!
Don’t Care Why You Picked Me
Tell Us Why You Chose Us
Word Counts are Boring
But Most Want it in the First Line

11. In a panel at a conference, an editor said
“You must have a web presence”
“Cool, she’s got a website!”-
Don’t refer us to your website
Synopses are of the Devil
Include a Synopsis
No More than 2 pages
250 words!
Don’t Care Why You Picked Me
Tell Us Why You Chose Us
Word Counts are Boring
But Most Want it in the First Line

12 As I write my query, please do excuse, my head banging up against the wall.
Must have a web presence, Cool, she’s got a website,
Don’t refer us to your website
Synopses are of the Devil
Include a Synopsis
No More than 2 pages
250 words
Don’t Care Why You Picked Me
Tell Us Why You Chose Us
Word Counts are Boring
But Most Want it in the First Line



now if anyone wants to record this, I will be GLAD to post that as well. And there might even be a prize for the bravest!

Miss Madison Ross embraced the challenge!

23 comments:

Melinda Szymanik said...

Genius! I will be smiling for days (probably at least twelve)...

Cowgirl in the City said...

That's awesome! :) thanks for sharing this, and I would love to see the one you wrote too!

I'm glad I'm not alone in being confused and often hating query letters.

Jm Diaz said...

I just sung it in my head, and now, i find its stuck there... along with some giggling in the background.
I'm cheerful, and depressed at the same time. How awesome!

Kristi Faith said...

This one was definitely my favorite too....hmm singing it for post...well, I'll have to see about that.

cathryngrant said...

Thank you for something I can sing with gusto during this query, rather, holiday season.

Stopping head-banging to sip scotch.

Scott said...

Fantastic . . . and it's stuck in my head! Great, just great. Where's that margarita making beagle when you need him?

S

Heather said...

This post is amazing, and is absolutely going to be included in my Sunday Funday round-up of my favorite posts of the week which were both funny and informative.

I'm considering recording it...do you take points off if we can't stay on tune? (I'm a writer, not a singer.)

Jan said...

Can't stop laughing!

Larissa said...

I completely agree. That was my favorite, too. Hmmm...I could sing it...I'll think about it.

Vacuum Queen said...

Perfection. Plus, sounds like a good reference. She's done all the leg work for me.

Kristin Laughtin said...

That. Is. Amazing. A perfect summary of the confusion many of us encounter when researching how to write queries!

Rebecca Knight said...

I had to sing this through as I was reading it, too. Brilliant! :D

I may have to take you up on recording it because it's just too funny... We'll see.

Donna Hosie said...

Beyond brilliant!

Lisa Dez said...

And you wonder why it seems like so many of us writers don't have the wherewithal to write a coherent query. It's brain damage. *head desk head desk*

suzie townsend said...

This. Is. Awesome.

Amy Sue Nathan said...

That was my favorite too, and I looked at SusieJ's blogger profile to get an email address to send her a note saying how much I liked it. I even googled a bit. There was no mention of a blog or email - and I always prefer to say things like that privately. I hope Susie will update her profile! Here's another reason to have your professional info easily available.

Joanne said...

Susie is spot-on with this one. Really, she should get a contract in her stocking this Christmas!

Julie said...

This is fantastic! Thanks for sharing it with us.

susiej said...

Wow, you guys are making me blush.
If only I could write a query that might stick in an agent's mind (for the right reason).
Thanks Janet for taking the paraphrased quotes so well.

Cardinal said...

Most brilliant Christmas carol ever!

Literaticat said...

And Madison even pronounced my name right - that NEVER happens! :D

Ronda Laveen said...

Well, I guess that just about answered all the questions I had about writing a query? Confused as I ever was.

Sheila Deeth said...

Oh, very nice! Still confused, but musically so.