Tag Archives: rejections

Queries That Worked

Every writer knows the angst of summing their fantastical manuscript into a couple brief paragraphs. This grueling step is necessary to write an intriguing query letter. (For non-writers, this letter is the introduction to a manuscript to swoon a literary agent and/or publisher into reading a writer’s story with hopes of being signed.)  Writerly folks can spend hours, days, weeks, and months forming words together, rearranging, and deleting until the paragraphs are just right. And honestly, some writers struggle knowing when the query is the absolute best for sending out into the world.

And sometimes, the problem isn’t always summing up the story. With nearly 130 million books published in the world, it’s likely someone already wrote something similar. So a writer needs to know what makes their story different and highlight that in their query letter. And trust me, this isn’t necessarily as easy as it sounds.

Knowing the struggles of query letters, I decided to inform my readers of a couple places to view query letters that have worked in hopes it’ll help a few writers.

  • Successful Queries via Chuck Sambuchino at Writer’s Digest. The reason I love this sight is because he also lists commentary from the agent that signed the author and why it worked for them.
  • Query Samples via Charlotte Dillon.

And for authors receiving rejections, here are a few best sellers that got snubby rejections but went on to sell millions of copies! Don’t let go of your dream!

P.D. Pabst

Blogger and writer of MG/YA Fiction.



Let me start by telling you there isn’t a magic genie floating around in this post. Promise. So, don’t look. What I can promise is encouragement and a factual ingredient to succeed.

Since I started seriously putting pen to paper, I’ve encountered writers of all genres and age categories. But they all have one thing in common: wanting to know how to succeed in getting published. Sounds simple right?

It’s not.

Inspiration strikes and a writer splatters his fingers all over his keyboard. Voila! A brilliant manuscript is born. His NY Times Bestselling Novel is sent to all agents that area a perfect fit. Then he sits back and refreshes the inbox of his email, over and over. Finally, rejection after rejection starts trickling in. Some days, nothing but crickets (because most agents won’t send anything if they aren’t interested).

Doubt seeps into the writer.

Maybe his story wasn’t so brilliant after all. Maybe his writing sucks. Or maybe, just maybe, the agents don’t know what they’re talking about (but deep down he knows they do). What is he doing wrong? He is ready to put the manuscript away and never look back. He doesn’t know what made him think he could write.
Well, I’m here to tell you that HE was the one who said he could write. He felt it in his gut, he heard the story in his head and he made it happen. Sure, the man can self-pub if that’s what he chooses to do (and I wouldn’t without getting an editor, betas, etc.). But, what he really wants is to have his novel traditionally published. He wants a doggone fantastical agent! So, what should he do?

Never stop.

Yes, it’s that simple. The key ingredient to successful publishing is to never-ever give up! Think about it. If you’re writing a novel and give up, it never gets wrote. If you stop honing your craft, your writing suffers and is never perfected. If you stop submitting queries, you’ll never get an agent. And so forth, and so forth. Thus, my advice is to never stop. NEVER. EVER. EVER!

And remember, you ARE a brilliant writer and your story MUST be told (say this in the mirror every day). Perseverance is the key. As always, good luck and happy writing.

P.D Pabst
Blogger and writer of MG/YA Fiction