Meeting Notes 4/17
Sandra Hicks presented an informative, well-balanced discussion about things editors do and do not like to see in query letters and submitted pages. She brought some great sample queries she's received as Editor of Aspen Mountain Press. Her number one recommendation? Do your homework! Show how your work will fit with the queried agent or editor. It can't be stressed more often: Understanding what that editor or agent sells and how your work complements their house or agency brings you to the top of the pile.
Many queries had obvious mistakes—as in don't start with a wrong name. It was amazing to see the letter addressed to Sandy, the editor-in-chief, then start with the Dear Sir or Madam salutation. And don't start with, "I'm pissed." Duh? Even outsiders can see that is taking a big chance.
One silver lining to poorly drafted queries: it sure makes RWA-trained writers look good by comparison. How often do you get to rise to near the top without even trying? A part of you has to love ignorant people.
A favorite comment: Sandy framed and displays her first rejection letter! "It reminds me that I'm doing this, that I'm putting myself out there, that I'm going for it," she says. How awesome is that! Be proud of yourself for doing something that many are afraid to try.