Query tutorial with agents and editors, May 25, 2016

Amaryah Orenstein, Women’s National Book Association/Boston Chapter co-president, reported:

The first-ever NWU/WNBA-Boston Query Tutorial was a smashing success! Forty-five writers sat down for ten-minute one-on-one sessions, where they received a full critique of what worked, what didn’t and what was missing from their query letters. Attendees said they greatly appreciated the advice about reshaping their drafts and felt they came away with a better understanding of what agents and editors are looking for in a query letter. Some were so excited by the process that they stayed on and signed up for additional meetings!

Special thanks to our amazing agents and editors: Nicole Angeloro (editor, HMH/WNBA-Boston Board Member), Kaylee Davis (agent, Dee Mura), Katherine Flynn (agent, Kneerim Williams/WNBA-Boston Membership Chair), Tim Mudie (editor, HMH), Kimiko Nakamura (agent, Dee Mura), and Amaryah Orenstein (agent, GO Literary).

One NWU participant (who asked not to be named) remarked on both the limits and the opportunities that the pitch tutorial offered: “Ten minutes is certainly not enough time − especially under pressure − to present your best self. I did get a positive response to some of my query as well as advice to shorten the body of the letter.” Another member, Wayne Soini, appreciated one editor’s advice on how to bring a book’s “hook” into sharper relief.

It was a successful collaboration between the WNBA and the NWU and both sides look forwarding to holding this type of event again.