Wednesday, May 13, 2009

The Query Letter Returns

When last we left my query letter for Knights of Avalon, it looked like this. Not bad. Decent. But I felt it could use a little more personality. A little more pizazz. So I covered it in hearts and sparkles left the query alone for a couple of weeks, thought about the tone and feeling I wanted to convey, and did some revisions.

Here's my latest draft, what do you all think?

Sixteen-year-old Justine Kwiatkowski never planned on becoming a latter day King Arthur, she’s always preferred a good brawl to a sword fight, but when her best friend Gwen is kidnapped in the town of Avalon, she’s determined to do whatever it takes to get her back. Canvas neighborhoods. Question suspects. Believe in magic. Pull a sword out of a stone. Maybe even pick a fight with Morgan le Fay.

Because her best friend happens to be the reincarnation of Guinevere, and fifteen hundred years after the fall of Camelot, the Knights of the Round Table have returned, reborn as New Jersey teens.

There’s Gwen’s boyfriend, the loner from the wrong side of the tracks who blames himself for bloodshed that happened over a thousand years before he was born, the self-professed drama nerd whose only fighting experience is in West Side Story but finds herself able to take down a champion black belt with ease, the troubled artist who obsessively paints images of the Holy Grail, and the star football tackle who only wants two things in life, a giant battle axe and to keep his brothers and sisters safe.
Problem is: Someone’s killing the knights before they can remember who they once were. If Justine can’t help them discover their pasts and join together, there’ll be no future, not for Gwen, not for them, not for anyone.

Knights of Avalon, a YA Urban Fantasy, is complete at 65,000 words. If interested, the manuscript is available upon request. Thank you for your consideration!


  1. IMHO this is too long for the story portion of your query letter. Who does what and why is the crux of it. You offer a lot of character description -- and while very interesting, it distracts me from "what is this about?" All that being said - it's so unique if the agent "gets it" they might want to read it. Have you tried some critique sites or Query Shark?

    FYI, in the first graf there's a grammatical error -- you have "she's" which is the contraction for "she is" not "she has."

    Good luck!

  2. I like the tone of this one much better than the earlier version, but it may go on a bit too much about the minor characters. Strengthen the pitch about the three mains (protag, friend, boyfriend) and I think you'll have it. The others can be picked up in the synop.

  3. I like this version much better than your earlier query. Maybe if you made it a little tighter. I would ask to see it if I was an agent.

    Best of luck.

  4. Thanks, guys! I'm cutting and paste your comments into a Word file and then will start re-working the query.

  5. I think you could safely cut out the entire third paragraph and pick back up with "Problem is..." Overall, though, I love the premise and the voice in this!