Bad Query Contest

Rachel Kent

Blogger: Rachel Kent

I started seeing mention of these Bad Query Contests on Twitter this week so I thought it would be fun to host one on the Books & Such blog. Please take a moment to jot a quick query in the comments section for a project that doesn’t exist. I will then pick the worst query at the end of the day and the prize will be an

evaluation of your REAL query letter and–to sweeten the deal– a copy of my client Liz Johnson’s new book, A Promise to Protect. I’ll announce the winner tomorrow morning (Thursday) on the bottom of this blog and I’ll also email the winner to get his or her real query letter and mailing address.

To write a bad query letter you first need to know what makes a good query. Here are a few pointers:

1) Start off your query with a sentence that hooks the editor or agent. This hook is most effective when it shows off the unique aspect of your manuscript.

2) Keep your query short and to the point–but not too short. One standard page is a good length.

3) Make sure you check your query for spelling/grammar errors. You don’t want to have any!

4) Be sure to include information about the book and also about yourself.

5) Include your word count, title, and genre in the query letter.

6) Let your writing voice come out in your query. Be yourself!

To read more about writing a good query, check out an older blog of Janet’s:

Have fun writing your bad queries! And please don’t feel like you need to spend a long time on them!

If you have any questions about query letters in general feel free to ask in the comments as well. 

291 Responses

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  1. These are so funny. I have no idea how you’ll pick a winner.

    I’ve written some pretty lame queries myself, unintentionally. I cringe when I think of them.

    So I can’t help entering in when I get the chance to write one on purpose:

    Dear Ms. Kent,

    Do you care about what people think of Jesus? I sure do. So I written a young adult picture book entitled, “Jesus in the Pancake: the Savior Needs no Syrup”………………

    This story is complete a 4,567 words. I have attached brigtly coloured pictures that I painted myself and that will appeal to all young adults, even if they hate Jesus. They are the ones who most need the love of the Savior.

    This story is based on the true story of the day my great-grandmother saw the face of Jesus looking up at her from the pancake her mother had made.

    This story changed my life and I am now a missionarey toa remote tribe in a jungle in Brazil, but I am able to use the INternet to market electronically once a month when I get into the Internet cafe in the city, and I can still do book tours in the US because I come home on furlough every five years, and with Jesus as my marketer who can stand against me, so I can only say that Jesus is fighting for me–only he’s as sweet as a lamb (which is why he needs no syrup, ’cause he so sweet already)–and he markets valiantly, so there is no doubt in my mind that this book will change the lives of many.

    Thanks Ms. Kent. I look forward to hearing from you the next time I make it to the Internet cafe.

    Your friend,


    • Cheryl Dale says:

      The title is hysterical!

    • haha!! great job! Jesus in a pancake…no theology concept perhaps?

    • Lynn Johnston says:

      Dear Ratchell Kint or whoever this concerns,

      I am excited to shared the good news abot my first book called, “Not Much.” It is a historical-Christian chick-flick science fiction novel. Depending on your computer, it could be anywhere between 170 and 212 pages.

      A nice lady meets a man in a bar that is secretly attracted to her mother. They enter into a hot romance until lady finds her mother in bed with the man. She moves to the historical town of Savannah and converts to a nun. Then she discovers that the man is a vampire and now she must use religion to save her mother…once she finally forgives the cougar mom.

      I have lots of experience writing great books according to my mom and my BFF. If you are interested, give me a call. I just got my phone service turned back on. Remember this is a best seller and you will need to call me at once. If I don’t hear from you I will call you in a couple of days to make sure you ready to do business. Btw, I got your name from a google search and heard you are a good agent.

      My manuscript is not yet completed cuz I am waiting to find an agent first.


      Crazy Writer

    • Happy says:

      Oh my gosh. This query made my whole day!

    • LOL! Love, love, love!

    • Larry says:

      Great title, Sally!

      But now I want some delicious bacon pancakes! But hey, isn’t that what all writers want, for their readers to feel something (even the craving for delicious pancakes) after reading their work? :)

    • jane g meyer says:

      That query was a small taste of genius!

  2. Stacy Voss says:

    Dear Rachelle Kent of Wordserve litarary,

    I wrote me a great book that I know you’s just dying’ to red. It’s about a Amush woman who turns into a vampire than into a ghost to hant her ex-husband.

    I tried countin’ the words, but the dog started barking at a squirrle and I lost my place. It’s big like a real-life novel. I jus knows youre gonna love it.

    i put it in the mail allready. Im sure you’ll know its myne when you see pink glitter on it. Plz dont mind the dog drool on it.


    (Ouch–that was incredibly painful!!!)

  3. Kathryn says:

    Dear Mr. or Lady Agent:
    I am sending this email to every agent listed in teh book, so you’d better jump on it fast before its gone. I’ve written a major motion picture screenplay. It’s gone to sell more books than the Bible and make me more famous than Jesus Christ, so I know I’ll need a literary agent to find me a ghost writer to write the book and all it’s sequels for me. High concept baby! I also need an editor and a copywriter to expand my treatment into a full-length screenplay, but that should be easy for someone like you to arrange.
    The movie is Jack Reacher meets Downton Abbey meets Twilight meets those elves from the Hobbit meets a bunch of chick lit writers in long dresses, with a Beethoven or Mozart (some old guys in wigs or something) soundtrack, along with a bunch of stuff about drugs and I think traffic violations, with aliens (from space and the South of the Border kind. My movie is called A Hard Day to Dye the Ring Before Breaking the Bad Dawn of Northanger 51 in 61 Hours in the Kingdom of the Crystal Meth. We need to jump on this fast before any of the stars I’ve picked out get any older or O.D. (you know who you I’m talking about, bet you partied with them back in the day, ha-ha) as the movie is going to be timeless! Serious money, honey, freakin’ serious cashola!
    You just have to sign and notarize the enclosed release before I give you my treatment (can never be too careful, this idea is GOLDEN and I don’t want any hack writers getting their grubby mitts on it and stealing all my hard work. I went on a three day jet-fueled bender {you know ;0) ] to get all this done, and those are precious hours I’m never getting back.
    As a sign of your serious intent and commitment to my art, please also send me a check for $50,000 as a retainer so you can become my agent. Once it clears, the treatment and Hollywood RIches are yours. Oh, also send me your Fedex account number so you can pay for me to overnight my hand-written treatment to you. It’ s on alot of wet cocktail napkins, and you know how wait adds up. I can’t pay for anything myself, as I have to save up for plastic surgery so I can get a bunch of implants and teeth and stuff and get my deviated septum fixed for all my red carpet and talk show appearances. You might want to forward a copy of this to Oprah too (all you media people know each other am I right?) so she can clear her schedule for a two day special on me, like Lance but without all of his short cuts)).
    If my check does not arrive within forty-eight hours, I’ll just show up at your house to collect it. I noticed you always take the same route home from the office; you better not do that when you’re carrying a copy of my future screenplay as I’d hate for any kind of freak accident to happen to you.
    P.S> Send me some bubbly while yo9u’re at it, only the good stuff,—-…don’t be cheap with your cash cow: so we can toast my success and you’re lucky day!

    A. S. Talker
    copyright and trademark and patent and all worldwide rights reserved by A.S. Talker, Inc., 2013 and for all time

  4. Heidi Gaul says:

    Dear Raychul-
    My book is almost perfect, and will be a joy for all readers. It is in the style of The Notebook, but holier. Not more holes, I mean, Christian. Well, the book isn’t Christian, I am. I have written and been printed i n a FEW things and intend to continue. It has 90 thousand words, but I can shorten or lenghten it if you want.If I don’t hear from you ASAP, I will have to allow another agent a look-see. Love- Heidi

  5. To whom it may concern.
    Dear sir,

    I recently finished my first fiction novel about a guy who saves the town by shooting folks. It’s part Harry Potter and part Shades of Grey. Let’s hope it matches their sales, right? LOL I showed it to my pastor and he said it was good enough to publish. My mother gave me the same response. It’s 135 pages on Word, but I can make it bigger if you need. Do I need to pay you anything? If so, let me know and I’ll set up a payment plan. Oh, while you’re reading this, I wrote another book too. It’s about a woman who stands by her man. I wrote it before but now I think I may throw it in as well.

    Let me know if you need any more information. You can call me on my cell. The number is 555-LOST. Don’t miss your chance to make millions. Call now!

  6. Josh Kelley says:

    To whom it may conernc,

    God told me to write a book abotu the ecils of the Xtian publishg indstry.

    If you refuse to sell my book you will be disobey God.

    APostle Josh Kelley

  7. Dear Mr. Kent,

    I’m sure you’ve read a lot of books, but not one like mine! If I can just get it out into the world, I know it will become a best-seller, and I’ll be a world-famous author! My family thinks it’s the best thing they’ve everread, and I owe all of my inspira ation to them.

    So, whatever you’re working on now, take time out to read my work before someone snathes it up! i can’t wait too long for you, so hurry!

    With regards,
    Ima Writer

  8. Okay. I’ll throw in my hat!

    Dear Mr/Ms. Kent,

    I’m not an expert or anything, but I’ve thought a lot about writing a book about why people write books. There are just so many books out there, and I often wonder what makes people want to write so much. I know I can’t be the only one who asks that question. You’re an agent, so you must ask all the time: “Why is this person writing a book?”

    My book is called “Why You Write” and it’s complete at approximately 139,000 words. Since it’s about fictional literature, I’m categorizing it in the Literary Fiction genre, since I know the LitFic genre covers a wide variety of books. And since I’m just making up some of the reasons I’m listing for why people write fiction, it technically IS fiction.

    “Why You Write” begins back in Bible times. I explain why Jesus wrote in the sand, then why all those people wrote the Bible. Then there’s a short jump to why the Americans wrote the Declaration of Independence with all it’s rules & rights & such (I used “& such” here because I’ve researched you and I know how much you and the other agents at Books “& Such” like that phrase). Then I explain why Laura Ingalls Wilder wrote “Little House on the Prairie,” and a few other books, and why Stephanie Meyer wrote “The Hunger Games.” I bring this story of why people write all the way into current times by explaining why Stephen Hawking wrote “A Brief History of Time.”

    In fact, I often compare “Why You Write” to “A Brief History of Time,” because it generates a lot of interest. This is part of my marketing plan. I’m also trying to get Mr. Hawking to endorse my book for me. I’ll let you know as soon as I receive his response.

    In short, I believe you hold in your hands a book that will both minister AND entertain. It will minister by helping readers to understand writers, and it will help writers figure out WHY they feel so compelled to write. It will entertain because some of the funny reasons I added to give this book comedic elements.

    “Why You Write” is a feel-good, inspiring tale of fiction…about fiction!

    I’m so excited about “Why You Write” and I can’t wait to share it with you!


  9. Hi, Rachel!

    Remember me! We meet in the bathroom a few years ago at a conference. I was the one who slid my manuscript under the stall door. You know, the story about Joe Plummer who fell in love with the woman whose house he was called to fix a leaky faucet.

    Anyway, I wasn’t sure how much you were able to read of my ms, but I’m attaching the file for your conveince. (Or is that convenience?)

    I’m now on Twitter. Working on my platform as Michael Hyatt said to do. I’ve got 100 followers so that should sweetin’ the deal for you.

    Thanks again for your time and I look forward to signing that contract!

    Tanya Eavenson

  10. Elaine Faber says:

    Dear Ms. Rachel Welch:
    Are you any relationsion to that hot movie star? ha ha.
    Since I won the 3rd grade spelling be and a composition contest in 7th grade, that why I’m qualified tobe a writer and giveing you the honor to be my first queery letter.
    My book is about these two fat middle age ladies who go on vacation and get into all kinds of trouble. Kind of a mystery romance janrah, and therefore,lots of middle age fat women will read this kind of book, so that’s how I know it would be well- received all around the world.
    Your publish company was reccommended to me by my good friend, Lize Snodwittle, (my referral) who wrote you a queery letter last year. You sent her a nice letter but you didn’t publish her book. So I know you are a reputuble agency what wouldn’t do anything wrong.
    My novel is 47,567 words long, up to page 102. I haven’t counted any further yet. Are you suppose to count “a” as a word the same as “zillionaire,” which is what one of my heroines is?
    My book takes place at Saint Lucus Morturary and Day Spa . “We fix your hair – coming and going”..that’s our motto, and the setting for my novel Im ready to quit my job and be a fulltime writer if you think i have a good idea. Sincerely, Elaine Faber

  11. I didn’t see a single canine query letter in that whole batch.

    I guess that means only one thing.

    Us dogs really know how to query as well as fetch tennis balls.

  12. Sarah Sundin says:

    Not entering…just playing…

    Dear Kent Rachel,

    I think it is SO cool that you’re named after Superman, even though my book isn’t about superheroes. It’s a children’s book about Scottish zombies, because zombies are hot and guys in kilts are super hot. And I think little kids need to be exposed to the real world because the world is, like, real.

    I noticed your website says you don’t do children’s books or paranormal, but I know you’ll make an exception for me. I read some of the books you publish – the warden thinks they’re a good influence on us – but the books are really stupid, so I know you’ll be glad to read something way better!

    Great news! You won’t need to hire an editer because I got an A in 10th grade English (we won’t talk about 11th grade) and I can do all the drawings myself because I’m a reall good drawer.

    The book isn’t complete yet because the warden only lets me use the computer half hour a day. Not cool, right? But I’ll be out of the slammer in a month, just in time for my national book tour and interview on Good Morning America!

    See you then!

  13. Liz Johnson says:

    Oh, my word! Y’all are so funny! Your queries are a hoot. Rachel, I don’t know how you’re going to pick a winner with so many great entries.

  14. Shawn Kuhn says:

    My book was almost perfect until some editor ruined it. Please send me your fed ex account number so I can send you my manuscript, the good one not the ruined one. I am hoping to be published before my unemployment runs out. Give this your immediate attention or I will take it to Chip Macgregor.
    Ima Des Parate
    P.S. Do you represent any real authors?

  15. Jenna C. says:

    Dear Literary Agent,
    I have just written the worlds next bestselling novel that I am sure will be the topic of the coming year. I pretty sure you will totally into this book. It is like the best! Of course, as I just said, it will be the best next best selling novel.
    Anyway, the book is still in the writing process, but hey, it’s almost done. I’ve been working on it for several months, but I’m bound to finish it in a few weeks. Hopefully by March 31. But, of course, I have attached for you what is already written.
    The book is about several people who were on the Titanic, and they like get to meet each other and stuff. And a few of them fall in love with each other and so on. And then the tragic happens! They all get stranded in the middle of the Atlantic! Yeah, it’s really thrilling, I just can’t wait for it to be out there and you know, people will just love it!
    Anyway, you can check out my blog and please follow me on twitter, I would just love it if you would. I’m really into social networking and stuff.
    But yeah, hope to hear from you soon!

    The next bestseller,

  16. Shannon Brown says:

    Dear Ms. Kent (or another agent if you’re too busy right now),

    I’ve written a book and hope you like it. My family’s read it and they all say it’s so good that any agent or editor would be a fool to pass it up. I can tell by your photo that you’re no fool.

    All the books say I have to tell you about my book. I want to be careful though not to say too much or someone might steal the plot. It’s that good. It’s the story of a lovely lady with three girls who meets a man with three boys of his own. Now that might seem vaguely familiar but I don’t think you’ve ever read anything like it. It breaks new ground!!! It’s a cross between Leave it to Beaver and Big Bang Theory. I’ve named it The Big Bunch (and I really don’t want anyone messing with that name.) Anyone between the ages of 14 and 60 would like it. (I think you’ve got the picture now :)

    I never wanted to be a writer. No one wants to relive taking 10th grade English, right? Then one day I was reading the back of the cereal box while eating breakfast and it popped into my head, the whole plot for the book. Things don’t usually pop into my head. Two months later, here I am with 58 pages of awesomeness.

    I know you’re going to want to be part of this project. I’ll be expecting your call next Monday so we can discuss all the details.

    Shannon Brown

  17. Sue Harrison says:

    Thank you to all for a great afternoon of laughs. I needed a smile today!

  18. To whom it may concern:

    Here is my 800 page manuscript.
    I’m sure that it will be a winner.
    I hammered it out in my little spare time
    Between laundry loads and cooking dinner.

    It tells of a girl in the prime of her life,
    Whose tragedy tears at your heart.
    Her sad little life is almost destroyed
    When her castle of dreams falls apart.

    This may sound vague to a pro such as you,
    But trust me it gets even better.
    I’ve added a car chase with alien men
    who’ve abducted a trained Irish setter.

    I won’t spoil the ending by telling you more,
    but I will say I’ve made sure it’s happy.
    You can fax me the contract, or better yet,
    Skip that part and just send me money.

    Hugs and kisses,


    P.S. I realize that last stanza doesn’t rhyme, but I’m sure you’ll understand I needed to take some artistic license in order to get the business part in.

    P.S. My mom loved it.

    P.S. I’ll call you at the end of the week.

    P.S. I’ve already got the best cover for it. You’ll love it!

  19. Lynn Johnston says:

    Dear agent or whom this may concerns,

    I have a great book called, “Harry Breaks Wind”. It is a cross between Harry Potter and Gone with the Wind. Its about a southern witch that falls in love with a northern warlock. Its a science-romantic-historical chick lit mystery.

    I have had much expereinse texting…sometimes while driving…that I qualify to write this book. It is great! You will be lucky to represent me. Just ask my family, they will tell you how well I use to write in elementary school and I once got an A. Guess how it ends?

    Don’t know word count, I lost count after 693 words. But it took me a full week to write if that tells you anything. Please call me at my boyfriend’s number 555-1234 and let me know how much money you are sending. If I don’t hear back from you in 2 weeks I will send this letter to another agent and you will miss out.
    Please, Please, Please call me.



  20. Nicole Lemoine says:

    Dear Agents Name goes here,

    i am a very talented and dedicated writer and I have chosen U to be my agent. Although i should let u know in advance that i am also querying my 2nd,3rd, and 4th choices so you do have a fair amount of competition :). LOL

    My novella begins in the middle of the civil war era, it is rife with all the turmoil and trauma of a wartime love affair. My plot is a surprise…so sorry i wont be sharing any of it ahead of time, my manuscript will delight you plenty, should u decide to request it u will not regret it!!! My first novel was birthed with much enthusiasm and heart. i know that i have what it takes to walk alongside such authors as Stephanie Meyer, J.K. Rowling and Leo Tolstoy. i don’t have an exact word count yet as i continually rework my masterpiece.
    My novel will appeal to everyone, there is a surprise for all ages within my novel. i can see it now playing out on the big screen with Kate Winslet starring in the lead role….. i will be sitting by the phone awaiting ur call, bye for now.

    P.S. after all word count has no bearing on the quality of my obvious talent, lol…

    P.S.S. U should also know that I studied English in colledge :0

    Sincerely urs,
    N.Fabienne Lemoine

  21. Michelle Prince Morgan says:

    Dear Sweet Mr and Mrs Kent,
    I have enclosed a copy of my manual scrpt. I just know ya’ll will love it to peices, I do. My book is a christian love muder myestery. The main chartcher Morgan fell in love with the pastor of her church so she hired someone to murder his wife. There are about 169416 word in it. It is a great book, so when do you want me to come sign the contract. We can do lunch and have some sweet tea. Now on to the important stuff how much are you going to pay me? Sincerly Michlle BFF

  22. Michelle Gardner says:

    Dear Sir or Current Literary Agent:

    I have just about finished my book but I’m not going to send it to anyone yet because they might steal my idea and make the millions that are meant for me. I mean, it’s my idea, right?

    Anyway, it’s about this guy who does a bunch of stuff while searching for something and a lot of things – good and bad – happen to him along the way. I think Brad Pitt or Bradley Cooper or another famous Brad would be great in the movie version that will be made from this book.

    I’ve never written a book before but my buddies at work say I’ve got some pretty good stories. This could be a classic like that one written by Harper Collins, “To Kill…er, some kind of bird. I don’t remember.

    Word count is unimportant right now. I can always add more stuff if you need it, but I don’t think you will.

    This is gonna be great for some agency and you would be crazy not to pick me up as your next bestseller.

    You should call me soon so we can both start making lots of money, right?


    Rob Knott

  23. Laura Moe says:

    Dear Rachelle Kennedy,
    This is your lucky day! I am sending you the best book you will ever read. It has BeSTSELLER written all over it.i sued to work in a bookstore, so I know my way around a Bestseller.

    Okay, the story starts in the near future, where they make teenagers fight to the death until there are only two left: one male, one female. Kind of like Hunger Games meets Matched, except I could change the society into vampires if that would help sell the book. Or zombies. Or both.

    The event happens every year in spring, and the kids chosen are the most fertile in the country. You know, maybe I should re think that. If I kill off all the fertile kids, the population will go down. Okay. I can change them to middle aged people who already have kids. No, middle aged people aren’t sexy, ad they?

    Okay, what about…., cyborgs are used to burn all the paper copies of books because the government, or amazon, whoever is more powerful, wants everyone to read e books.. In any case, my book will address technology because it is the wave of the future.

    The book is going to be a series of at least ten books because I need to make a lot of money so I can buy a house with a pool. So far I have two chapters. Do you want to see them?
    Sincerely ,
    Laura Moe

  24. I loved reading each and every one of these! I’m cracking up so much I had to set my coffee down!

    These are the best comments EVER!

  25. David Todd says:

    Dear Sir or Madam:

    I’m beginning to get desperate, and a friend told me that you help struggling authors find a publisher. So I checked you out and I like what I see. I think you can help me.

    My book is a memoir of my remarkable life. Titled THERE AND BACK AGAIN, it shows in how many ways my life parallels what Tolkeen wrote about in THE LORD OF THE RINGS. With so many people I have played the roll of Gandalf, providing wisdom, guidance, and a little bit of magic to help them solve their problems and become better people in this mixed-up world that is so much like Middle Earth.

    The book is written, and I even edited it twice. It’s somewhere around half the length of TLOTR trilogy, so very publishable. It should find an audience to all Tolkeen fans. All six people I showed it to have loved the premise and say it will be a huge hit. I’d also want you to handle the movie writes.

    Please respond soon. I’m not sure I can survive a long wait. I have the means to end it all if you turn me down.

    with great thanks,
    John Ronald Reuel

  26. Thank you for the belly laughs everyone. These queries are priceless.

  27. ej christy says:

    Dear Rachel Kentucky,

    I sewarched your websight high and low to see if you accept or reject poetry, and although you don’t specificaly list poetry as one of your generations, YOu don’t specifically deny it, either, so I’m going to take a shot an d trust that You’ll give me a chance.

    I know there’s been a recent hullaboo about the possibility that poetry is, indeed, dead again, but I’m here to prove that’s just wrong. I’m attached for your convience my novel in lyric, narrative poem, “I Hear the Mermaids Warbling.” The “story” begins with the whishing and whirring of an ice cream machine that’s a metaphor for a mermaid’s death in teh Black Sea. Grabs the reader at once.

    Since I
    m attaching the file, I don’t need to describe this gem any more. I’m certain you’ll find reading my book as fascinating as I found writing it. I discuvered in the process that’s I’m a quite teh genus.

    Please contact me as soon as possible. Since I kno you’re busier than stink, I don’t mind calling or emailing or even visiting hourly. I’m just that kind of wonderful.

    And so is my book.

    Sincerely Yours,
    Petunia Porterly

    ps – just a taste of my gift

    Lush slushing moments
    in green glossy glass
    the foam on ocean, trivial,
    oh so trivial, in moments,
    yes moments, and more moments,
    of ghastly seaweed

  28. ej christy says:

    By the way, thank you ALL for the laughs. I am, indeed, writing a book of poems. For my thesis. God help me. A dear friend (Laura Moe), who actually deserves to find an agent, insisted I take a break and come here to read your brilliant letters. Thank you, thank you!!! I so needed this tonight. I feel human now.

    • I’m glad that you took Laura’s advice, ej.

      Blessings as you work on your thesis!

    • Larry says:

      I second Christine!

      Also, it is good that you’re writing poems. It seems that nowadays there aren’t poetry readers, or actual poets, but mere poetry curators .

      Keep up the good work!

      • ej christy says:

        Ah. You’re all lovely. I’m really quite nuts to be focusing on poetry. At least I’ll have a “terminal” degree when I’m finished, so I’ll be able to teach college. Composition. I don’t know whether to fear the students or expect the students to fear me.

        I’m laughing again tonight as I read more of these letters.

      • Laura Moe says:

        And she is an awesome poet. Poetry is Not dead…in fact, I see tremendous interest in poetry in my school.

  29. Emily says:

    Not entering, just posting for fun. :-)

    Dear Ms. Ken,
    I’ve written a book that will be heartwarming to everyone who reads it, and you too. It’s about these two cousins, and when they’re 17 and 12 ½ they find out that one of them was adopted into the cousinship. Before that, they were twins. So really, they aren’t 17 and 12 ½ (they’re 14, but they don’t look it). So anyway, they have lots of emotional issues from thinking they were different ages and stuff, and from finding out that their cousinship wasn’t real or anything. But by the end of the story, they’ve both found true love, so it’s okay, because their boyfriends love them whether their cousins or sisters or 12 or whatever. So it’s very inspirational because it’s a love story.
    I hope you will read my book and be so moved by the truth it presents that you’ll decide to represent it.

    Cincerely me.

    P.S. Oh, and there’s also a huge surprise at the end of the book (around word 2541 out of 8332). You’ll have to read it to find out, but there’s this mystery character who comes in, and her name is Ms. Ken, just like yours! You’ll be mind blown!

  30. Dear Rachel,

    Buckle your seat belt because your world is about to rock, rock, rock! I’m the next Tom Clancey. Seriously, my book will be a best-seller and sell millions of copies. You will be able to retire off the money it will make and never have to work again.

    “The Duck Always Quacks” totals 458,234 words and it starts out with my main character Burt Gastibto eating a slice of pepperoni pizza (the pizza is significent). Things really pick up after the fifth chapter when Tommy (Tommy is a girl vintriloquist and his boss’s wife’s cousin) tells him that the pizza he ate was the only hope of saving the world. How can a pizza save the world? And how will the save the world now that Burt has eaten it? Well, you’ll have to read the book to find out!

    I know you just dying to read it, so I’ve gone ahead and attached the first several chapters (so you can see where things really pick up in chater five). I’ll call you if you don’t call me first. That sweet receptionist at your agency and she said she would make sure you received my fruit basket along with my query and sample chapters. I just know we’re going to be best friends. :-)


    Gwen Gage

  31. These 218 comments brightened my day! :) Thanks for being awesome everyone!

  32. My mother said I should send you my book. Its about a woman who gets her ass stuck in a doggie door but that’s the leest of her problems. She left her old boyfriend at the alter and now he’s the police cheef so she can’t go to him for help when some guy tryed to sell her into human slavery. Then she gets a dog, but he poops on her. Then her mom is kidnapped and she has to save her. Then she does and then the book ends. I no u will like my book because I’ve ben writing my hole stupid life and now I’m going to let you publish it. please send my chek to….

  33. Hi Rahcel! Wassup!

    i like wrote this book and so im like looking 4 an agent 2 represent me. My book is the best thing since white sliced bread & i know u will like it.

    So what’s it about? well, if i tole u that, it would ruin the surprise, wouldn’t it. So ive attached a copy to this email. i had told u abt it on FB but u never got back to me. What’s up with that?

    Please consider being my agent because like everybody else ive written to has rejected me. i mean ur like the FIFTH l.a. ive sent my book too.

    As i said, its an awesome book cause ive worked real hard on it, so check it out, ok? my freinds all think it showed be published. BTW its written for teenagers which i understand u represent.

    Ok, so that’s it. Its up 2 u now. Enjoy reading my book which is called Music of Dragons and text me abt what u think!


    Chrstine Domran.



    This blog was great fun. Thank you so much for it!


  34. These entries deserve applause, standing ovations, and awards for their grasp of how NOT to write a “queery.” I’m smiling as I write, having just recovered from hilarity!

  35. Linda Strawn says:

    To sirs, mams, anyone who is concerned:
    MOVE OVER VAMPIRES, ZOMBIES, WEREWOLVES. ITS TIME TO FOR A REAL BREAKOUT NOVEL. yes, i’m in the process of writing a novel that will leeve thoose dark, scary stories in the dust. It’s time to see the light, people! PEOPLE KNEAD TO GET REAL. Lettuce read about reel folks. PPL like Honey Boo Boo and her family. Ya know, reel down home ppl. And THE DUDES WHO GRAB CATFISH OUT OF HOSE IN MUDDY RIVERS, AND WRESTLE ALIGATORS, AND GIT POSSUMS OUT OF PPLS ATTICS. they are the ones I moddle my characters out of. I BRING REALLITY TO THE PUBLISHING WORLD. REEDERS NEED MY BOOKS.
    Thank you very much…

  36. Rachel Kent Rachel Kent says:

    I’m going to close the contest now. You are welcome to post a bad query, but it won’t be eligible for the prize.

    I am trying to pick one of these, but I love so many! I’ll announce the winner as soon as possible. Thanks again for the fun day!

  37. Darby Kern says:

    I got this book. My mom thinks it could get published. I think you’ll like it too.

    Stephen King

  38. Scott says:

    Dear Agent,

    I know you probably won’t read this, but your the one missing out if you dont.

    I wrote a fiction novel based on something my uncle did when he was young. It’s really funny and means alot to my family. I’d tell you more about it but I don’t want to give away the punchline so you’ll just have to trust me and read and then you’ll see that’s why I attached it to this email. Ha ha! It’s so funny.

    I know this will be a best seller because it’s better than everything at the bookstore and my mom love’s it and says its her favorite book she ever read and she reads alot, like about seven or 8 books a year. My uncle’s dead but I know he’d love it too and so will you if you actually read it. I’m attaching a picture of my uncle so you’ll can see what a great guy he was when he wasn’t dead.

    So don’t be stupid and miss out on the chance of a number 1 best selling fiction novel based on real life. Its going to make us both a fortune for sure. I’m sending this to 20 agents all at once so you’ll have to fight over it if you all want it which I know you will because its so funny.


  39. Rachel Kent Rachel Kent says:

    Thanks for your patience with me as I selected a winner. The response to this blog was much greater than I imagined it would be so judging took longer as well.

    I LOVE so many of these, but I’m going to go with Elaine Faber’s as the best worst query!
    This paragraph made me laugh so hard and I’m still laughing as I type this:

    “My book is about these two fat middle age ladies who go on vacation and get into all kinds of trouble. Kind of a mystery romance janrah, and therefore,lots of middle age fat women will read this kind of book, so that’s how I know it would be well- received all around the world.”

    Talk about a BROAD audience. Lol.

    Congratulations, Elaine! I’m going to try to locate your email address now to contact you directly, but if you see this first please email me your mailing address. rachel @ booksandsuch. com. (remove spaces)

    To the rest of you, I honestly wish I could let you all win! I am so thankful for your bad queries. They made my day!!!

  40. Rachel,

    I’m sorry. I also meant to say in the above post THANK YOU so much for your generous offer to read the winner’s real query. It’s an invaluable gift.

  41. Ken K. Chartrand says:

    Hi friend! I am a middle aged , married man, who has recently released a self published book printed for me by POD publisher, FriesenPress of Victoria B.C.
    It can be seen at What I need an agent for is to help me sell the film rights to my werewolf novel,”The Lupine Effect” Thanks for reading this. If you can help in this regard or advise, I would be very appreciative.