I owe a big thanks to Jill Hathaway for helping me with my query letter. Jill is a YA author with her debut novel, Slide, set to be released in 2012. Jill gave me tips for taking my query from wordy and disorganized to concise and exciting (exciting for me anyway!). I'd done tons of query research before, but Jill's tips really helped me narrow my focus and eliminate unnecessary information.
It’s incredibly difficult to put into a few words characters, themes, and storylines I’ve been working with for years. I was amazed at how Jill looked right into the heart of the story and pulled out the most important bits. This is the first time I've ever sent my story into the world (even just the small piece of it that's in the query). I'm really heartened by the experience, and so motivated to finish revisions and get my manuscript submission ready.
The Query Makeover will be an ongoing feature on Jill's blog, so if you're interested, submit your letter! It's very painless and positive (one commenter said she wanted to read my book right now. Can't even explain how cool that is to hear).
You can check out Jill's query advice for me here.
Thanks again to Jill for your help!