By repeated request we’ve started Workshop Wednesday. It will definitely play out through 2011, and beyond that we’ll just have to see. We’ve received well over 200 queries at this point, but we are choosing at random, so don’t be afraid to participate as per the guidelines in our original post.
For anyone wanting to comment, we ask that you comment in a polite and respectful manner, and we ask that you be as constructive as possible. If you can be useful to the brave souls who submitted their query and comment on the query, that’s great. Please keep any anonymous tirades on publishing or other snarky comments to yourself. This is and should remain an open and safe forum for people to put themselves and their queries out there so that everyone can learn. I’m leaving comments open and open to anonymous posters, as I always have; don’t make me feel the need to change that policy.
And for those who have never “met” Query Shark, get over there and do that. She’s the originator of the query critique, the queen, if you will.
Dear Ms. Faust,
I am seeking representation for my 50,000-word contemporary young adult novel, ORBITING JUPITER.
This might be a tad short, but at this point I’m not worried about that. I’ll continue reading.
Addis Paeters was well on his way to becoming high school hockey royalty just like his older brother, Jupiter. But after missing a defensive block that cost his team the regionals trophy, he’s unable to get back on the ice without freezing up. Freezing at the thought of losing another match and freezing from the fear of suffering permanent injury like his dad did while playing in the NHL.
I have to confess here that I’m attracted to anything hockey related, so immediately you have my attention. Beyond that, however, I like this a lot. I’m really intrigued and I think your opening paragraph is perfect. It’s the ultimate setup for a YA.
Junior year everything changes. Jupiter is appointed assistant coach, and promises to help Addis secure a spot on the varsity roster–the perfect cure for Addis’s shattered confidence.
But the first day of practice for tryouts, Addis gets a shock: Jupiter is a no-show, having traded his hockey jersey for a tattered tutu, his hockey skates for roller skates, and his position on the hockey team to be a cheerleader for a local roller derby team.
Addis may have blown the game, but Jupiter’s betrayed Addis and the team. All to impress a girl.
This entire thing, these previous three paragraphs, literally made me laugh out loud. Did he really decide to become a cheerleader for roller derby (another sport I love)? I’m not sure this connects as fully with the opening as I would like, but you have my attention. I’m really liking this story and, honestly, liking the twist it took. I’m not thrilled with the way these paragraphs are written, but I can overlook that for now.
Addis fears he can all but kiss his unclaimed confidence goodbye, when one of the derby girls–a chick who’s got more secrets than a gay senator and is even better at hockey than Jupiter–offers to help Addis get over his fear of contact. With try-outs only two weeks away, Addis must put aside his fears of failure, and find a way to rediscover his love of hockey—and his trust in Jupiter—in time to make the team.
I’d skip the “gay senator” comparison. I’m not sure that sounds YA to me. It just doesn’t sound like the way a teen would think. Otherwise, I’m liking.
ORBITING JUPITER is Will Grayson, Will Grayson meets Whip It—a humorous take on high school, where underdogs struggle to find their place on the team, and everyone learns that the dreams they try to squeeze into aren’t always the dreams that fit.
Perfect. I’d have you send this to me in a New York minute (also not something anyone who is a young adult would say). And, by the way, if you haven’t queried BookEnds yet, you should absolutely send this to me 😉
Thank you for your time and consideration.