This query letter represents the fifth and final attempt for Caroline to land an agent. She sent 20 queries and received 9 requests for partials or fulls, which eventually led to her signing a contract with literary agent Jim McCarthy of Dystel & Goderich Literary Management. While the book she queried for did not get published, not entirely uncommon after landing an agent, it’s a good thing Caroline never gave up on her dream as her debut novel–THE ONLY THING TO FEAR–was released September 30, 2014 by Scholastic.
Dear Mr. McCarthy:
Since you represent one of my favorite YA authors, [name redacted], I hope you will consider my manuscript for your list. THE COSMIC CHRONICLES OF DANNY J. SINGER is a MG science fiction novel, complete at 61,000-words. An excerpt of this book received the grand prize in the Maryland Writers’ Association’s 2009 Novel Contest.
Twelve-year-old Danny Singer doesn’t think aliens are real—until he finds one knocking on his front door.
Obviously, Danny freaks out about this intergalactic visit. After all, he’s about to get abducted, right? But weirdly enough, the alien isn’t interested in abductions or the typical take-me-to-your-leader stuff. Instead, it insists on delivering an urgent message.
In a matter of weeks, a swarm of gigantic space bugs—the Locusts—will devour the Earth as their next meal. And even worse? The Locust King, Abaddon, is coming straight for Danny and his mom.
Yeah, Danny starts freaking out again, but he has to pull himself together. To protect his sick mother, he agrees to join the Titanian Knighthood, a society of alien warriors who defend the solar system. His training starts immediately and Danny soon discovers why he’s on the Locusts’ most-wanted list. Turns out, Danny’s dead father was once a Knight himself—in fact, he was the one who stopped Abaddon from conquering the galaxy fifteen years ago. Now, Abaddon is back for revenge and he has a few bones to pick with Danny’s family.
Armed with a mystical sword, Danny must defeat the Locusts before Abaddon destroys him. Failure isn’t an option: the future of the Earth—and his mom—are on the line.
I am a freelance writer with publications in Highlights and Boys’ Life. I am also a member of SCBWI. I’ve pasted the first chapter of my novel below my signature. Upon request, I’d be pleased to send you a full manuscript. Thank you for your consideration.
Caroline Tung Richmond
Caroline chronicled her query letter journey on her blog and it’s worth the read.