Successful query letter - not mine!

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Mel L

Full Member
Aug 24, 2021
As this was shared to a widespread audience on Facebook, it seems like fair game to share here.
Interesting example of a query letter that did the job, as it ultimately scored the writer an agent.
Obviously a lot of that was down to the MS, but the letter is equally notable.
Note that it is US-focused.

I got a literary agent!

I just wanted to pop into the group and thank everyone here who gave feedback for my query letter for my YA contemporary, SONG OF CHEVEYO. I thought I would share my successful query letter here, since it can be hard to find query letters that worked online to compare to.

For reference, this query got me 28 full requests and two offers of rep.

Here it is!


I am excited to present my young adult contemporary, SONG OF CHEVEYO, complete at 98,000 words. It combines a dark summer of uncovering family secrets akin to WE WERE LIARS by E. Lockhart, the atmosphere and style of Karen M. McManus, and the heists, juicy love triangles, and mild political drama of Netflix’s Outer Banks.

16-year-old Amelia LeBlond didn’t board her flight to Gran’s sleepy Canadian town, Tofino, with the intention of becoming a felon. On the contrary, this summer was supposed to be the most boring summer of her life, and she didn’t plan on making friends—especially not one with a tail.

When she’s invited to cliff-dive at Pacific Rim with the local teens, Amelia finds herself stranded and on the verge of drowning. She’s sure she’s imagining the young orca who saves her, but when the calf, Cheveyo, turns up at Gran’s cove lost and severely injured, she becomes determined to reunite him with his pod.

Amelia and her new friends record Cheveyo’s journey on social media, quickly amassing millions of followers. Their plan to release him comes to a halt when orcas start washing up dead all over the Salish Sea. Now they’ll do anything—lie, steal, and commit espionage—to protect Cheveyo’s family. Their investigation leads to a shady fishing charter and accidentally uncovers a long-kept government secret. When they expose the charter on national television, they find themselves playing a game that could cost them their lives.

Amelia must untangle a twisted web of lies and combat a group of dangerous criminals, all while navigating the pressures of instant fame and confronting a ghost from her past to save Cheveyo before it’s too late—for him and his pod.

SONG OF CHEVEYO is inspired by the true story of Luna, the lost orca adopted by the inhabitants of Nootka Sound. This book was written with the combined efforts of the Orca Behavior Institute, The Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation and Administration, and Dr. Joe Gaydos at UC Davis, whom I consulted for accuracy. I minored in animal science at Clemson University, where I was the editor-in-chief of the AVS newspaper, AVS Corner, for two years. I spent time in South Africa working with tigers, and was lucky enough to visit the Southern Resident orcas in the San Juans this past September. I currently live in Tennessee and spend most of my free time catering to the every whim of my Doberman Pinscher, Maverick.

Thank you for your time and consideration!

I did not personalize every query, and I found that personalization didn't increase my chances of getting a request. It's all about the strength of your query, and more importantly, your concept (the hook!). I think something people really don't think about enough when it comes to finding an agent, though, is that at the end of the day, querying doesn't end with a full request. Your manuscript really needs to be strong through and through, which is why groups like this are so important! If you're querying or preparing to query, don't be discouraged. Traditional pub is not for the faint of heart and the journey can be very discouraging. But you can do it!!!!

I agree Hannah. The info I get from this group regarding queries is radically different from the advice all the agents give over here. There seems to be a lot of differences in how things work in the two markets.
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