The Art of the Query Letter with Pam van Hylckama Vlieg

Learn to effectively write and pitch a query letter under the guidance of a literary agent in this two-week course.

Your Instructor: Pam van Hylckama Vlieg (literary agent at D4EO Literary)

Where: Online — Available everywhere!

When: This class is not currently enrolling. To be notified when it is offered again, Click Here

Enrollment: 30 students

Price: $99

Class Description

It's peanut butter and query time!

You've finished your book. You've written it, revised it, and have spent a good portion of your time making it the best it can be. Now it is time for you to condense that work into a few paragraphs of words that will lure an agent onto your bookish hook.

The Google machine can lead you to many resources for query letter building. There, inside the dark spire of the interwebs, you will find a plethora of conflicting information. Which style is better? How many words or paragraphs should your query be? Are there genre specific things you should include in your letter? Is humor okay?

This class will answer all of these questions as well as give you a fundamental formula that will help you land an agent. 

Literary agent Pam van Hylckama Vlieg will help you harness your force and write a Jedi query that will bring Vader to his knees.

* Everyone who enrolls will get a critique of their query letter, and Pam has committed to answering all questions posed to her the online classroom discussion forums. 

What This Class Covers

Week 1

  • Lecture: Pam will teach you her secret query formula and share information about successful queries based on her personal inbox and some really helpful findings from an agent survey. This first lecture will teach you how to write a compelling query letter for any book.
  • Assignment: You will use this formula to write your query for the class. Pam will critique your query and answer any questions in the discussion forums.
  • All queries will be posted to an online, private forum (viewable only to members of the class), and students will be encouraged to critique each other, as well.

Week 2

  • Lecture: Pam will let you in on pertinent agent secrets. What gets us going? What are the qualities of a good client? What are the qualities of a good agent? How do you know if you're a good fit? If you get "the call" what questions should you be asking the agent that is offering you representation? The most successful agent/client relationships occur when you are armed with this knowledge.
  • Assignment: You will turn in a revised query using Pam’s Week One feedback. She will then take a final look over your revised draft and answer any questions in the discussion forums. 
  • Pam will post her critiques of the query letters, so students can view, discuss, and comment on them.

*Throughout this two-week course, you will have the opportunity to participate in discussion threads with your classmates. In the past, we’ve seen that these classes have given writers a strong support network and even helped them to form writer/critique groups. 

Goals Of This Class

  • Learn how to write an attention-grabbing query letter
  • Gain valuable insight on the publishing industry and agents directly from the source
  • Get a detailed, personalized critique on your query letter for a literary agent
  • Learn how to properly handle an offer of representation
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