Research is great. It’s also a necessary evil that makes you constantly doubt yourself (well, sort of). For me, the longer I stare at examples of successful queries or contest winners, I find myself doubting my own submissions. Yet, we must learn from those who have succeeded (and then eat tons of chocolate afterward). Anyway, it took me a while, rooting through websites and social media platforms, to find the information that I did. I’ve compiled it a list of helpful links for your viewing pleasure. Because why not? Good luck on your querying ventures!
Helpful links for aspiring authors
AgentQuery — can’t speak highly enough of this site. Without you, dear AgentQuery, it would be ten times harder to find agents. You also have kick-ass hints and tips. And cookies.
QueryTracker — same type of deal as AgentQuery. I peruse both just to cover my basis. 🙂
AgentQuery Connect — the place where you come to watch your query burn. Literally. In a good way. Actually, there are tons of forums here for budding authors and pro novelists alike. Usually though you come to post your queries for critique. Always a good start.
Absolute Write Water Cooler — a lot like AgentQuery Connect, but WAY more forums. I’ve just joined so I’ve only scratched the surface of what they have to offer. In general though, I feel like there are a lot of serious writers here who care about sharing their knowledge. To even submit your Query for review you must have posted 50 times on other forums. They aren’t looking for one-and-done writers here, they want lifers. I’m down with that.
QueryShark — without a doubt, this is my favorite querying-related website. Seriously, read ALL OF THE POSTS. I’m not kidding. If you’re thinking of submitting to her you need to do it anyway, but there is so much to learn here.
Query Letter Success — much like QueryShark, this site has a plethora of queries to look at. The only difference? They’re successful queries rendered in such a way that you can easily see what queries belong to what novels currently on the market.
Writer’s Digest – Successful Queries — a forum dedicated to successful queries. Come here to check out the ones that made it and see the comments from the agents who accepted.
Writer’s Digest – Book Length — for those of you who need some help determining the appropriate word count for your genre.
Mythic Scribes – Crafting a Language — As a fantasy writer, I simply couldn’t NOT include this link. I think most of us struggle when it comes to creating new dialects, and this advice really helps.
Pub Crawl – Writing a Synopsis — boom. Pretty much the necessary evil of querying (aside from queries themselves, that is). Great resource.
Helpful links to helpful people
Brenda Drake — a seriously phenomenal individual who runs/participates in contests like Pitch Wars and Pitch Madness. Definitely a must if you’re looking for advice and opportunities to pitch your MS. Also just a nice break from the horrific waiting game you have to play while agents deliberate on your queries (ew).
Carissa Taylor — gotta give a shout out to my fellow ASU alum. This girl has SO MANY LINKS on her site alone to helpful places for aspiring writers. I also appreciated her post about the agonizing waiting process associated with querying. It is nice to know we’re not alone!
Dan Koboldt — yet another great place to participate in contests like #SFFpit. He also has loads of advice and a fun blog to follow.
Caitlin Sinead — a published author who takes time out of her busy schedule to critique all sorts of things – Twitter pitches, queries, first pages, etc. We need more people like her. 🙂 All you need to do to access her forum is sign up for her newsletter!
Lara Willard — freelance editor, master wordsmith, emperor of incredibly helpful blogging, and all around a cool individual. She participates and runs a couple of Twitter contests too. Seriously, if you’re an author and you’re not on Twitter, do it. Now. You’ll meet so many wonderful people.
Michelle Hazen — aside from the fact that’s she’s a pretty cool lady, she also has an awesome blog that you should read to further hone your craft!
Jami Nord — another rad individual with a plethora of writing advice present on her blog. If you’ve noticed issues within your MS, she’s got a post to help you out.
Layla Reyne — shout-out to my PitchWars mentor! She’s a romance author with a love for all things fan fic. It’s fun to read her Q&As with authors, as well as devour her writing insights.
Brighton Walsh — look no further if you’re in the market for a snarky writer with a knack for writing steamy novels. Her blog posts are totes amaze.
Heather Van Fleet — another romance author. I have it on good authority that she likes red velvet cupcakes. But seriously, follow her. Connect with other writers in your genre!
I’ll continue to update this list of helpful links as I discover more information. That’s the beauty of writing and being part of the writing community — new information is always surfacing!
Please note: The information above is listed in no particular order.