So Take a Letter, Maria

Query Tips

Betsy Lerner

45bf51994e779d764df10e907e30a7bbI’m sorry, but it’s time to go back to basics. I have been receiving the most cuckoo for cocoa puffs query letters lately. It’s like watching a person shoot himself in the head instead of pitching his book. I can see the blood spatter on the wall.

I’ve said a zillion times: the letter has to be professional, but should give a sense of the writer’s style or sensibility. The letter should be three paragraphs: 1) introduce the project; 2) expand on it in an interesting way via the themes or good comps or most salient details  (no plot points please!);  and 3) your credentials. Writers often ask me, what if I don’t have any credentials? I always answer: get some! What if we can’t, they cry? It’s strange to think that you can sell a book before you’ve ever sold a story or an article. THough stranger things have…

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Acts of kindness

In my continuing effort to make the world better I'm sharing this post from Throwing Chancias. This small town junior and high school has not been able to buy new books since the 90s. Do you have diverse books? Young Adult books? Middle Grade books? any books to help stock this library? Please consider sending... Continue Reading →

What if

What if instead of spending the next week hammering away on our keyboards crying out in pain and outrage people got up and engaged in the world? Instead of posting clips and filibusters for gun control, people used Google to look up a LGBTQ centers and volunteered. What if a person chose to go to a church, synagogue, mosque... Continue Reading →


I'm in awe of the Stanford rape victim's courage and perseverance to prosecute her attacker and to stand strong in the face of so much adversity. This is the link to read if you haven't already read her statement. She is my hero. She has my support. Shame on you to all media showing a smiling image... Continue Reading →

Do you remember your first kiss?

An essay of mine is up on In it I reminisce about first kisses. And it's a short stroll down memory lane for me. The comments section amazes me. All those opinions about me and the story. So many harsh judgements. But I found some who understood where I'm coming from. They read it for the... Continue Reading →

My essay is live on Kveller published my essay. Happy news is fantastic!   in other news: My days are filled with YA MS revisions. I decided to try rearranging my chapters to add tension. My MS is told via flashbacks, letters and real-time so Time is fluid. I didn't think it was going to ba as hard as it is... Continue Reading →

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