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SSWG: Query Letter Workshop
Welcome to the Silver Spring Writers Group. Every fourth Wednesday we will meet to discuss the craft, business, and tools of writing from 7 – 9 pm at Zeds Café (8225 GEORGIA AVE SILVER SPRING, MD 20912). We will consider everything from world building and dialogue to queries and markets. In addition, expect writing prompts, critiques, readings, and anything the group decides might be valuable or fun. Writers of any level of experience are welcome. This month we're going to work on query letters--YOUR query letter, which you will bring in for the group to look at. Even if your Work In Progress isn't finished, it can be helpful to write a query letter to clarify what the Major Dramatic Question is and help you bring it out in your work. If your Work In Progress is at a tender stage and writing about it feels too vulnerable, make up something else and write a query letter for it. Maybe it will give you the idea for your next work! A Query Letter should consist of: 1. A plot summary/teaser that catches the reader's attention and interest. The main points to hit in the plot summary are: a. What does the protagonist want? b. What stands in the way of the protagonist getting it? c. What are the stakes if the protagonist fails--what is at risk? Your MAIN GOAL here is to make the reader (the agent, eventually) WANT TO READ YOUR MANUSCRIPT. This is what we will mostly be working on. 2. A paragraph containing the title, genre, and word count of the manuscript, plus "comp titles"--contemporary published works that are similar to the work you are trying to sell. A few further thoughts about the theme or compelling points of the work are appropriate here if desired, but are not necessary. 3. Your brief bio, focused on your accomplishments related to writing (previously published works, articles, and awards go here, if you have them!), plus the reason why you are querying this particular agent: mention any contact you've had with them at conferences or works they've repped that are similar to your own. 4. The line, "Thank you for your time and consideration." And that's it! The Query Letter should be no more than a page long and should have a friendly but professional tone that (if possible) matches the style you use in your work. A great resource for learning about query letters is Query Shark (, which I recommend both for entertainment value AND for multiple examples of what a good query should look and sound like. (All of the Shark's victims are volunteers!) If you're not ready to research an agent yet, it's fine to make up the parts about the agent, but you should put some thought into the plot summary, your work's genre, the comp titles, and your bio. The session will begin with a writing prompt, followed by introductions and then a chance to workshop your query letter with the group. Hope to see you there! Anita and Andrew • What to bring Bring along pen and paper Copies of your query letter--enough to share with the group

Zed's Cafe

8225 Georgia Avenue · Silver Spring, MD

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Our group consists of writers at all levels of writing experience. Our meetings are usually held on the first Saturday (at 11:00 a.m.), the third Saturday (at 11:00 a.m.), and the fourth Wednesday (at 7:00 p.m.) of each month. But, sometimes this varies and the meetings are held on different Saturdays/Wednesdays in the month. Even though our meetings sometimes take place at restaurants, there is never any pressure to order food. We usually have about 5-10 people in attendance at each meeting. Hope you can join us soon!

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