Thursday, April 4, 2013

The Query Contest

Start your engines, people, 'cause here it comes: the much-anticipated Query Contest.

Contain yourselves, readers. You're making a spectacle.

It's pretty easy. I'll give you the bare bones of my new client Roger White's phenomenal horror manuscript, West of Sienna--without revealing any spoilers, of course--and you'll assemble those details into a query that will leave editors salivating. To the best query goes eternal glory and a Twitter mention.

Here it is:

  • The setting is West Sienna, Texas; in the summer of 1967
  • The protagonist is 13-year-old Gary Tolliver
  • Gary's friends are Scooter Travis and Andy Reyes. Andy is new to town, a one-armed Latino teen who constitutes Gary's only real rival for the top spot on the track team
  • Shortly after the book opens, a local tow truck driver is found murdered, his mouth sewn shut and his brain removed. The boys do some research and find that similar murders, in which each victim had his mouth sewn shut and a body part (eyes, brain, tongue, genitals, or heart) removed, have occurred in the region in spurts since at least the 1920s. 
  • A local teenager is murdered and castrated
  • Gary and his friends attempt to get to the bottom of what's happening as more victims surface

And...go! I'll give it about a week and a half to let everyone get their queries in. Use the helpful link here for some query-writing tips, then post your work on your own page. Comment here to let me know you've done it!

Godspeed, authors. Godspeed. 


  1. Finished it! Do I get a prize for being the first to comment? :)

    It was fun to write. Good practice.

  2. OOOH! Roger's got an awesome story line on his hands - I've got shivers just reading it! Okay - off to have some fun with it...

  3. This sounds like a cool story. I won't be entering the contest. I suck at writing queries. Even when I think I've got a good one, my CP and beta rewrite it and make it much better.

  4. I'm assuming 'one-harmed' is 'one-armed.'
    Sounds like a great story. It has my wheels spinning. :)

    1. Good catch! And to think I've been representing myself as a competent editor. You know, this query contest could always use more participants...

  5. Finished it! As a Texas native and lover of spooky mysteries, I look forward to reading the book. Good luck to your client.

  6. Sorry, not entering the contest as I have too much on my plate right now. good luck to everyone else.