Get Your Novel Published: Write an Irresistible Query Letter | Blair Thornburgh | Skillshare
Drawer
Search

Playback Speed


  • 0.5x
  • 1x (Normal)
  • 1.25x
  • 1.5x
  • 2x

Get Your Novel Published: Write an Irresistible Query Letter

teacher avatar Blair Thornburgh, Multi-published author and editor

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

    • 1.

      Introduction

      1:01

    • 2.

      Query Letter Boot Camp: Lecture and Demonstration

      29:54

  • --
  • Beginner level
  • Intermediate level
  • Advanced level
  • All levels

Community Generated

The level is determined by a majority opinion of students who have reviewed this class. The teacher's recommendation is shown until at least 5 student responses are collected.

240

Students

--

Projects

About This Class

If you're ready to submit your novel and land a literary agent, but feel stumped or unsure about query letters, this is the class for you.

Blair Thornburgh is a multi-published author with HarperCollins, Simon & Schuster, and Abrams Books and a former Senior Editor of NYT and international bestsellers at Quirk Books. This class will teach you to write the kind of irresistible query letter by getting to the heart of your story, characters, and marketability—all in a few short paragraphs. 

Query letters—the letters that describe your novel, brag your bio, and hook an agent—can be intimidating. It’s easy to agonize over draft after draft and still not know if you’re nailing the form. But for writers who are serious about traditional publication, getting that query pitch-perfect is essential. A flabby query can lead to form rejections, submission limbo, and endless waiting.

Fortunately, they’re easy to learn! Join professional editor and multi-published author Blair Thornburgh (that’s me!) for a nuts-and-bolts class that will kick your query letter into overdrive with clear explanations, specific examples, and guided drafting to make your query letter irresistible.

Blair's critically-acclaimed books have received multiple starred reviews and appeared on Best of the Year lists from Publishers Weekly, the American Library Association, and Bank Street Children's Books. As a Senior Editor at Quirk Books, she was named one of Publishers Weekly’s Rising Stars for 2017. She received her MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults from Hamline University, and also hosts The Query Show, a podcast all about—you guessed it—query letters.

Course highlights:

  • The basics of the query process
  • How to draft a killer query quickly
  • Detailed breakdowns of strong and weak queries
  • The secrets of a captivating plot summary
  • Top query mistakes to avoid
  • Etiquette faux pas and how to avoid them
  • How and where to find the right agents to query

Testimonials

I received 11 requests and an offer of rep last week! Thanks for your edits and being a part of the querying process. I appreciate it so much.
—Brian Z., YA Author

Working with Blair was great all around. She suggested various ways in which I could improve my query letter, several of which had not occurred to me over several rounds of looking it over on my own.
—Allie F., Fantasy Author 

Meet Your Teacher

Teacher Profile Image

Blair Thornburgh

Multi-published author and editor

Teacher

Hi, I'm Blair! I'm a published author of five books and a publishing professional with over seven years of editorial experience. 

My critically-acclaimed books, including Ordinary Girls, Who's That Girl, and SKULLS!, have received multiple starred reviews and appeared on Best of the Year lists from Publishers Weekly, the American Library Association, and Bank Street Children's Books. As a Senior Editor at Quirk Books, I was named one of Publishers Weekly’s Rising Stars for 2017. I earned my MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults from Hamline University, and I also host The Query Show, a podcast all about query letters.

 

See full profile

Level: Intermediate

Class Ratings

Expectations Met?
    Exceeded!
  • 0%
  • Yes
  • 0%
  • Somewhat
  • 0%
  • Not really
  • 0%

Why Join Skillshare?

Take award-winning Skillshare Original Classes

Each class has short lessons, hands-on projects

Your membership supports Skillshare teachers

Learn From Anywhere

Take classes on the go with the Skillshare app. Stream or download to watch on the plane, the subway, or wherever you learn best.

Transcripts

1. Introduction: Hi, I'm editor and author Blair Thornburg. And this class is get your novel published, right and irresistible query letter. This class is for novelist writing fiction for any age group and in any genre. If you're a writer about to start looking for a literary agent, this class will break down what a query letter is. How to craft one that showcases everything that's great about your book and common pitfalls to avoid. If you've already started sending query letters but haven't gotten much interest. This class can help you understand where you might need to tighten and revise to hook an agent. And even if you're still working on your novel, this class can guide you to think ahead about the broad strokes of your story that will ultimately make it sellable to your dream agent. By the end of the class, you'll learn how to use a basic query letter template as the skeleton for almost any query letter. What makes a good query versus a bad query? Best practices of query letter etiquette, and where to look for literary agents to query. I hope you'll join.