Creativity Magazine

The Perfectly Honest Query Letter

By Heddigoodrich

Dear Not Really the Agent of My Dreams
If I’m to be perfectly honest, you’re the fifty-third agent I’ve contacted. Fifty-three is not exactly my lucky number but I do like how your last name rhymes with “civil”. I hope this means you’ll get another cup of coffee and bear with me while I pitch you my manuscript.
Are you sick and tired of reading stereotyped memoirs about middle-aged American women who go to romantic Rome or Tuscany, with an Italian phrasebook in their pocket, to find themselves again thanks to bowlfuls of ravioli and tall, dark and handsome lovers whom they thankfully can’t communicate with? If so, then you might like my memoir about a much younger American student living in the dredges of a rat-infested ghetto in the economically depressed and corrupt Naples who escapes after undergoing earthquakes, nightmares about an impending volcanic eruption, and a week in the surgery ward where her depressed Italian lover ends up with a hole in his chest.
I’d rather not put you off so early in our relationship by telling you how many words my manuscript is. Suffice to say that it’s a love story, which is actually just an excuse to launch into self-indulgent descriptions of my adopted city, Naples. There are no explicit sex scenes but I’d be happy to add them in. I’d also be prepared to take out a few of the ‘characters’, such as Carmine the bleach seller. But not the homeless priest with no legs or the pot-smoking Sicilian.
I’d love to tell you how special you are as an agent and why I ‘handpicked’ you, but I simply wasn’t able to get enough information about you on the Internet. From your website it does look like you’ve published a few cheesy titles, but I’m willing to overlook this if you’re interested in representing me.
I’m a teacher, translator, proofreader and mother of one. My list of publications includes two scathing book reviews for The Dunedin Star. That’s pretty much it.
Please find attached the first chapter of my manuscript. Don’t worry about the short length: there are sixty-four more of them, should you wish to read on.
I appreciate your time in considering my submission.
Heddi Rebecca Goodrich
P.S. Please take note of my auspicious surname. Some day my memoir will be a bestseller and earn some lucky agent a wad of cash. I hope you won’t be like all the others and set yourself up for a lifetime of regret.

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