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Query letter for novel: Example from my work

Here's an example of a query letter I used for submitting to an independent publisher. You might find some useful ideas here for your own submissions. Needless to say, always make sure to tailor your submissions to the individual agent/publisher you're submitting to!


Dear [name of publisher],

I am submitting my novel, Stigmaplay, complete at 71,000 words, for consideration for publication. Stigmaplay is a work of satirical speculative fiction for adults, with a slightly experimental bent, similar to Line by Niall Bourke. A beta reader has also compared it to Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell. I think this book might appeal to you, as it’s speculative fiction with a hook.

Blurb: The Committee have offered June Mendelson her dream job – beta testing the world’s most immersive virtual reality technology. The VR narrative follows clients of psychiatrist Dr Virgil Birmingham, as his community struggles with the aftermath of a shooting spree. By plugging you into the minds of people with psychological disorders, this technology purports to reduce stigma. However, as June follows these stories, she begins to suspect the Committee have a different agenda.

Stigmaplay was runner-up in Novel Fair 2021 at the Irish Writers Centre.

Praise for Stigmaplay (based on extracts workshopped/submitted to Novel Fair):

Explosive, disturbing and highly original.” (Niamh Campbell, author of This Happy).

Very vivid, very well-written…very brave!” (William Ryan, author of House of Ghosts).

Immediately grabbed me…has a timing that’s just right in terms of where the technology is and where it might go” (Rick O’Shea, RTÉ broadcaster and judge of Novel Fair 2021, runs Ireland’s largest book club)

Biography: I was born and raised in Dublin, Ireland, where I currently live and work as a research psychologist. I have been published in Carta magazine (short fiction), The Irish Independent and The Psychologist (non-fiction), as well as various academic journals. I love reading anything scary, funny, or that makes me look at the world in a different way.

I am active in promoting my work. My website is www.andrewverlaine.com (you can subscribe at https://www.andrewverlaine.com/contact). and you can follow me on Twitter: @AndrewVerlaine, Facebook: @andrewverlainefiction, or Instagram: @andrewverlaine (I'm most active on Twitter). You can also listen to me reading from my work at https://soundcloud.com/andrewverlaine.

Please see attached for the first ten pages of the manuscript, along with a synopsis. I look forward to hearing from you.

Yours sincerely,

Andrew Verlaine

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