Tell the Story-a Query That Worked

Anola Pickett writes historical fiction for middle grade. Her first novel, based on a true account, is Wasatch Summer. It is the story of a Mormon girl who must take care of the family’s sheep by herself in the mountains, and the troubles that ensue.

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Here is the original query letter, minus personalization.

Dear Xxx,

I am seeking representation for my middle grade historical novel, HANNAH’S LEAP.

In the late 1800’s, many young children carried heavy responsibilities, often alone, helping their families survive. In HANNAH’S LEAP, family circumstances force a young Mormon girl to take the family sheep for summer grazing in the mountains above Cache Valley, Utah. She must conquer her fears and lack of confidence as she faces loneliness and dangers. A small band of Blackfeet summering nearby become daily visitors to Hannah’s camp, and she forms a close friendship with Always Singing, a girl her age. By the time she returns home at summer’s end, Hannah has discovered inner strengths that surprise her and she has grown into a stronger, more independent person.

My published credits include a chapter book (OLD ENOUGH FOR MAGIC, HarperCollins) and an educational book (MULTIPLE INTELLIGENCES AND POSITIVE LIFE HABITS, Corwin Press), as well as over 80 stories and articles in both the juvenile and adult magazine market. A member of SCBWI and HWKT (Heartland Writers for Kids and Teens), I participate in a weekly critique group. I am a former classroom teacher and school librarian and until recently was an instructor for the Institute of Children’s Literature.

The manuscript is approximately 29,500 words and has been reviewed by a Mormon librarian and a Blackfeet elder for historical and cultural accuracy. Besides a visit to the Blackfeet reservation in Montana, I have spent time in the Cache Valley area of Utah, where I heard many family stories of children’s bravery and responsibility.

The first ten pages are included in this email. I hope you will consider reading the full manuscript. This is a simultaneous query.

Thank you for your attention.

Sincerely,

Anola Pickett

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