Life Journeys of a Cockney Girl

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winwritewin
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Life Journeys of a Cockney Girl

Post by winwritewin » April 10th, 2011, 8:38 am

I chose to submit my work to you because of your previous interest in memoirs, and because of your affiliation with the respected …….Agency.

Life Journeys of a Cockney Girl, is a 91,000 word Memoir and is my first book. A second book nears completion.

If she had known her mother tried to give birth to her down the toilet, Iris might have been better prepared for the life she was born into and the traumatic events that followed.

Iris Jones was only five years old when separated from her family during the evacuation of Britain's children in WWII (1939 – 1945). Torn from her mother's arms and packed on to a crowded train, she faces a terrifying, unknown future amongst strangers. The story follows her life-journeys and her desperate search for love, acceptance and validation during the war years and throughout the painful adjustment of the years that follow. Her inherent Cockney humour is her only weapon against the painful ordeals and scars of discrimination, humiliation, hunger, disease and neglect, plus the fear and guilt of incidents of sexual abuse. She continues to struggle through the on-going effects that the evacuation had on her and a now estranged, dysfunctional family. Iris does eventually find love at the age of 15 years, when she meets an American GI; she marries within a year and leaves England for the United States of America, where she hopes to find her place in the world and to at last, feel that she is a "someone".

I am the author of short stories and poetry published in anthologies in the USA and the UK. I have read excerpts of this book on National Public Radio (NPR) in the USA, and on BBC Wales; by invitation, I have also given talks and readings to many groups.

The Target Market for the subject of my stories is among, but not limited to, the almost 3.5 million British evacuees and their descendants as well as the hundreds of thousands of GI Brides and families, now spread throughout the world. I maintain a home in the USA but currently live and write in the UK. I am able to market
and promote my work in both countries

Thank you for your time, and I look forward to your response.

glj
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Re: Life Journeys of a Cockney Girl

Post by glj » April 10th, 2011, 11:55 am

I chose to submit my work to you because of your previous interest in memoirs, and because of your affiliation with the respected …….Agency.

Life Journeys of a Cockney Girl, No comma needed here, and title should be in all caps. is a 91,000 word Memoir and is my first book. A second book nears completion. No need to capitalize "memoir".

If she had known her mother tried to give birth to her down the toilet, Iris might have been better prepared for the life she was born into and the traumatic events that followed.

Iris Jones was only five years old when separated from her family during the evacuation of Britain's children in WWII (1939 – 1945). Torn from her mother's arms and packed on to a crowded train, she faces a terrifying, unknown future amongst strangers. The story follows I would advise against reducing your story to a dry history. Show us what happens to Iris instead. her life-journeys and her desperate search for love, acceptance and validation during the war years and throughout the painful adjustment of the years that follow. This is all telling. Could only be less impactful if you wrote "I will tell you stories about what happens to Iris Jones". Make the reader feel drawn in here by involving the reader in the story. Her inherent Cockney humour is her only weapon against the painful ordeals and scars of discrimination, humiliation, hunger, disease and neglect, plus the fear and guilt of incidents of sexual abuse. She continues to struggle through the on-going effects that the evacuation had on her and a now estranged, dysfunctional family. This preceding sentence seems to hint at the heart of your memoir. Iris does eventually find love Here you go from "She continues to struggle", which implies more of a current time frame, to "at the age of 15", which was a jarring jump in time for me. at the age of 15 years, when she meets an American GI; she marries within a year and leaves England for the United States of America, where she hopes to find her place in the world and to at last, feel that she is a "someone". Would recommend you move the "She continues to struggle..." sentence here, so the paragraph is not out of sequence.

I am the author of short stories and poetry published in anthologies in the USA and the UK. I have read excerpts of this book This is not a "book" yet, is merely a manuscript until it is published. on National Public Radio (NPR) in the USA, and on BBC Wales; by invitation, I have also given talks and readings to many groups.

The Target Market Why capitalized? for the subject of my stories "stories"?? You are trying to sell ONE story here. is among, but not limited to, Awkward, almost legalistic language. The letter should flow and read easily. the almost 3.5 million British evacuees and their descendants as well as the hundreds of thousands of GI Brides and families, now spread throughout the world. I maintain a home in the USA but currently live and write in the UK. I am able to market
and promote my work in both countries

Thank you for your time, and I look forward to your response.

Your story sounds like it could be compelling, but this letter does not make me want to read more. I feel that you need to keep working on it. You have listed some interesting life events. You need to word this letter to make them more immediate and compelling.

The use of "Iris Jones" strikes me as strange wording. If this is a memoir, then "Iris" is you. I do not know what separate or additional rules may apply to memoir instead of fiction, but this third-person wording seems really dry and distant. Why not "I" instead of "Iris"? The third-person wording makes it less immediate and compelling, where dramatic events happened to some other person and not you. One of the compelling features of a memoir is that the events in the memoir really happened, which is more compelling than a made-up struggle in a fiction manuscript.

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wilderness
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Re: Life Journeys of a Cockney Girl

Post by wilderness » April 10th, 2011, 5:43 pm

winwritewin wrote:I chose to submit my work to you because of your previous interest in memoirs (I know I'm being picky here, but this makes it sound like the agent was previously but no longer interested in memoirs), and because of your affiliation with the respected …….Agency. Kinda generic, not even sure you should bother the part in blue.

Life Journeys of a Cockney Girl, is a 91,000 word memoir and is my first book. A second book nears completion.

If she had known her mother tried to give birth to her down the toilet, Iris might have been better prepared for the life she was born into and the traumatic events that followed. The first part is interesting but the second half of the sentence is a summary and not necessary.

Iris Jones was only five years old when separated from her family during the evacuation of Britain's children in WWII (1939 – 1945). Torn from her mother's arms and packed on to a crowded train, she faces a terrifying, unknown future amongst strangers. Tense change. You started with past tense and then switched to present. You should use present tense the whole way through. Also, is this actually a memoir? Are you talking about a fictional character, or yourself? If it is a memoir, this should be in first person. The story follows her life-journeys and her desperate search for love, acceptance and validation during the war years and throughout the painful adjustment of the years that follow. Her inherent Cockney humour is her only weapon against the painful ordeals and scars of discrimination, humiliation, hunger, disease and neglect, plus the fear and guilt of incidents of sexual abuse. She continues to struggle through the on-going effects that the evacuation had on her and a now estranged, dysfunctional family. Iris does eventually find love at the age of 15 years, when she meets an American GI; she marries within a year and leaves England for the United States of America, where she hopes to find her place in the world and to at last, feel that she is a "someone". This is all summarizing, telling not showing. You started with a specific event: she is separated from her family. Tell us what happens next and other key plot points, not what she learned.

I am the author of short stories and poetry published in anthologies in the USA and the UK. I have read excerpts of this book on National Public Radio (NPR) in the USA, and on BBC Wales; by invitation, I have also given talks and readings to many groups.

The Target Market for the subject of my stories is among, but not limited to, the almost 3.5 million British evacuees and their descendants as well as the hundreds of thousands of GI Brides and families, now spread throughout the world. I maintain a home in the USA but currently live and write in the UK. I am able to market
and promote my work in both countries I don't think any of this is necessary.

Thank you for your time, and I look forward to your response. A lot of agents have a pet peeve against that last part.
I've never heard of the evacuation of British children in WWII -- seems like it could be fascinating. However, it also seems like you still have some homework to do. Try reading queryshark (http://queryshark.blogspot.com/) -- she goes through a lot of the common mistakes people make, some of which I see in your query. Good luck!

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oldhousejunkie
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Re: Life Journeys of a Cockney Girl

Post by oldhousejunkie » April 14th, 2011, 4:13 pm

winwritewin wrote:I chose to submit my work to you because of your previous interest in memoirs, and because of your affiliation with the respected …….Agency. If you must keep this, move it to the bottom in your wrap-up.

Start here

Life Journeys of a Cockney Girl, is a 91,000 word Memoir and is my first book. A second book nears completion.

If she had known her mother tried to give birth to her down the toilet, Iris might have been better prepared for the life she was born into and the traumatic events that followed. Like Wilderness said, the first sentence is interesting. But I'm not sure how any of this fits into the overall scheme of the book because it's just hanging out there with no point of reference. Plus it is contradictory to what you say below--"torn from her mother's arms" makes it sound like the mother cares very much about her.

Iris Jones was only five years old when separated from her family during the evacuation of Britain's children in WWII (1939 – 1945). Torn from her mother's arms and packed on to a crowded train, tell a story from her childhood here, just don't generically glaze over these things. Like glg said: you're telling and not showing. she faces a terrifying, unknown future amongst strangers. The story follows her life-journeys and her desperate search for love, acceptance and validation during the war years and throughout the painful adjustment of the years that follow. Her inherent Cockney humour is her only weapon against the painful ordeals and scars of discrimination, humiliation, hunger, disease and neglect, plus the fear and guilt of incidents of sexual abuse. I think this line might be a good summation if used correctly. She continues to struggle through the on-going effects that the evacuation had on her and a now estranged, dysfunctional family. Iris does eventually find love at the age of 15 years, when she meets an American GI; she marries within a year and leaves England for the United States of America, where she hopes to find her place in the world and to at last, feel that she is a "someone".

I am the author of short stories and poetry published in anthologies in the USA and the UK. I have read excerpts of this book on National Public Radio (NPR) in the USA, and on BBC Wales; by invitation, I have also given talks and readings to many groups.

The Target Market for the subject of my stories is among, but not limited to, the almost 3.5 million British evacuees and their descendants as well as the hundreds of thousands of GI Brides and families, now spread throughout the world. I maintain a home in the USA but currently live and write in the UK. I am able to market
and promote my work in both countries. I'm not sure this paragraph is necessary unless the agent wants to know it specifically.

Thank you for your time, and I look forward to your response.
Good luck!

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SSB
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Re: Life Journeys of a Cockney Girl

Post by SSB » April 16th, 2011, 8:19 am

I chose to submit my work to you because of your previous interest in memoirs, and because of your affiliation with the respected …….Agency.

(I am querying you because... I am approaching you because...)

Life Journeys of a Cockney Girl, is a 91,000 word Memoir and is my first book. A second book nears completion. (I would avoid mentioning this is your first novel and I would not mention the second book.)

If she had known her mother tried to give birth to her down the toilet, Iris might have been better prepared for the life she was born into and the traumatic events that followed.

(I loved the hook. I was very interested in reading more, however you lost me in the second paragraph. Need clarity.)

Iris Jones was only five years old when separated from her family during the evacuation of Britain's children in WWII (1939 – 1945). Torn from her mother's arms and packed on to a crowded train, she faces a terrifying, unknown future amongst strangers. The story follows her life-journeys and her desperate search for love, acceptance and validation during the war years and throughout the painful adjustment of the years that follow. Her inherent Cockney humour is her only weapon against the painful ordeals and scars of discrimination, humiliation, hunger, disease and neglect, plus the fear and guilt of incidents of sexual abuse. She continues to struggle through the on-going effects that the evacuation had on her and a now estranged, dysfunctional family. Iris does eventually find love at the age of 15 years, when she meets an American GI; she marries within a year and leaves England for the United States of America, where she hopes to find her place in the world and to at last, feel that she is a "someone".

I am the author of short stories and poetry published in anthologies in the USA and the UK. I have read excerpts of this book on National Public Radio (NPR) in the USA, and on BBC Wales; by invitation, I have also given talks and readings to many groups.

The Target Market for the subject of my stories is among, but not limited to, the almost 3.5 million British evacuees and their descendants as well as the hundreds of thousands of GI Brides and families, now spread throughout the world. I maintain a home in the USA but currently live and write in the UK. I am able to market
and promote my work in both countries (This seems to limit your audience to me. I would omit this paragraph)

Thank you for your time, and I look forward to your response.

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