Query for a Memoir

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Ryan
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Query for a Memoir

Post by Ryan » December 8th, 2009, 12:19 pm

After reading the posted Queries for fiction novels and reading sample queries for Informative Non-fiction, my brain is sort of twisted on which way to go for a memoir. Starting with action seems to be have much more impact. Anyone else out there pitching a memoir? It's taken 3 years to write my 250 page book and just as long to come up with one page to pitch the work. Wish I had some hair to pull...

Thanks for putting this together Nathan and thanks to all the amazing contributors. It's the best and most useful forum/blog I've come across. A lot of other sites are bogged down with teens writing poems about their love woes. Cool that they're writing but not so cool for constructive and informative feedback.

Cheers

Ryan
My love of fly fishing and surfing connects me to rivers and the ocean. Time with water reminds me to pursue those silly little streams of thought that run rampant in my head.
http://www.withoutrain.com/

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Mira
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Re: Query for a Memoir

Post by Mira » December 8th, 2009, 2:06 pm

Ryan,

I'm not an expert by any means, I just read agent's blogs. But I'll dive in and tell you what I think.

Memoir is labeled 'non-fiction'. I believe it's seen as a form of narrative non-fiction. So, the query process for memoir is very different than that for fiction.

You do write a query letter, but you also need to write a full proposal. I would click on Nathan's faq about non-fiction queries, it's helpful. Also, you can go to agent websites or blogs where the agents specifically represent non-fiction. They will explain their submission process. Some give detailed information about proposals.

In terms of the 'hook' for memoir, I agree, I don't think it's action. I think it's theme.

For example: I have 10 arms. At first, I thought I was a freak. Through my deep, profound, touching and rewarding experiences, however, I learned that having 10 arms made me not only special, but better able to help the armless.

Something like that. :)

Hope that was helpful. Good luck!

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ElisabethMoore
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Re: Query for a Memoir

Post by ElisabethMoore » December 8th, 2009, 2:47 pm

Nathan has said in the past that the rules for memoir as the same as for fiction: http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/sho ... tcount=631 So, you would need a query for a completed memoir and not a proposal unless things have changed in the last two years.

As for how to write the query, I don't have much advice. I would think you need a hook of some kind; what that is depends on the memoir itself.

Good luck!

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Mira
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Re: Query for a Memoir

Post by Mira » December 8th, 2009, 4:21 pm

Whoops! Looks like I was wrong - I'd follow Nathan's advice about querying.

Sorry about that, Ryan. :)

Good luck!

rose
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Re: Query for a Memoir

Post by rose » December 8th, 2009, 4:30 pm

Ryan, I am so glad you started this topic.

I have scrutinized all of the query guidelines I can find, and most experts say that the query should follow the fiction format. However, I would think that if you wanted to mention proposal elements like market and platform considerations, since they show the built in readership of the ten-armed group, then you could so so in your reply once Agent Wunderbar (or is it bear) has requested a sample read.

I will look forward to your query. I am about to put my hook up, so please sharpen the read pen, and help me smooth it out.
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