YA Contemporary Fiction - 'Jigsaw Boy'

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Animad345
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YA Contemporary Fiction - 'Jigsaw Boy'

Post by Animad345 » May 23rd, 2012, 1:36 pm

Dear Agent,

I am currently seeking representation for JIGSAW BOY, my contemporary young adult novel, complete at 46,000 words. It will appeal to fans of Malorie Blackman, who also approaches serious issues in a realistic, unflinching and ultimately hopeful way.

Fifteen year old Zavier Grey’s life was changed forever when a gang fight killed his best friend and left him severely disfigured. A chance meeting with Jazz Hartley, his grief counsellor’s daughter, leads to an unexpected friendship and Zavier finally feels accepted by someone who didn’t know him before his drastic change in appearance. But Jazz has a few secrets of her own and Zavier soon learns that he isn’t the only one who is broken by painful memories.

I have been writing seriously since I was fourteen years old and I was shortlisted for the Take a Break Young Fiction Writer of the Year Award in 2010. I have written three novel length manuscripts, but JIGSAW BOY is the closest to my heart and I think that, as I am teenager myself, young adults will be able to relate to my characters.

Thank you for taking the time to consider representing my work. I look forward to hearing from you.

Yours sincerely,

(Name)

***

I am from the UK, so to anyone who doesn't know who Malorie Blackman is: she is a YA author who has written about many different issues, such as racism, teenage pregnancy, attitudes towards homosexuality and bulimia. Thank you very much for reading my query letter and I look forward to your suggestions. :D

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GaoYuQing
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Re: YA Contemporary Fiction - 'Jigsaw Boy'

Post by GaoYuQing » May 23rd, 2012, 7:45 pm

Wow, a teenager writing this? Very impressive. I know my first attempt at a query wasn't this good :)
Animad345 wrote:Dear Agent,

I am currently seeking representation for JIGSAW BOY, my contemporary young adult novel, complete at 46,000 words. It will appeal to fans of Malorie Blackman, who also approaches serious issues in a realistic, unflinching and ultimately hopeful way. This should all be moved to the end

Fifteen year old Zavier Grey’s life was changed forever when a gang fight killed his best friend and left him severely disfigured. A chance meeting with Jazz Hartley, his grief counsellor’s daughter, leads to an unexpected friendship and Zavier finally feels accepted by someone who didn’t know him before his drastic change in appearance.This sentence is just too long. It runs on and you lose the "punchiness" you want to have in a hook. I'd probably suggest splitting it into two sentence (with some rewrite of course) after "friendship." But Jazz has a few secrets of her own and Zavier soon learns that he isn’t the only one who is broken by painful memories.

here's where you insert your book name, genre and wordcount from aboveI have been writing seriously since I was fourteen years old and I was shortlisted for the Take a Break Young Fiction Writer of the Year Award in 2010. I have written three novel length manuscripts, but JIGSAW BOY is the closest to my heart and I think that, as I am teenager myself, young adults will be able to relate to my characters.

Thank you for taking the time to consider representing my work. I look forward to hearing from you.I've been told this is a pet peeve by many agents. Just leave off with thanking them

Yours sincerely,

(Name)

***

I am from the UK, so to anyone who doesn't know who Malorie Blackman is: she is a YA author who has written about many different issues, such as racism, teenage pregnancy, attitudes towards homosexuality and bulimia. Thank you very much for reading my query letter and I look forward to your suggestions. :D
Well that's the best I feel I can do at the moment. We'll see what some others think :)

Animad345
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Re: YA Contemporary Fiction - 'Jigsaw Boy'

Post by Animad345 » May 24th, 2012, 2:40 am

I agree with all of your suggestions- they all make complete sense. After reading it again, I felt that the idea of Zavier being accepted by Jazz is a filler and can just be eliminated. Does this sound better?

Dear Agent,

Fifteen year old Zavier Grey’s life was changed forever when a gang fight killed his best friend and left him severely disfigured. A chance meeting with Jazz Hartley, his grief counsellor’s daughter, leads to an unexpected friendship. But Jazz has a few secrets of her own and Zavier soon learns that he isn’t the only one who is broken by painful memories.

JIGSAW BOY is a contemporary young adult novel, complete at 46,000 words. It will appeal to fans of Malorie Blackman, who also approaches serious issues in a realistic, unflinching and ultimately hopeful way.

I have been writing seriously since I was fourteen years old and I was shortlisted for the Take a Break Young Fiction Writer of the Year Award in 2010. I have written three novel length manuscripts, but JIGSAW BOY is the closest to my heart and I think that, as I am teenager myself, young adults will be able to relate to my characters.

Thank you for taking the time to consider representing my work.

Yours sincerely,

(Name)
Last edited by Animad345 on June 4th, 2012, 5:17 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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GaoYuQing
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Re: YA Contemporary Fiction - 'Jigsaw Boy'

Post by GaoYuQing » May 24th, 2012, 8:02 am

It's concise, but perhaps you've made it too much so. We don't want a synopsis, but perhaps give us a bit more to work with. Are there any other major plot events? Tease us with a little more info to bring us in and want to read this story. Right now you spend more time talking about yourself than your book and I'd worry how that would sound. You want to sell it as well as yourself after all ;)

Animad345
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Re: YA Contemporary Fiction - 'Jigsaw Boy'

Post by Animad345 » May 24th, 2012, 12:12 pm

I agree. I also felt that there was something missing. Does this sound better? Also, thank you so much for the fast reply. It's great to have someone to bounce ideas of off.


Dear Agent,

Fifteen year old Zavier Grey’s life was changed forever when a gang fight killed his best friend and left him severely disfigured. A chance meeting with Jazz Hartley, his grief counsellor’s daughter, leaves him blind sighted. Confused by Jazz’s coldness but intrigued by her cynical nature, Zavier persists and an unexpected friendship blossoms between the two. But Jazz has a few secrets of her own and Zavier soon learns that he isn’t the only one who is broken by painful memories.

I am currently seeking representation for JIGSAW BOY, my contemporary young adult novel, complete at 46,000 words. It will appeal to fans of Malorie Blackman, who also approaches serious issues in a realistic, unflinching and ultimately hopeful way.

I have been writing seriously since I was fourteen years old and I was shortlisted for the Take a Break Young Fiction Writer of the Year Award in 2010. I have written three novel length manuscripts, but JIGSAW BOY is the closest to my heart and I think that, as I am teenager myself, young adults will be able to relate to my characters.

Thank you for taking the time to consider representing my work.

Yours sincerely,

(Name)

Amanda Elizabeth
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Re: YA Contemporary Fiction - 'Jigsaw Boy'

Post by Amanda Elizabeth » May 24th, 2012, 12:53 pm

From the research I've done with query letters, many agents don't want to know you're young, and some are less likely to consider reading a manuscript by a teenager. Also, not really on topic, but 46,000 words is really short -- less than 200 pages -- I don't think it's even considered a novel under 60,000 words, unless you're going for the 14 and under children's market where books run shorter.

Animad345
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Re: YA Contemporary Fiction - 'Jigsaw Boy'

Post by Animad345 » May 24th, 2012, 1:46 pm

I agree about the age issue. I should take that out. However, YA contemporary fiction can run anywhere between 45,000 words and 80,000. Thank you for your input. I definitely feel that I need to revise and lengthen my query. I need to write more about the story and perhaps cut the bio, as what I have written about myself doesn't seem relevant or necessary. Once I have done this, I will post the new query.

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