New contest coming in October: Clash of the Query Letters

Clash of the Query Letter—a writing contest for querying authors and writers

A new writing contest for querying authors

In the fiction world, a query letter alone is not enough to land representation. The manuscript's first sentence, first paragraph, and first page are the crucial test. However, a query letter acts as a writer's resume or c/v. It sets the tone, lays out the market potential, and introduces the human behind the words and ideas. And of course, it also pitches the story itself. While an ideal query letter may not seal the deal, it will fill literary agents with eager excitement—a most helpful frame of mind for them to be in as they turn to your sample pages.

Our judge, Michelle Barker, will be asking herself one question: does this query letter convince me that I'm in the hands of an adept  novelist with an immersive and engaging story to tell?

Entry fee: $5 CAD

First place: $700 CAD
Second place: $200 CAD
Third place: $100 CAD

The contest opens mid-October 2021 and closes March 31, 2022.

ALSO NEW: OPTIONAL FEEDBACK

For the first time ever, we will be offering optional feedback on contest entries. For an additional $15 CAD, we will send you a brief analysis of your entry's strengths and snags. This will come in the form of an email with a few notes about what our screeners thought, as well as any relevent resources. (Please note: this feedback will not be sent until after the contest closes and winners are announced—sometime in April 2022.)

Clash of the Query Letters—a query letter writing contest for querying writers and authors seeking literary representation

About the Darling Axe

We are professional editors as well as award-winning writers. We understand the intense effort and emotional investment you have poured into your work. It's our job to help you take your manuscript to the next level.



Work with a professional fiction editor from the Darling Axe: manuscript development and book editing services



Darling Axe Academy – Query Quest: a self-paced querying course

Darling Axe Academy – Best-laid plans: a self-paced outlining course

Book a sample edit with a professional fiction editor from the Darling Axe: manuscript development and book editing services

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