Query Quest: a self-paced course for querying authors

Query Quest: a self-directed course for querying authors

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Few writers land representation on their first novel. Most literary agents sign fewer than 1% of the writers who query them. Darling Axe editors have interviewed many agents as part of our Book Broker series, and they all speak to a similar issue: most writers query before they are truly ready. 

This deep-dive course covers everything you need to know about the querying process, including activities for self-assessment, examples of killer synopses and query letters, interviews with agents, an analysis of the reality of landing representation, plus many more resources. Work at your own pace in our user-friendly Moodle site.

  • Comprehensive guides on various craft topics
  • Directed activities and self-assessment prompts
  • Detailed and tested querying strategy
  • Agent interviews and analysis
  • Affordable access: only $30 USD

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Course summary

This course is full of content, and that can be overwhelming to some, but I highly recommend you dive right in. And while you're at it, set some deadlines for yourself. One of the most important qualities of successful authors is their dedication to the craft—the discipline to sit down each day and work, whether that's researching, outlining, drafting, revising, or polishing. With this in mind, I recommend you set realistic goals for this course and stick to them. One unit per week is a reasonable target.

  • Unit one: The Query
    • Focus: Identifying your nutshell structure and narrative bridge
  • Unit two: The Synopsis
    • Focus: Identifying voice; merging plot and soul
  • Unit three: The Manuscript
    • Focus: How ready is ready?
  • Unit four: The Hunt
    • Focus: Research tips, agent interviews, key resources
  • Unit five: The Reality
    • Focus: The competition—who and what you're up against

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Your instructor

David G Brown, Darling Axe Senior Editor

David Griffin Brown is an award-winning short-fiction writer and Darling Axe senior editor. He has 20 years' editing experience, and has also spent 15 years working as a staff trainer, English teacher, and writing instructor. David completed his MFA in creative writing through the University of British Columbia, and he also holds an undergraduate degree in anthropology through the University of Victoria.  David's two debut novels, Sky to Sea and The Sparrow War, are both represented by the Donaghy Literary Group.


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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 realize your vision and 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

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