Resources for Querying Authors

So you're ready to begin the hunt for an agent! That's an exciting and terrifying stage for most writers. Do yourself a favour and research until you can't stand to research any more. Read synopses for other books. Read successful query letters. Spend the time to figure out which agents are the best match for your story. And more than anything, make sure your manuscript is polished, structurally sound, and your hook is sharp. One agent can see a thousand submissions in a year and may only choose to represent a few of those. Your manuscript AND your query must stand above the horde.

The Darling Axe – Manuscript Development and Editing Services

First things first—make sure you sign up for an account (free or premium, the choice is yours) at This is an unbelievable database with agency contact information, agent preferences, and submission tracking. Also, don't overlook their forum! You can (and should) swap feedback with other writers about your query letter, synopsis, and more.

Here are some additional handy resources to get you started:

Writing a Synopsis 101

Querying 101 – Ten Tips and a Template

Querying Strategically

What do lit agents do?

Query Letter Quandaries: pro tips from the pros


Query Quest: a self-paced online course for querying writers and authors 

Book Broker – A Literary Agent Interview Series

The Darling Axe has been interviewing literary agents about their personal preferences and suggestions when it comes to query letters and manuscript submissions. Their answers are very enlightening!  

Kerry D'Agostino

Thérèse Coen

Sarah Davies

Carrie Plitt

Jennifer March Soloway

Ella Marie Shupe

Sharon Belcastro

Kat Kerr


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