1. rainy

    rainy New Member

    Jan 14, 2010
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    Query Letters - Writing Experience

    Discussion in 'Publishing' started by rainy, Mar 3, 2010.

    I have a series of questions concerning writing query letters, which I thought would be better broken into individual threads. Also, I have researched and formulated some concept of an answer but there's a lot of knowledgeable people here I'd like to tap. If these questions have been covered, I apologize in advance because I did not find them.

    When writing a query letter, what is acceptable to put down as writing experience and what is not? In particular, if I take a series of creative writing, character development and dialogue classes at the local community college, is it worth putting such on my query letter? Or, would that just draw attention to the fact I have little to no publishing background?

    Also, what about unrelated professional writing experience? I did technical writing for a large company for several years. It doesn't have any bearing on the story I'm hustling ( :) ) but would it be useful in showing that someone, somewhere paid something for me to string words together?

    Outside of flat-out being published, what are ways to gain at least a speck of credibility that can be added to a query letter?


  2. Cogito

    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

    May 19, 2007
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    Massachusetts, USA
    If you don't have anything published, don't bother writing about your experience. All the publisher wants to know about is publishing credits, particularly in the genre you are submitting to.

    You know, there are quite a few threads in this section that already answer most of these questions. Instead of creating new threads, it makes sense to first look around and see what has already been discussed.
  3. EileenG

    EileenG New Member

    Feb 15, 2010
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    If you can claim that the technical writing is a form of journalism, it's worth mentioning, if only because journalists understand the important of rewriting and getting the work done on time.

    I wouldn't mention courses, but if you've won any prizes for writing, that's worth mentioning.
  4. mammamaia

    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

    Nov 21, 2006
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    Coquille, Oregon
    agents/editors are usually only interested in any significant and relevant paid credits...

    definitely not!... that's no evidence of talent/skill... you could have flunked the courses... ;-)

    yes, it would...

    doesn't really show that you can write fiction, but if the company is well-known, it could give you some bit of legitimacy... and if the book has any technical stuff in it that relates to your expertise, that's definitely helpful... such as when a former cia worker writes a spy novel... even if they were in the research dept, they'd still have insider info, to make the work 'authentic'...

    none, other than the above... if you've none of that, just say nothing and let the work speak for itself... it will, anyway, regardless of your background...

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