Learn from others’ errors: Bad query letter #1

I’m the gatekeeper for guest posts on a website that gets a pretty decent amount of traffic. I sympathize with the writers trying to get content published; I’ve been there myself.

But the first rule is this: If you can’t write a polished query letter, you can’t get published. Sometimes it’s the little things that make a query letter look bad.

Here’s a recent email I received:

These are query letter common mistakes and I think they boil down to three things:

  • Writing like you talk,
  • Writing like you post to social media, e.g. using “&” instead of “and,” and
  • Mistakenly believing that more adjectives and adverbs improve writing.

If you’re an inexperienced writer, work with a good editor on your query letter and also run your work by an edit before you submit it to an editor in charge of guest posts.

rbmanley

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rbmanley

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Stephanie Loomis

The same thing applies for grant applications, IRB requests, and basic research.

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