Saturday, November 5, 2016

How I Scored a Query Workshop (with French Press Bookworks)

As I mentioned a few days ago, last week I "stumbled upon" a free Query Workshop - ON TWITTER! To celebrate finishing Draft 3 of Blessed Are the Peace Makers, Coming Home, I enrolled and cobbled together a quick query letter and emailed it to James Stryker (guest query ninja) and French Press Bookworks, the brilliant host.

A Free Query Workshop - Yeeehaaa!
For those who don’t know, a query is a one-page cover letter sent to prospective agents and publishers to gain interest in an author’s manuscript. The query typically accompanies a 1-3 page synopsis of your novel and/or a sample, say the first three to fifty pages (depending on the particular agent or editor).

If your query sucks, the rest probably won’t get read. So you can see how important a query letter is to the author pursuing a traditional publishing contract.

I expected to be one of several attending what I thought was an online workshop, so you can imagine my surprise when it was recorded LIVE on Google Hangouts and I, and my query, were the only guests. (Had I poked around a little prior to what was actually an Author Workshop, I probably would have figured this out.)

Before the workshop, I had dinner at my sister's and ran home with only twenty minutes to spare. Changing in to my pj's, robe and old Koolaburra's (like Uggs only handmade in Australia), I had enough time to access Dionne Abouelela's email, download the Google Hangouts app on my iPhone and click in.

There was Dionne, headphones on, live and in color and me in my pj's and robe. Seeing myself in the screen, I shucked my tell-tale robe because, well, for obvious reasons. Suffice it to say, I was ecstatic to have Dionne and James to myself, but mortified that my first online appearance as an author is with me in my pj's, freshly washed-and-oiled face and hair that hadn't seen a brush since morning.

I kid you not. If nothing else, it'll be a great story to tell when I am rich and famous. Plus, not knowing in advance kept me from being nervous. At all. Ever. Not once.

So yay for me (and boo for me).

Dionne Abouelela and James Stryker were fabulous, their feedback, helpful and encouraging. I was so stoked I couldn't fall sleep until the wee hours of the morning. Our Query Workshop is available for viewing on French Press Bookworks's website and YouTube, and now you can link to it through That Rebel with a Blog.

If you're in the query process, I encourage you to watch. All aspects of a query letter are addressed, using mine as an example. If you're not in the query process, I encourage you to watch. You can see me in pj's and hear Bugsy (my cat) join the show.

Either way, watch the Author Workshop with me, author of Blessed Are the Peace Makers, Coming Home, Dionne Abouelela, French Press Bookworks and editor at Penname Publishing, and James Stryker, author of Assimilation and other soon-to-be-published books.

Enjoy our Author Workshop. I did!

~ That Rebel, O.J. Barre (aka Olivia)

To view the Query Workshop, click one of the links above or CLICK HERE.

Connect with Dionne Abouelela and French Press Bookworks: Twitter @FPBookworks or

Connect with James Stryker: Twitter @JStryker21 or

Connect with me: Twitter @OJBarreAuthor 

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