Daisy at Fresh as a Daisy (http://www.daisycarter.com) is prepping writers for a pitch contest with agent Tricia Lawrence.
As preparation, we’re encouraged to post our query letters here for critique. Here’s mine:
Dear Supreme Amazing Agent,
(Say why I chose this agent.) I hope you may be interested in my Contemporary Young Adult novel OUTSIDE IN (52,000 words).
Super-brain Alexis likes everything exactly so. Perfect prep school grades. School supplies arranged eight inches apart at exact angles. Timed phone calls with her mother. Scheduled hook-ups with her boyfriend Ben on Thursday, Saturday, and Sunday nights. As long as her longstanding self-destructive streak is hidden, all is well.
When Alexis receives a B on an essay and then endures an excruciating break-up with her boyfriend, her once orderly life starts to spin out of control. And now the precise angles lay on her leg in parallel lines, each cut an inch apart, one for each day since Ben broke up with her. She bangs her head, burns herself—anything to self-soothe and assert some control.
After her friend Miranda accidentally glimpses her scars, Alexis feels even more trapped. Now she must survive weekly therapy sessions with a counselor, forced disclosure to her parents, and worst of all: dismissal from school if she doesn’t get better. It’s up to Alexis to pull herself out of the mire—if she even wants to.
As an educator and a teacher consultant for the National Writing Project, I know how much the stories of others can speak to teenagers trying to make sense of their own lives. Although there have been other novels about cutting (for example, Patricia McCormick’s Cut and Cheryl Rainfield’s Scars), OUTSIDE IN examines the correlation between perfectionism and self-harm, a survival mechanism for intense pressure.
I am a member of SCBWI and belong to several critique groups. I am also working on two other YA projects.
Thank you for your consideration. I look forward to hearing from you.