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Query Letter Tips for Freelance Writers

If you are interested in writing feature articles, you will need to become skilled in the art of writing query letters. When it comes down to it, a query letter is what you will use to get in touch with editors and hopefully land yourself a project. That being said, writing a query letter is not always easy; especially if you are new to the freelance writing industry. When I got my start I spent hours on end trying to put together the perfect query letter. Luckily, once you write a few of these you will settle into a groove and in turn find it easier in the future.

Here are five tips for writing a killer query letter:

1. Make sure that there are not mistakes of any kind in your query letter. This includes both spelling and grammar related errors. If you cannot put together a quality query letter how can you expect an editor to trust you with a feature article? It is very important to proofread a query letter several times before forwarding it to an editor.

2. In most cases, you will be best served writing your query letter before you write the actual article. Many new freelance writers are under the impression that the majority of their inquiries will result in a project. Unfortunately, this is far from being true. You will find out soon enough that most query letters end up being rejected. Of course, this should not stop you from sending more and more as you find the time. By holding off on the article before you have an actual job offer, you will be able to save yourself a lot of time. And as a freelance writer, this is quite important to say the least.

3. Make your query letter as interesting as possible. Remember, many editors receive hundreds of letters each month. If yours is not interesting and to the point, the editor may toss it in the junk pile before they read what you have to say. You should include detailed information on your article idea, as well as some background details on yourself.

4. Find the right editor. The best way to do this is by using Writer’s Market. If you do not send your query letter to the right editor it may never get to the person in charge. By using Writer’s Market you can be rest assured that your query letter will get into the hands of the hiring editor 99 percent of the time.

5. Where can I find publications that accept freelance writers? As noted many times before on this blog, you should either purchase a copy of Writer’s Market or subscribe online. By doing this, you will have access to thousands of publications and editors who accept queries.

These five tips should help you to compose the perfect query letter. From there, all you have to do is forward your letter to the appropriate editor and wait for a response.

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5 Comments »Freelance WritingJune 16th, 2008

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