QUITE THE QUERY with Mary Elizabeth Summer and TRUST ME, I’M LYING



If you ask any writer about the process of connecting with their agent (or publisher), the majority will say the most difficult part was querying. Not only the actual process of sending out the letters/emails, but formulating the query itself. In fact, I’ve heard more than a few writers say writing their query took them almost as long as drafting their book!

Some people have the talent of being able to summarize their book in a few sentences. But for those who don’t, I wanted to provide a resource so writers could learn what works, and what doesn’t, in a query.

With that in mind, I’m pleased to share today’s successful query from Mary Elizabeth Summer. This great query connected her with her agent, Laura Bradford of Bradford Literary Agency.

Julep Dupree is not a real person. In fact, Julep isn’t even her real name. She’s a grifter, a con artist, a master…

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The No-Stress Way To Create Your Story’s Logline

Writers In The Storm Blog

medium_4467347340by Laura Drake@PBRWriter

I love loglines. There’s no better feeling than pulling together words that capture the spirit of your book in a perfect, compelling way. I teach a submissions class for the Lawson Writer’s Academy and find that loglines are a major source of stress for my students.

Have you ever noticed that loglines are only fun to come up with when they’reNOT yours?

There’s a reason for that.

But first, there’s some confusion about taglines vs loglines, so let’s start there.

  • A tagline is a catchy ‘movie poster’ phrase.
  • A logline is a 25 word synopsis of your book.

Examples illustrate the difference clearly:


Tagline – Don’t go in the water.

Logline – After a series of grisly shark attacks, a sheriff struggles to protect his small beach community against the bloodthirsty monster, in spite of the greedy chamber of commerce. (from

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I’d Rather Write a Novel than a Summary of that Novel


I’m at it again. One of my most frustrating times of the year. Writing the dreaded “blurb” that will become the back of my novel or the description on Amazon or just the pitch that I’ll use with reviewers.

I’m nearly at the point of sending the draft of my fourth novel out to some early readers for feedback, so I thought I should “sharpen the pencil” and try to hammer out a simple pitch, so they know what to expect.


Nothing simple about it. I just spent the last half hour writing five paragraphs of description about my novel and all of it is garbage.

Summary writing is creative writing. Perhaps one has to be even more creative to write a good summary than to write a good novel. How can you boil 60000 words down to a hundred. An “elevator pitch” some might like to say. All…

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