As I pursue my dreams of being able to support myself from freelancing, I write a lot of cold articles, rough drafts, ideas, and blog posts. Yesterday I got this idea to write a short article and submit it (or a small part of it) to Llewellyn. Query letters go along with it, it’s part of the beast. For some reason, I had the hardest time writing this query letter though. It all started with their submission guidelines.
They publish books, online content, and annuals and calendars. As I read through the submission guidelines for the annuals, I was thrown for a loop. Their guidelines said they mostly look for 50,000 words depending on the project. For an annual publication that is full of short articles?? 50,000 is almost novel length, right? I’m pretty sure they don’t want me to submit a 50,000 word article. An article is not the same as a book. And there, right there, is where I started getting all weird about the query letter. Here, I was trying to pitch a short article and suddenly my brain vapor-locked. I decided to step away from the computer for a bit and come back to it. So…that’s what I did.
I came back, refreshed, regrouped, and ready to finish this up. Naturally, as hard as I tried to find the actual name of the submissions editor, I couldn’t find it anywhere. I couldn’t find it on their website, I couldn’t find it through Google, and I couldn’t find it through Bing. I finally did something that makes me cringe, and began the salutation with “Dear Annuals Submissions Editor”. I sent the query, closed my computer, and took myself to bed. The pursuit of literary genius would just have to wait until I recovered from the debacle of the really messed up query letter. Not that I consider a short article literary genius, mind you. But you’ve got to start somewhere!