The Query

Howdy, writer peeps!

Okay, for all of you who are wondering “just what kind of query gets you a free scholarship to a NYC conference?” — here ya go.

FYI, I broke two of the cardinal rules for queries on this one: I was the only one to see it before I sent it (um, I wrote it rather quickly), and I put a cliche in on purpose. Kind of a query in-joke, which is a complete no-no. See if you can spot it, and leave a note in the comments. (It’ll be easy. It’s on the Top Ten Instant Rejections for Queries list. I guess the agents at Fineprint have finely honed senses of humor, thank goodness.)

Oh, and no, I do not yet have representation for this novel… anyone want to see my full? (wink, wink)
Dear Ms. Lindsay:

Habitual liar and recent fifth-grade graduate Cameron Blakeley would like above all else to remain cootie-free, spending his summer in front of the television or, better yet, the computer monitor. But when he tells a whopper at the end-of-school dance, he gets caught up in his own lie, and his mother signs him up for the worst torture imaginable: Comportment Camp.

Forced to spend his summer days practicing small talk and the foxtrot with cootie-ridden girls and a rich kid named Henry whose pet project is destroying Cameron’s reputation, Cameron finds himself making a most unusual friend: a dress-wearing, chicken-dancing girl named Estelle. Then Cameron, driven to the edge by Henry, humiliates Estelle in front of the whole class. Their friendship is destroyed. Or is it?

Cooties be darned! Cameron enlists his mom, dad, and every one of his friends in his plan to get revenge on Henry and make amends with Estelle. It will take all his skills as a liar, vandal, mischief-maker and ballroom dancer to win back Estelle’s friendship.

Escape From Comportment Camp is a 34,000 word humorous middle grade “boy book.” I am seeking representation, and your agency is at the top of my list. The full manuscript is available on request.

In addition to membership in the SCBWI and the Writer’s League of Texas, I hold a Master of Arts in Fiction Writing from the University of Texas at Austin, 1997. I won the Writer’s League of Texas 2009 Manuscript Contest, and the 1998 John Graves Writing Competition. Links to my published essays and articles can be found at This is my first full-length work of children’s fiction.

Thank you for your time and attention. I hope to hear from you soon.

Nikki Loftin

Posted in Children's Fiction on 09/27/2009 12:18 am

1 Comment

  1. Lisa Iriarte

    Nicely written query. I can see why you won!


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