14 Indispensable Resources for Querying Writers

For authors hoping to publish that first book, the challenge of querying for representation can be daunting. If you’re new to the #amquerying space, or thinking about taking the leap with your manuscript, here are some resources to guide you on the journey. All the below offer the basics for free, and for a fee, some provide specialty services.

Query letter and literary agent resources

The Darling Axe
A one-stop resource for the querying author with information on everything from writing a synopsis to query letter quandaries to agent interviews—and a yearly First Page challenge.

Jane Friedman on Query Letters
The definitive book industry expert unpacks the nuts and bolts of the successful query.

Eric Smith of P.S. Literary

Eric Smith
Literary agent and YA author Eric Smith has collected some excellent links for queries, non-fiction book proposals, and general advice, including social media for authors.

Writer’s Digest: writing successful queries in any genre
A list of specific query samples by genre, with 39 examples of query letters that worked for writers, along with commentary from their agents.

Polishing up a query
On Twitter, #amquerying and #writingcommunity advocate Patrick Hopkins offers a thread on how to streamline and focus your query, line by line, along with insights into industry language.

The Manuscript Academy
The Manuscript Academy hosts a conference, meeting portal, written critique marketplace, workshop hub, event space, and podcast on the craft, business, and community of publishing. Members can book q & a’s with their panel of agents.

Esmé Weijun Wang

Reaching Your Readers
Agent, publicist, and writer Cassie Mannes Murray of Pine State Publicity on finding your audience.

Esmé Weijun Wang on the Agent Call
The acclaimed novelist and essayist offers a Twitter thread on what to look for in that all-important step in the writer’s professional journey.

Podcasts for writers

The Shit No One Tells You About Writing
For emerging writers looking to improve their work, and publish, this behind-the-scenes look at the publishing industry features seasoned literary agents Carly Watters and CeCe Lyra from P.S. Literary, with host Bianca Marais.

Mitzi Rapkin of First Draft

First Draft: A Dialogue On Writing
Mitzi Rapkin conducts thoughtful, in-depth interviews with writers of fiction, non-fiction, essays, and poetry—a wide and diverse group of authors from Benjamin Percy and Emily St. John Mandel to Kent Haruf and Celeste Ng.

Mashable’s 25 best podcasts for writers
There’s everything here from grammar to craft to live storytelling and unpacking the nuances of world-building in fantasy and science fiction.


Reedsy’s best online communities for aspiring writers
From Camp NaNoWriMo to Reddit and Facebook groups, Reedsy’s list offers a range of community options for the writer ready to connect.

Writer’s Digest best writer community websites
From 2020, you’ll find everything from critique and support groups to accountability teams and networks for sharing work and expertise.

And finally, because it’s a fundamental for any writer, a Twitter thread on the best pens.

Lauren Alwan

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