Monday, January 4, 2010

Join the Template Queen at the Florida Christian Writers’ Conference

By Cheri Cowell
2010 FCWC Faculty

Over the years as I’ve taught at writers’ conferences, I’ve become known as the Template Queen. If it is a repetitive writing activity, rather than recreating the proverbial wheel each time that task is required, I look for ways to take the drudgery out by creating a template.

I have templates for cover letters, proposals, mailings, and press releases. Yet, the most requested of all of my templates is the one for query letters.

Queries are those one page letters written to an editor “selling them on your article or book idea.” Many people hate the query letter because they are so difficult to write. We only have one page to pitch our idea, sell our writing ability, and tout our credentials. In essence, this is your first and only chance to impress this editor so you need to put your best dress on.

Several months ago I was blessed with the opportunity to travel to Israel as part of a small group of Christian journalists, BUT I needed to secure some writing assignments to assure the Ministry of Tourism I was someone worth sinking some money into. So, I pulled out my tried and trusted query template and at the end of the day, I’d created fifteen query letters. Of those fifteen letters sent, I received ten article assignments and landed two regular columnist gigs.

At one of the first writers’ conferences I attended, I learned about the six items covered in every query letter. I also learned of six “never dos,” which I will also share in my class, Learn to Write a Dynamite Query.

So, if queries have you puzzled, and if you would like to simplify this part of your writing life by learning my winning query writing process, come join me Friday afternoon. I’d love to share it with you.

Cheri Cowell has published over 250 articles in such magazines as Marriage Partnership and Ideals, and her second book, Making the Story Real: Speaking Christ Into a Changing Culture, is set to release from Beacon Hill this June.

Connect with Cheri through and or her website

In addition to teaching two workshops at the FCWC, Cheri will be assisting in the Manuscript CPR room, where you will be able to bring your work-in-progress and receive one-on-one feedback from published authors.

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