Query Letter Contest

If you’ve been reading my blog for awhile, you know that I absolutely, positively adore working with my agent, Rebecca Strauss, at McIntosh & Otis. Rebecca is an amazing advocate for my work, a wise advisor, and a great reader. Plus, she has an incredible sense of humor and an infectious laugh, so getting the chance to chat with her is always fun. Rebecca pulled my query letter out of the slush pile, took a chance on me, and has put so much time and hard work into getting STAY where it is today. I am eternally grateful.

Plus, Rebecca has some great clients, and I love having the opportunity to connect with them too! Two of Rebecca’s clients, Corinne and Wendy, have agreed to host blog tour stops for STAY. In honor of STAY’s publication week, Rebecca is offering to critique a query letter and the first two pages of a manuscript for one lucky writer.

To enter, leave a comment on this post. For two more entries, leave a comment on Corinne’s post and Wendy’s post. One comment per person per post, please. On Friday, we’ll announce the winner. You don’t have to have a finished manuscript to enter, although if you do, all the better.

If your commenting profile doesn’t link to an e-mail address where we can reach you if you win, make sure to either leave your e-mail address in comments, or e-mail me (info at allielarkinwrites dot com)after you leave a comment on this blog, with Query Contest in the subject line and your comment name in the body of the e-mail.

To learn more about query letters, check out this how-to guide at AgentQuery.com.

Rebecca Strauss

An Agent at McIntosh & Otis, Inc., Rebecca is eager to work with both debut and established authors. She is looking to add to her list of diverse and compelling projects and is particularly seeking non-fiction, literary and commercial fiction, women’s fiction, mysteries, memoirs, humor and pop culture. As the Director of Subsidiary Rights, she continues to build on her prior experience with Trident Media Group, as well as her time at Sony Pictures where she was a book scout and development assistant. Rebecca earned her degree in English Literature from Duke University.


  1. I’d love to enter the contest! Thanks for the opportunity, and congrats on the book! It sounds great, and I’m adding it to my wish list.

  2. Please enter me~! I’ll retweet it as well.
    Congratulations on your book :)

  3. I’d love to enter the contest as well! I own a German shepherd and cannot wait to read your book. Congratulations!!

  4. Count me in! Sounds like fun.

    See you at your book signing Friday night. Looking forward to having a copy of your book in print. Wow! How cool is that? : )

    Emily Brown
    ebrown525(Replace this parenthesis with the @ sign)gmail.com

  5. Count me in! Sounds like fun.

    See you at your book signing Friday night. I’m really looking forward to having a copy of your novel in print. Wow! How cool is that? : )

    Emily Brown
    ebrown525(Replace this parenthesis with the @ sign)gmail.com

  6. Well, a book about German Shepherds is a swell idea. I love the breed. So count me in as a query participant:

    ralfast(Replace this parenthesis with the @ sign)gamil.com


  7. This is an incredible contest. I definitely want to enter the query letter contest!

    Please bring your book tour to NYC!

  8. One more thing, I think Argo should make the book tour rounds with you. Dingo Girl would like his autograph.

  9. Anonymous says

    I would love to be entered for this.

    NhEMTGDog(Replace this parenthesis with the @ sign)comcast.net

  10. Can’t wait to read the book–and please enter me in the contest, Allie!

  11. Anonymous says

    I would love to have the chance and enter this contest..Please enter me…My email is drl7777(Replace this parenthesis with the @ sign)frontiernet.net.

  12. Congratulations on your remarkable accomplishment, Allie. Your book sounds like the perfect beach companion.

    Please enter me in the query contest.

  13. What great timing… I just started a new agent hunt.

  14. Congratulations on your book! I can’t wait to read it.

    Thanks, also, for running the contest. Count me in.

  15. Thank you for having this contest! What a great opportunity. Your agent sounds amazing and the two of you together are dynamite!

  16. I am totally entering, and still think you are the greatest ever. Hope today is a great day for you!


  17. I love the contest (stooge(Replace this parenthesis with the @ sign)stoogepie.com) and am really looking forward to getting your book, too. Congratulations!

  18. Yikes! Sorry, it’s ralfast(Replace this parenthesis with the @ sign)gmail.com, not gamil….

    I feel so stupid, down boy!


  19. Come for the contest, stay for the writing. :)

    I love hearing those “oh my gosh, I’m in print” stories! Not the jaded, “Ho hum, another day, another book in print” stories. Thank you for sharing your songs and tears of joy.

    (It gives me hope for my future.)

  20. Major congratulations to you.

    I’d love to enter your contest, too!

  21. Congrats, Allie! Been following you for a bit and am so excited to see your success! Can’t wait to read STAY.

    Please enter me the in query contest. I write exclusively non-fiction, and it sounds like a critique from Rebecca could be really valuable! Appreciate the opportunity!

  22. I’m going to have to get this book. The story sounds great! Please enter me in the contest.

  23. Please enter me in the contest. This sounds great!

  24. Your book sounds great. Please enter me in the contest too!

  25. Please enter me in the query contest. All best with the book, Allie!

  26. First, I must say that I LOVE the cover. It’s well done. Having Joe as the central image also gives us a hint that he is an important character. The little tage hanging off the title is wonderfully inspired.
    I think that having Joe in the story was a great idea because it adds something unique to an otherwise basic circumstance, and introduces an element of the unknown to the narrative. Joe is the wild card that both defines and unsettles the protagonists life. And no two dogs are the same.
    I love the humor in the pitch, as well, and the way Larkin captures the essential variables of her narrative.
    I am about to graduate from an MFA program, and part of that residency is the opportunity to meet with a real agent. I’ve been struggling with my letter for weeks. Thanks for posting the contest and please enter me. Good Luck with the launch!

  27. My German Shepherd has his paws on my shoulders as I type this, asking me to buy the book with the dog on the cover. The one represented by an agent who still has a sense of humor. Enter me!

  28. Allie, you won’t trip, your dress strap will hold, and the weeping angel statue aliens are at my house and bound and determined to stay put until I sacrifice a virgin or male that refuses to put the toilet seat down. Your journey is just beginning and thank you for letting us tag along…thanks for the contest too.

  29. My cat has sworn he won’t stop being my literary mews if I enter this contest. So, sign me up.


  30. The book looks amazing! Good luck with it.
    Please enter me in the contest.

  31. Taryn Hook says

    Query Contest

    Congratulations on your much deserved success! I loved that your query actually described what the story was about – instead of vague words like “fate,” “destiny,” and such. I only hope that I could craft such a great elevator pitch someday. Can’t wait to read your book!

    Taryn Hook
    Tarynhook(Replace this parenthesis with the @ sign)yahoo.com

  32. Congratulations on your new book! You are an inspiration for all of us new writers. I definitely want to read your book. Sounds like great fun!

    I don’t know if the contest is still on, but I’m leaving my name here, just in case.

  33. OH Ugh! I came back to your site so I could tweet the blog and give your book some promotion, but my comment isn’t showing up. I am sorry if for some reason it shows up twice in some weird, delayed cyber problem. I commented on all three blogs though. Sometimes Typepad has difficulty with authentication. I’m so excited for you! tiiajones(Replace this parenthesis with the @ sign)yahoo.com

  34. Arrrgh, I’m guessing I’ve missed the deadline on this, but if not, me! me!

  35. Thanks for the inspiration.

    Please include me in the contest.

    EileenFingerhut(Replace this parenthesis with the @ sign)hotmail.com

  36. I’d love to enter the contest. Thanks for the opportunity!

    Congratulations on the publication of Stay, and I absolutely adore the cover. I love how well the query is written, and the premise certainly sounds very intriguing.

  37. Thanks for the opportunity. I’d love to win a crit from the awesome Ms. Rebecca. Congratulations on the publication of Stay. You certainly have a well-written query and the premise sounds very intriguing. I have no doubts that the book will do well in sales!

  38. We’d love to enter this contest. (Hopefully, the deadline hasn’t passed.) Our query has been out in “query oblivion” for a while now and we’re anxious to hear some feedback on what works and even on what doesn’t :)

    Btw, can’t wait to read your book and love your cover!

    Lizandlisa(Replace this parenthesis with the @ sign)chicklitisnotdead.com

  39. I’d love to be entered in this contest. Congrats on your book and your query is awesome!!

    vickilanewrites(Replace this parenthesis with the @ sign)yahoo.com

  40. Hook me up sista!

  41. Thank you for this opportunity! Stay sounds terrific and it is on my shopping list.

    Sue Myers
    Susan.Myers17(Replace this parenthesis with the @ sign)gmail.com
    smyers5100(Replace this parenthesis with the @ sign)aol.com">smyers5100(Replace this parenthesis with the @ sign)aol.com

  42. I’ve been going back and forth about even entering, so I’ll buck up and throw my hat into the ring. Even as I’m on edit number 9. Nine is a lucky number, right?

  43. I just added this blog to my feed reader, excellent stuff. Can’t get enough!

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