Tara Slagle is Linda Epstein‘s current intern at the Jennifer De Chiara Literary Agency. Tara is working toward her M.S. in Publishing at Pace University. After completing her degree she plans to work in the publishing world as either an acquisitions editor or literary agent, focusing on YA and (the emerging) New Adult titles. Here is a link to her post on the Blabbermouth blog.
Kickin’ things off with a contest!
In my first few weeks interning for Linda, I’ve noticed a recurring theme among some of the query letters: they lack effective loglines (or one is not present). For those of you unfamiliar with this term—or who simply need to brush up on your writing terminology—a logline is a brief statement, usually only a sentence or two, that describes the plot of the story without giving away the ending, and is meant to hook the reader so they want to read more. This is also sometimes referred to as an elevator pitch—it should be short enough to deliver to an agent or editor on an elevator ride, should you ever find yourself in that situation.
A logline is important to include in a query letter as it can start off the letter with a bang. Rather than jumping right into a more detailed synopsis, the logline quickly snags the reader’s attention at the beginning of the query and convinces them that they need to know what this story is all about. Though crafting a strong and enticing logline can be tricky, especially for those of us who are not the most concise in our writing (guilty!), it can really strengthen your query.
So, to start things off, I’m going to hold a logline contest! As my preferred reading material happens to be YA, this contest is only open to loglines for Young Adult novels. (Sorry to those of you who don’t write YA; I had to draw the line somewhere so as not to get overwhelmed early in the game). Linda and I will judge your loglines and the lucky winner will get a copy of Veronica Roth’s DIVERGENT!* Though Linda doesn’t represent Ms. Roth, we are both very excited for the movie to hit theaters in March, and we thought this would be a great prize for all you writers of YA. (Please note that this contest is only open to residents of the United States. Sorry, but international shipping is quite pricey these days.)
Before you all set pen to paper, or fingers to keyboard, think about how to best represent your novel in a compelling but concise manner. Even if you don’t win, think of this as a way to get your logline in shape for your next submission. Once you have perfected your logline, post it in the comment box. Only one entry per person (and Linda’s clients can’t enter). The deadline for entering is February 27th at 6:00am EST and the winner will be announced Monday, March 3rd.
Now, get ready…get set…write!