Call for Volunteers

Dear readers,

Query Drill is looking for volunteers with slushpile experience in children’s fiction (picture book – YA), NA, and narrative nonfiction. I am especially interested in taking on a volunteer who can specialise in queries for the YA market.

If you’re passionate about books but have no experience with an agency or publishing house, please consider becoming a QD intern! We can always use another pair of eyes.

We’ve seen a huge drop in query numbers recently because our response times are getting too long. Mea culpa! I haven’t been able to maintain QD as I should. I love QD and I want to keep it alive, and I think the best way to do it is by building a small community around the project.

Thanks for reading!
Mrs. Nobody


Changes to QD

Hey, queriers!

After investigating our first month’s numbers a little more closely, I realised that the system at QD is going to have to change.

From an email I wrote to a recent querier:

QD’s numbers are not reflective of a real agency because I tend to request very widely. Unfortunately, a big part of querying has to do with an agent’s personal taste. To make our numbers and the experience more closely mirror real querying, I’ve decided to process queries a little differently. If I feel like my personal taste is going to get in the way of a fair evaluation of the query, I now answer the query as I did yours: here’s what I spotted, but mostly it’s just not for me, so let me pass it along to another volunteer who can judge it more fairly.

Ideally, you would query specific volunteers at QD so you’re sure to get someone who specialises in your genre/market, but we simply don’t have the volunteer hours to set things up that way, and it would mean that certain queries would wait much longer than others to be answered.


Query Drill Agent Event – Part II

The QD Agent Event is around the corner, folks! Polish up your queries. This time around, we only have one agent participating in the event: mine.


She loved my idea for QD and asked if she could sneakily peruse the inbox. I said no, of course. You guys trust me to give you honest query advice; I’m not going to start sending your practice queries to her behind your backs!

…no, no, wait, don’t kill me! I haven’t ruined everything, I promise.

All you have to do to get your query considered by my agent is to add “Agent Event” to your query subject line, like this: “Query, My Awesome Genre, My Awesome Title, Agent Event”. Please include your novel’s first chapter, pasted into the email after your query. No attachments, please. Please address queries to my agent, rather than Ms. Nobody.

My agent is looking for YA and MG fiction in all genres (though she has a soft spot for fantasy and sci-fi).

She will also consider fiction intended for the adult market.

The event will start on July 10th and end July 17th. You can send your queries for the event beginning today, but my agent won’t see them until the event starts.

You can send any query you like, including ones we’ve already considered and responded to (no matter what our response). One query per person, please.

Melissa Nasson is an associate agent with Rubin Pfeffer Content. She is also an attorney and contracts director at Beacon Press, an independent publisher of non-fiction.

Query Drill Agent Event

Query Drill is proud to announce that our first special event will give our writers the chance to get feedback from a real agent! (Instead of yours truly and our ragtag band of misfit interns.)

Here’s how it will work: for a limited time, a stealth agent will roam the QD inbox, giving feedback and making real requests for author materials. Writers will have to opt-in to take part in the event: queries not marked for the event will be handled by QD as normal.

Don’t panic! You have plenty of time to get your query ready. We’ve posted this announcement way in advance, because we need everyone’s help to get this off the ground.

If you:

– have an agent already: Ask them whether they would like to participate. We’d love to take on more stealth agents!

– are an agency intern or have experience sorting slush at either a literary agency or a publishing house: Consider volunteering!

– are a querying writer: Polish, polish, polish! QD can help you no matter where you are in query hell, but our stealth agent is only looking for the best.

Stay tuned for more info, including contest dates!