What to Expect

About Query Drill
Query Drill was set up by an ex-intern of a literary agency to help writers who are stuck in query hell. We’re not a literary agency ourselves; we’re just a group of experienced slushpile waders who want to help.

Everyone who’s been neck-deep in slush knows how it feels to be restrained by the form rejection: we want to share our knowledge with you, but we can’t.

Submitting to Query Drill is exactly like submitting to a real agency: you follow our submission guidelines, and we reply. The difference is that we don’t represent any manuscripts, and you can “query” us as many times as you like. (See more about “querying” us on the Submission Guidelines page.)

We respond to all queries with short, two-part replies: what we would do with the query in a real agency setting, and why. To make things go more quickly, our volunteers have the option of selecting pre-written reasons, but they can choose to be more specific if they like.

Reply Format
reply: (what we would do with the query)
reason: (reason or list of reasons)

The Query Drill Blog
We will publish monthly statistics to reflect submissions. New projects, news, polls, etc. will appear under the “Blog” tab.

You might see ads on this blog. We receive no revenue from them; WordPress has recently begun to place ads on its free blogs.

Monthly Reports
Our monthly reports break down the number of queries we receive and how we reply each month. We delete all queries after counting them.

All of our “agents” are vetted: they have relevant slushpile experience with legitimate, well-known literary agencies, publishing houses, or both. We also accept interns who have no experience but who are passionate about books and the publishing industry. Our interns do not respond to queries.

Our responses are informed opinion, but they’re still just opinion. It isn’t possible to guarantee that our replies will correspond with replies from real literary agencies, nor do our replies represent the opinions of any literary agencies our volunteers have worked for or work for currently.

You won’t get any literary agent’s attention by querying us (unless you catch an agent’s eye during one of our special events). Query Drill is for practice only. Our volunteers will remain anonymous unless they ask to be recognized for their efforts, and so we can’t guarantee that your query will be seen by a specific volunteer.

Query Drill is free and always will be. We don’t even have a mailing list, and your email address will never be published anywhere or shared with anyone. The submission process is completely private unless you give us permission to anonymously post your query on our blog to help other writers.


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