Critiquing Song of the Day: “All the Critics Love You in New York” by Prince
If you are paricipating, don’t forget that we’re asking each person to critique at least five query letters–you can definitely do more though!
Since query letters are always so subjective, what exactly should you be looking for in your critique? Here are some helpful suggestions:
*Tell whether or not the letter hooks you–is there a pitch line apparent somewhere through out the letter?
*Determine whether or not you GET what the novel is about.
*How is the sentence flow? Transitions?
*If you were an agent–would you request pages? Why or why not?
*Try to stay away from grammatical errors- that’s a little nitpicky. We just wanna know what you think about the content.
So, obviously one of us will not be posting their query…*coughs* Pam already has a super agent
*coughs* But I am braving the masses and posting my query letter for all to see and critique.
I’m fragile, yes–but critical feedback is good…even for those as precious as me. Show me what you got!
Solving the murder of your drug-dealing best friend can be difficult, especially when you’re only sixteen.
Blake Farmer’s suburban neighborhood in North Carolina has always bored him. The worst crimes ever committed on his street were from teens pushing pills to their peers. But one summer night after the tenth grade, Blake’s father is murdered following a car jacking. A suspect is never found, and despite his mom’s efforts to get Blake to see a counselor, he buries his emotions by working at a skateboarding park and getting high with best friend, high school drug dealer Kyle.
But then Kyle misses a day of school without letting Blake know. At first, Blake believes the text messages from Kyle—he’s just under the weather. He even trusts the updates that Kyle’s boyfriend, Evan, gives him. Eventually, dependable Kyle doesn’t show up for too many commitments and Blake knows something is wrong. With help from Margo—the target of Blake and Kyle’s teasing in middle school—Blake tries to figure out what’s happened to his best friend.
Not wanting to rely on the police who let him down before, Blake and Margo start their own investigation. They both become entangled in a long-standing drug war that Blake had no clue was happening right under his nose. Confused about new feelings for Margo and the real identity of his best friend, Blake becomes overwhelmed as he uncovers an entire underground drug ring and makes enemies out of people he never thought twice about before.
The Blues is a contemporary young adult mystery about the violence, drugs, and betrayal that ensues when trying to get to the bottom of a small town crime.
I am currently a secondary history teacher and a member of SCBWI and AWP. I am working toward my MFA at Fairleigh Dickinson University (FDU) and I read for the FDU Literary Review Magazine. I have included the synopsis and the first ten pages per your submission guidelines. Thanks for your time and I look forward to hearing from you.