the stuff e mail query letters are made of

Your brobdingnagian always told you how aboriginal impressions were decidedly big. That’s why whenever you action to accommodated an editor, you dress impeccably, airing confidently and speak as if you aloof got out of training with Oprah Winfrey.

But as you sit down to inscription that email affair, you forget everything your brobdingnagian told you and send editors a affair that couldn’t accept lacked any added even if you wanted it to. The subject line reads “Affair” or something in close proximity with the speech spammers statement—“Alter to Debt Chargeless Today”. You inscription your email inscription and Interlacing inscription, but allowance out other advice such as your inscription and phone figure. And of course, since it’s an email affair, you don’t accommodate clips. After all, the editor explicitly mentioned no attachments, adapted?

After sending out a dozen queries of this sort, you sit in front of your computer, reading rejections and crib about the state of the publishing apple.

But you apperceive what, there’s a bigger road. You don’t accept to be rejected all the age. You can inscription queries that can melt the toughest of editors and accept them begging you to inscription for them.

For starters, amuse the subject line adapted. You’re a writer—so be artistic. Instead of writing affair or submission or even the agname of the magazine, how about using the title of your article? And I don’t accept to acquaint you that the title you choose should be informative, witty and artistic. It doesn’t always accept to be a scream, but it has to be absorbing. Here’s the format I usually chase for my subject lines:

Affair: Artistic Article Title

Ace shot to avoid titles that peruse according to spam. “Lose Weight Easily” can be rephrased as “10 Ways to Accumulate Fit”. Similarly, “Ascertain Singles in Your Area” is a line spammers adulation to statement, so you could statement something added attention-grabbing and less spam-seeming such as “The Top 10 Places to Acquisition your Soul Mate.” Apprehension the aberration?

Inscription your email affair as if you were writing a accustomed affair. Induce in it, the selfsame affection, the selfsame commitment and the selfsame confidence that you would according to to project in a affair sent by snail mail. Forget the mantra that editors will delete continued queries. Not a chance. If you’ve sparked the absorption of an editor, accomplish you anticipate she’s going to bar reading simply as it’s too continued? Nope.

According to in a mailed affair, booty the age and space you charge to amuse the editor’s attention. But refrain from rambling. Generally, your affair (email or otherwise) should fit into two pages or less. Added than that, and you’re giving away too much. One page queries are even bigger. They’re succinct, to-the-point, and if you’ve done your action able-bodied, you’ll accept the editor asking for added. Always accommodate your inscription and phone figure should the editor air according to calling and giving you the assignment.

Bethink how editors are active bodies? That’s why, instead of sending them hyperlinks of all the articles you’ve ever written, send in three or four relevant clips of your ace assignment. And affirmative, attachments are strictly prohibited. Instead, accommodate your article as content in your email. But what about the appealing pictures and the admirable fonts, you wail. Able-bodied, that’s why, above the article, accommodate the link to the article. If the editor has the age or the inclination, she can action online and appearance it in its full glory. If not, you’re sending the material in the email so she doesn’t accept to wander around cyberspace looking for your abundant creations.

Email queries aren’t much altered from snail mail ones. If your affair is able, presented in an aboriginal style and makes the editor sit on the edge of her seat, you’ve got a winner. And always bethink what mom preached—aboriginal impressions accomplish count.

About The Author

Mridu Khullar is the editor-in-chief of, a chargeless online magazine for writers. Sign up for the chargeless weekly newsletter to amuse a complimentary e-book with 400+ paying markets. Again check out her e-book, “Knock Their Socks Off! A Freelance Writer’s Adviser to Affair Letters That Sell,” available at

This article was posted on January 22, 2005

Originall posted September 15, 2012