The Query Challenge

By Katharine Swan On Wednesday, January 24, 2007 At 2:55 PM

I haven't written about it before now because I've been so caught up with my workload and email problems, but I'm participating in Kristen King's 2007 Inkthinker Query Challenge. The goal is to send off 120 queries or submissions in 2007 - 10 each month, basically. For a full-time freelancer that shouldn't be a problem, but it's more of a challenge than you would think - I don't consider responses to job ads to be queries, unless the "ad" is a call for submissions, and responses to job ads are the vast majority of what I send out.

So far this year, I have sent off five queries. The first one was a query to Write-From-Home.com, offering a reprint of my Writers Weekly article - and I'm happy to say that the query was successful. The next three queries were snail-mailed short story submissions, and the last one was a query for a real estate story. The last one didn't work out, as the publisher didn't want to guarantee anything and I'm too busy right now to write a very custom story and chance not getting paid for it, but hopefully at least one of my short stories will see publication this year.

I encourage everyone to sign up for the query challenge. It should be interesting, trying to come up with 115 more queries. Here are some of my ideas:

* More of my short stories: I have about half a dozen completed short stories that I would like to see published.

* My NaNoWriMo novel: Once I finish revising and editing my novel, I'll start making the rounds with it.

* Ebooks: I have ideas for several ebooks, and a couple of publishers in mind who might be interested in them.

* Articles: I have a whole favorites folder full of submission guidelines pages. My goal is to start going through that and querying for article assignments, in addition to all of the jobs ads I respond to on a daily basis.

This week's edition of Writers Weekly published an article on getting writing assignments that I think might be helpful for other interested in accepting the 2007 Inkthinker Query Challenge. The author has also published an ebook for writers who want to increase their business, which I just might buy.

Good luck to those of you who accept the challenge!

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Blogger Irreverent Freelancer Says:  

I'm participating as well, but like you, I'm having a hard time keeping afloat. I also mostly apply for "jobs" and I don't count those. I have, however, managed to query or submit to seven pubs so far. I'm actually hoping to get a few bylines out of the deal and to get more of my poetry published.

 

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Katharine Swan is a full-time freelance writer with more than 5 years of professional writing experience. In addition to maintaining several personal blogs, she writes a variety of online marketing materials for clients, including company blogs, articles, and press releases. In her free time, she spends time with her horse, reads, and writes fiction.

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