Example of a Query Letter for Unpublished Writers

This example of a query letter for unpublished writers (writers who don’t have magazine clips yet) will help writers land their first magazine assignment – I hope! I’m posting this because a reader asked for an example of a beginner’s query letter on my Tips for Improving Your Query Letters article.

Before the query letter example, a quip:

“Sleep on your writing; take a walk over it; scrutinize it of a morning; review it of an afternoon; digest it after a meal; let it sleep in your drawer a twelvemonth; never venture a whisper about it to your friend, if he be an author especially,” said A. Bronson Alcott.

Sleeping on your writing is one of the best tips for writing anything. And, talking about your writing – especially to other authors – can be helpful…but the jury is still out on that one.

Back to query letters: one of my favorite resources for freelance writing for unpublished writers is The Writers Digest Guide To Query Letters by Wendy Burt-Thomas. I interviewed her here on Quips & Tips, in Interview With the Author of Query Letters. Click Burt-Thomas’ book cover for info about writing query letters, and read on for my example of a query letter for unpublished writers…

Example of a Query Letter for Unpublished Writers

Dear Kindly Editor,

I hope this finds you well!

Would you consider this article idea – “Recovering From E-Mail Blunders” – for a future issue of Writer’s Digest? Your readers may find it both interesting and helpful, as writers often use email to pitch their ideas to magazines, approach literary agents, and contact possible book publishers.

“Last week I told a client I’d have his puppy in the mail asap,” says BreeAnne Clowdus, co-creator of Tiny Revolutionary, a green kids’ clothing company. “My little girl was talking to her fake puppy while I wrote the email, which was supposed to be about sending a t-shirt sample.”

Yikes …. but we’ve all done it! Moving at rocket speed, pounding out one last email before charging back to the family, and neglecting to re-read before hitting “send.”  We do it in both business and personal correspondence; sometimes the mistakes are funny and easy to remedy. Other times, e-mail blunders have disastrous consequences.

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In 1,000 words, Recovering From E-Mail Blunders will describe 8-10 embarrassing, funny, and unusual e-mail mistakes. Each blunder includes a suggestion for how the e-mailers recovered their reputations and relationships. The suggestions for fixing blunders will be applicable to readers – and a variety of situations will be included (eg, family, work, friends, volunteer, etc).

If you’d like a sidebar, I could include a 400 word “E-Mail Etiquette” and/or an “E-Mail Trends” blurb, offering current info from e-experts.

Are you interested in this article – or a version of it – for Writer’s Digest?  If so, I can have it to you within three weeks of assignment.

To get a sense of my writing style and voice, please visit The Adventurous Writer.

I look forward to hearing from you!


Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen

Fellow scribes, if you have any questions or thoughts on this example of a query letter for unpublished writers, please comment below…and, read How to Write Query Letters for Magazine Articles for more tips. 

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5 thoughts on “Example of a Query Letter for Unpublished Writers

  • Laurie PK

    Thanks for your comments! I think I forgot to mention that I did write this article for Writer’s Digest. I don’t know what issue it’ll appear in, but it’s a fait accompli 🙂
    .-= Laurie PK´s last blog post ..The Key to Success for Female Entrepreneurs – Coco Chanel =-.

  • Mary@Adventures In Freelancing

    Lovely letter. It doesn’t dwell on the fact that the writer isn’t published, simply points them to the blog where they can see her writing style. Very nice.
    .-= Mary@Adventures In Freelancing´s last blog post ..Use Google to Find Markets in Your Niche =-.