Unveiling Vancouver – Query Letter

A strong query letter must introduce a book proposal, manuscript, or article pitch. This query letter for my first book idea, Unveiling Vancouver, may not be the best pitch ever — but several publishers asked to see the full book proposal. Nobody actually bought it…but…ahem…”No guts, no glory!” says this adventurous writer!

Here’s my first query letter:

Dear (Esteemed Publisher, Editor, or Agent),

“Come Play With Us!” invites the Vancouver Olympic Committee; “Can we come early?” is the reply. Almost 9 million tourists visited Vancouver in 2004, and every year an average of 15,000 people relocate to the Lower Mainland. From now until 2010 our city will be even more saturated with newcomers, and their needs include information and insider tidbits. According to an article in the September 2005 edition of Publisher’s Weekly (“Keeping Pace” by Suzanne Mantell), tourists are demanding more than the standard travel guide and want “sophisticated insider information.” The book I offer you fits and seals the gap left by other Vancouver guides because it provides practical insider information that simplifies and enriches daily life in the Lower Mainland.

Unveiling Vancouver: An Insider’s Guide to the Jewel of the Pacific (or From Newcomer to Old-Timer: Being in Vancouver) is a non-fiction guidebook to living in the Lower Mainland. This book will ease transitions for both travelers and new residents by providing information basic to the city and answering questions current travel books don’t address, such as “Where is the most reasonable place to buy smoked salmon, authentic Native Indian art, or fresh local blueberries?” and “Fly fishing is something I’ve always been curious about. Can I try it in Vancouver?”

About the Author: Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen writes weekly for the Bowen Island newspaper, the Undercurrent. She has taught Journalism, Language Arts, and Writing classes, and has degrees in Secondary Education and Psychology. Born in Vancouver, she has the unique experience of also being a newcomer as she spent most of her childhood in Saskatchewan and relocated to Vancouver as an adult – twice! She lived in Kenya for three years, visited many countries in Africa, the Middle East and Europe, and has a real sense of what newcomers need to know when settling in to a new city – and what old-timers think they know about the city in which they’ve lived for years.

Enclosed is a proposal including clips, two sample chapters and a SASE.

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Thank you for your consideration; I look forward to your response. No need to return the materials. This is a simultaneous submission.


Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen

If you have any thoughts or questions about this query letter for Unveiling Vancouver, please fire away below! And if you want to write your own query letter, you might benefit from reading How to Choose a College Major.

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2 thoughts on “Unveiling Vancouver – Query Letter

  • Laurie PK


    I visited your blog, and was captivated by your articles! Interesting topics, and well-written.

    When I tried to comment on your “What if your content is stolen?” post, but the comment form kept jumping around and I couldn’t complete submission form. This has happened to another writer I know with a blog on Blogspot — there must be a relatively simple way to fix it.

    Anyway, I hope you read my response to your question here, since I can’t post it there:

    Hi Shilpa,

    I’m sorry this happened to you — but welcome to the world of building a freelance writing career!

    Like any job, we’re gonna run into to people with no scruples. I believe that professional editors of magazines, Web sites, etc do NOT steal content. But, people who are looking to build their websites to make “easy” money will stoop to stealing other people’s work. (this doesn’t work, by the way)

    If someone asks you for a sample article, send them something you’ve already written. If you have a “clip file”, you can show potential employers how you write — without opening yourself up to the possibility of doing a ton of work and getting ripped off.

    Not writing new articles for potential employers may expose you to fewer writing opportunities (many new writers will write for free, or will submit several sample articles before realizing their mistake) — but it will protect you and your work.

    Good luck with your writing career, and thanks for visiting The Adventurous Writer! I’m glad my query letter sample might be helpful 🙂

    All best,
    .-= Laurie PK´s last blog ..5 Ways to Connect With Readers for Successful Writers =-.

  • shilpa

    Hi Laurie, Thanks a lot for sharing your query letter in here. I have been searching for some sample query letters that actually generate response! I now know how it is presented and what tone to use…it is really nice and all the best with your book! Hope it gets published soon!