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  • Writer's pictureMarve Micheal

The Query Letter that Saved Me from the Slush Pile



GREETING: Hi *insert Agent's first and last name*,


INTRODUCTION: I’m thrilled to share FIRSTBORN OF THE SUN, a 138,000-word New Adult Fantasy novel with crossover potential. Influenced by West African Yoruba culture, this story explores family, royalty and the politics of succession.


NOVEL COMPS & MEDIA MASH-UPS: This book would fit alongside THE FINAL STRIFE and GODKILLER, combining the intricate world-building of Children of Blood and Bone with the compelling storytelling of Ember in the Ashes.


PITCH (PARAGRAPH ONE/INTRO): Lọ́rẹ has fiery blades and ice in her veins. One of these is a secret that will get her killed. In the land of Oru, everyone is born with agbára—the ability to summon energy from the sun. Everyone that is, except Lọ́rẹ. She keeps this secret close to her heart, knowing her mother was killed for the same reason.


PITCH (PARAGRAPH TWO/MIDDLE): When the gods declare Lọ́rẹ’s best friend, Alawani, an Agurram—a priest of the holy order. He will be stripped of his agbára in a trial that has never yielded more than two survivors each time the gods call. Unwilling to risk his life for the gods that cursed her, Lọ́rẹ breaks into the temple. In a desperate act to channel agbára and save him, something else comes forth from her hands—a destructive shadow magic that draws on the energy of everyone and everything around her.


PITCH (PARAGRAPH THREE/ENDING): She and Alawani escape, but not before she catches the attention of the Holy Order. While on the run, Lọ́rẹ discovers her true identity and learns that Alawani’s grandfather, the Holy Order’s leader, murdered her mother. He will stop at nothing to ensure that Lọ́rẹ is the last of her kind. Lọ́rẹ finds herself choosing between Alawani and the magic within her.


BIO: I am a Yoruba woman, and stories are the foundation of my culture. In this book are many tales of old as told by my grandmother. FIRSTBORN OF THE SUN is a potential series with multiple third-person limited POVs. This manuscript was shortlisted for the 2022 Jericho Writers Friday Night Live Competition and the 2022 Kit De Waal Bursary, was longlisted for the 2023 REVPIT competition and won the 2023 Jericho Writers’ Self Edit Course Bursary. Five agents have requested this manuscript in full.


END NOTE: I have attached my opening pages. Thank you for your time and consideration! I would be delighted to provide you with the full manuscript upon request.


TRIGGER WARNING: Childbirth, Torture, Murder



All my best,


Marvellous Michael Anson

*insert contact email*

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4 Comments


Amber Houlders
Amber Houlders
Mar 22

Your query letter is amazing! Thank you for sharing it! I’m curious though, how did you find agents reaction to the trigger warning section? It’s not something I’ve seen before in a query, but it’s a really helpful addition.

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Marve Micheal
Marve Micheal
Mar 22
Replying to

Thank you 😊

The trigger warning didn't come up in conversation. I know many agents appreciate the heads-up. Others don't care

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Michelle Sanchez
Michelle Sanchez
Mar 21

Thanks for sharing your wonderful query letter! Based on this I am not surprised you got an agent and a publishing deal. Can't wait to read FOTS someday! -Michelle

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Marve Micheal
Marve Micheal
Mar 21
Replying to

Thank you so much! Really appreciate your kind words.

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