Writing a Query Letter

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Grade Level
High School
Length of Time
1 hour

In this lesson, students will write a query letter about a short story they would like to write.


Students will learn:
To write query letters
To research publishers

Materials Needed

Computer with an Internet for research or Writer's Digest Market Book
Notebook paper
Pencils, Pens, and Erasers


First, students will plan a short story they would like to write.

Then, they will search in the Writer's Digest Market Book or on the Internet for some possible publishers who might be interested in their short story.

After they have located a magazine publisher, then they are ready to write their query letter.

They need to include the following information:

Name of Magazine

Name of Editor

Address of Publishing Company

Their own name and address

Information about the short story

Then, they need to write the letter. They should include a beginning sentence about the title of their short story and some brief information about the short story they want to write. After that, they need to ask the publisher or editor if he/she would be interested in reading the short story.

Students should also make sure they follow the guidelines of he publisher they chose and include the information the publishers want in their query letter.

Students should also read samples of magazines where they might want to send their short stories. This helps writers become familiar with the style of the magazine and to know if their short story will fit in with the publisher's needs.

When they have completed their query letter, they need to edit and revise it. Then, they can submit it to you for grading.


You can grade the students on their topic, the research they did, the query letter and how they wrote it.

You can check on organization, sentence and paragraph structure, grammar, punctuation, and spelling.

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