Samples of Query Letters That Work

I don’t know about you, but I learn best from examples. This is especially true of query letters.

Whenever I sit down to write a pitch, my first stop is usually the Pitches that worked thread on the JournoBiz forums, where writers post the full details of their successful pitches, publisher and all. I could read “how to pitch” articles until I’m blue in the face, but it’s examples like these that best help me figure out how to style and structure my pitch for specific publications.

Here are a few more examples of query letters for magazine articles and book manuscripts that I’ve found around the web, plus a bonus sample query letter of my own that resulted in a commission from a magazine. Hope this helps – and happy pitching!

Sample Query Letters for Magazine Articles:

For an entire book on the subject, check out The Renegade Writer’s Query Letters That Rock. I can also recommend Jenna Gatzer’s Make a Real Living as a Freelance Writer and Linda Jones’ The Greatest Freelance Writing Tips in the World, both of which have great example of magazine pitches that worked.

Sample Query Letters for Book Manuscripts:

More examples of query letters for book queries can be found in The Sell-Your-Novel Toolkit by Elizabeth Lyon.

My Query That Worked:

This pitch got me into VegNews magazine last year. To give you some reference, VegNews previously ran a piece on vegetarian travel in London in 2002, hence the reference in my pitch.

Dear [editor’s first name],

Things have changed since Alex Bourke first published “Vegetarian London” in 2002. With the Olympics coming in 2012, London is scrambling to clean up its act: parks are cleaner, farmers’ markets are everywhere, and restaurants are putting more emphasis on locally sourced organic ingredients. As a result, London is better than ever for the vegetarian traveler.

Are you interested in an updated piece on London for VegEscapes? I propose an article that covers the following:

* Picnic in the Park
* Dining on a Double-decker Bus
* Market Madness
* Cycling on the Southbank
* Beer and a Curry
* Haute Veg
* Budget Lunch Break

As a vegetarian who lives and works in London, I can provide an insider’s view on this fabulous city, including photos. You can read samples of my writing at the link below.

Please let me know your thoughts. I look forward to hearing from you!

Best regards,

Monica Shaw

4 Responses to “Samples of Query Letters That Work”

  1. George Angus Says:


    This list is fantastic. What a great resource for folks. I know people want this information because I have a free ebook at Smashwords called The Inspired Query Letter and it’s had several hundred downloads.

    I can’t wait to spend some time visiting these sites to get other writer’s takes on this all important aspect of becoming a successful writer.


  2. Anne Wayman Says:

    Great list! Thanks so much for including me! I love the company I’m keeping.

  3. Linda Formichelli Says:

    Monica, thanks for including The Renegade Writer’s Query Letters That Rock in your list!

    I’d also like you to know that:

    1. Tomorrow (1/6/10) I’ll be posting a copy of a query that sold to Women’s Health on the Renegade Writer blog:

    2. You can get a free packet of 12 queries that worked by sending a blank e-mail to

    By the way, nice VegNews query!

  4. AJ Says:

    Just wanted to say thank you so much for writersresidence! I am a Journalism major and freelance writer and was having a hard time finding a simple, easy to use website to use as my portfolio. And when I called the customer service number a real live human actually answered! You can’t get better than that!