Wishes and Lists: A Christmas Query

DickensQueryCharles Dickens typed, “And so, as Tiny Tim observed, God bless Us, Every One!”. He scratched his chin, rubbed his eyes and a contented smile grew from one ear to the next. It was good. It felt right. He thought to himself, “Chuck, people will want to share in this story for generations and generations. This will save Christmas and change the world.” He clicked save. “Chuck, its time to roll up my sleeves and get querying so the world can read my amazing story.”

Mr. Dickens clicked over from Word to Google Chrome and typed “#MSWL Christmas” in the search bar. Not much came up, but a few agents were looking for Christmas related stories. “Let’s see, Mr. Polliwog is looking for a Christmas Story with a strong female protagonist who falls in love with a sexy Rabbi on the eighth night Hannunkah and has a whirlwind affair through the holiday season. Doesn’t really work. Here’s one, Betsy Trotwood. Her #MSWL says she would ‘love to have a story about a miserly, mean old man who has a change of heart after being visited by spirits representing all phases of a person’s life during Christmas Eve. Also, a cute sweet kid who will die if someone doesn’t help him is a big plus. I’m a sucker for kids.’ That works. I’ll query this one.”

Excited to have such a specific #MSWL tweet that mirror the manuscript he just finished he giddily set to work. Charles tormented himself squeezing his story into a query and figuring out a market for the story. But he managed. He made the perfect query. Squeezing his amazing piece of literature down to a paragraph.

“Dear Ms. Trotwood,

After seeing your #MSWL for a Christmas Story about a miserly, mean old man having a change of heart on Christmas I find it necessary to query you about my latest manuscript.

Ebeneezer Scrooge, a miserly old man who cares about nothing but his money, hates Christmas and the whole world. After refusing Christmas dinner with his nephew calling Christmas a humbug, Ebeneezer retires to his dingy mansion on Christmas Eve, only to be visited by the ghost of his dead partner. He has come to warn Ebeneezer this is his last chance to change or face a horrible afterlife and that three ghosts would visit him before the night was through. The ghost of Christmas Past, Present, and Future all in turn attempt teach Ebeneezer the true meaning of Christmas and show him the error of his way. Will he make mankind his business or die bitter and alone damned to carry the chains of his callow life through eternity.

‘A Christmas Carol’ is a 28,000-word literary fiction” Hmm, is it literary fiction. I think so, maybe though it Supernatural YA. Yeah, that’s a better market.

‘A Christmas Carol’ is a 28,000 world Supernatural YA fiction. It would appeal to fans of ‘Twilight’ by Stephanie Meyer, The ‘Harry Potter’ Series by J.K. Rowling and ‘The Graveyard Book’ by Neil Gaiman.

I’m Charles Dickens, Charles Flippin’ Dickens duh. Oliver Twist, A Tale of Two Cities. Look them up.

Charles Dickens”

Charles proofread the query. He was happy with it. He felt excited. This was going to happen. This one would be easy. Before hitting send he ran Grammarly on the query for any typos. 6 critical issues and 15 advanced issues. Dang. He clicked the little red 6 and fixed the critical issues. Ignoring the yellow advanced issue. He hit send. Now I’ll just wait and then we will get this published.

Charles poured a glass of Madeira and sipped. A ding rang from his computer telling him that he had an email. He ran to check it.

“RE: Query for ‘A Christmas Carol’

Dear Charles,

Your manuscript just not quite what I was looking for. Thank you for reaching out me to consider your work.  As I’m sure you know, whether or not to take on a client is a very personal decision, and has as much to do with an agent’s personal preferences as it does an author’s writing abilities.

I wish you lots of success in your writing career.

Good Luck,
Betsy Trotwood
Agent of Trotters Literary”

Charles looked at the response confused. How did you not see I had a manuscript that hit all the points you asked for? Why did you MSWL it if your not even going to consider something that has everything you wanted? It’s mysterious and Mr. Dickens will never know and always wish he did.


Published Author at Anatolian Press. Debut Novel "Life Is In The Blood" out February 6, 2023.

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