Query Critique/Workshop: COMING HOME (Women’s Fiction)



Critiquer: Angi Black


Brenna Ebans always wanted more than what Hill n’Valley could give her.  Her oldest sister Maggie always said her brain was too big for the place, so it seemed a simple decision for Brenna to leave, following her sister Dory’s footsteps and with the hope she might be able to track down her father.  Leaving her sisters and Seamus Todd  Who is this? He’s pivotal, but it’s here in a throwaway line. In a query, every word is valuable real-estate. Make it count.  behind was more difficult than she could have imagined but she made a life for herself in Vancouver, never once returning to her family.  When Brenna finds her husband Toby in an oh-so compromising position at work, she lets her temper get the better of her, losing both Toby and her job with the law firm in the process.  With no place to turn, she heads home to Hill n’Valley.

Youngest sister Cat stayed in Hill n’Valley, leaving a sheath of broken hearts in her wake, including three husbands.  She’s happy living in the family home, with the ghost of their dead mother to keep her company, and Seamus Todd  You’ve said his full name twice. to keep her warm at night.   Unlike her older sisters Maggie and Cayleigh, Cat isn’t thrilled with the return of Brenna.  The two fought over everything, especially the love of Seamus.  Cat and Seamus are together now, Redundant. You just told us a sentence earlier. but will Brenna’s coming home change that?  The two sisters find it impossible to coexist together until a family tragedy brings home their long-lost father.  And then Dory, the black sheep of the family comes back with her eye on the prize of the family home.  Can Brenna and Cat finally learn to get along before Dory ruins everything? That’s a lot of people and sisters in a short span of time. I feel like I need a chart. Do we need all their names in the query?

It should be easy to love your sisters.  It’s not always easy to like them. I would move this to the beginning of your query.

I like that seems to be focused more on sisterly relationships than just romance, but the query needs to be streamlined. I had to read it three times to figure out who was who and who wanted what. Take out names of everyone but Cat and Dory on the sister front.

I’m seeking representation  This is a given. Delete. Try, “COMINGHOME, a 93,000 word women’s fiction, is a book…”  for my women’s fiction novel, COMING HOME, a book about sisters and small towns, both of which I have a wealth of knowledge about.  Luckily my relationship with my sister was never as volatile as Cat and Brenna’s. COMING HOME is a completed manuscript at 93, 000 words. After rephrasing the above sentence, you can delete this one. I’m a stay-at-home mother of three with a love for writing and reading, which has resulted in quite a few unpublished works and one self-published a chick-lit novel, Baby! Baby? Baby?! Italicize and put a link to where it can be found so the agent doesn’t have to search. Or at least how well it sold. which received an Honourable Mention from the 2013 Los Angeles Book Festival this past spring.   I also blog about a variety of things on my website hollykerr.ca and also have many thoughts about small towns, which I share on BethanyOntario.

I’d be more than happy to forward my entire manuscript should you wish to have a closer look. Delete. It’s expected you’re ready to send and it’s completed in the act of querying. Again, it’s just taking up real estate.

Thanks for your consideration.


If you have any thoughts or questions, the comments are open, but please keep it constructive. No douchebaggery allowed.

One thought on “Query Critique/Workshop: COMING HOME (Women’s Fiction)

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s