Another Short Memoir Query Letter Critique Video–And a Lovely Shout Out from Marla Miller

Marla Miller has been helping writers “market the muse” for a long time. Now she is sharing her knowledge of the publishing industry via YouTube, Twitter, and Facebook. Here’s a recent video featuring a memoir called Nadia. Imagine my surprise when I heard her mention in the introduction!

Marla manages to offer some pointed critique in a very kind way. That’s not always easy, but writers really benefit from this kind of tough love. What do you think? Any feedback for Marla?

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Shirley Showalter


  1. Rosemary Rawlins on May 31, 2011 at 11:28 am

    This query letter review was perfect. I thought it was well done (with the sandwich approach–positive feedback, criticism, enthusiasm/encouragement at the end), and she gave the writer the tools to improve. I like the way she said specifically what she liked and did not like. Great review and quite helpful. Thank you!

  2. shirleyhs on May 31, 2011 at 12:43 pm

    Hi, Rosemary. So glad the query letter critique was helpful to you. Marla’s seen lots of them! Thanks for your comment. I reciprocated on your blog. Come back!

  3. Annette Gendler on June 1, 2011 at 12:42 am

    I just love hearing Marla’s query critique’s on memoirs; it helps you see how the query is really the manuscript in a nutshell, so she’s also giving a critique of the manuscript. It’s great!

    • shirleyhs on June 1, 2011 at 3:19 pm

      You make an excellent point about the relationship of the query letter to the manuscript. A good query letter answers all the most important questions an agent will have about the book in such a way that she or he wants to read the whole. Marla helps people do this. I hope her Youtube channel continues to grow. She is giving away a lot of great advice for free here.

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