Queries That Worked: And what you need to know to make yours work, too.

Northern California Writers’ Retreat presents: Queries That Worked: And what you need to know to make yours work, too.

WHEN: September 7th from 9AM-12PM PT 

WHERE: Zoom (link will be sent to you after you sign up)

HOW MUCH: $150

Are you working on your query but aren’t sure if you’ve really nailed it?

Have you been querying but aren’t getting requests?

Do you have questions about comp titles and categories?

Welcome to Queries That Worked, where we will take a deep dive into query letters from five of our NCWR alums that landed them literary agents AND book deals

We’re so proud of our alums and want to share their great achievements with you! In observing and discussing the key points of their queries, we hope you’ll walk away better informed about what agents want, and how you can make your book stand out–and get requested!

In this three-hour course, we’ll explore the five queries, and understand what made each of these catch the eye of a literary agent. We’ll discuss how a query can go on to inform an agent’s pitch to an editor, and then how that pitch–and your query, even–can influence the final jacket copy of the book. There will be plenty of time to ask questions and get clarity.


Heather Lazare, Independent Editor and cofounder of Northern California Writers Retreat, stands in front of a vine-covered wall and smiles with her hands on her hips

In this three-hour course you’ll learn:

Join independent editor and founder + director of Northern California Writers’ Retreat, Heather Lazare, as she talks you through what it takes to create a query that makes an agent want to say YES. From her early days reading the slush pile at the Sandra Dijkstra Literary Agency, Heather honed her query-reading skills, and then went on to work for both Random House and Simon & Schuster, where she was a senior editor. Heather left corporate publishing in 2013 to start her own editorial business, and currently helps writers with their queries (and manuscripts!) and has taught courses on queries and publishing at Stanford Continuing Studies. Her knowledge of the publishing industry will illuminate why these queries worked, and what you can do for yours.

Join Us For Our Next Northern California Writers’ Retreat!

Writing time, workshopping, publishing talk, inspiration, connection, and more