View Full Version : Memoir Query Letter:Been told I haven't a chance to publish it because I'm an unknown

10-23-2006, 10:09 PM
Does this sound interesting enough to make it as an unknown in the memoir genre?

How many middle-aged American women daydream of escaping from urban stress into a magical world without traffic, schedules, cell phones, and kids?

I am a middle-aged Jewish woman who, after working as a blackjack dealer in Las Vegas for twenty-five years, tosses the cards into the air, sells what I own, and buys a one way ticket to the Greek island of Kythera. A thirty-five year old dream finally becomes a reality.

Mae West said, “I always say keep a diary and someday it’ll keep you.”

My Greek Island unexpectedly stimulates my mental diary to open up and release uninvited ghost-memories of men I left behind. These men appear as I walk by the sea, on craggy hillsides, while drinking an ouzo at a seaside café or speared through, roasting on a spit at Easter time. Are these men showing up in reevaluation, or to be put to bed along with the rest of my past, so to speak?

As a child, I look like LITTLE LULU, yet entertain the illusion of being more like BETTY BOOP. Strength of character causes me to behave more like WONDER WOMAN. As an adult and dissatisfied with life, I move from place to place trying to find a comfort zone. Neurotic, independent, and determined to fulfill my dream, I dabble in painting, writing, and dissension, while in constant conflict with my parents and conventional upbringing.

In 100,000 words I tell the amusing tale of my journey as I progress from a dysfunctional home through my college years and many unsatisfactory love affairs and marriages. My story culminates after a decade of self-discovery and unprecedented happiness while living on the island. After ten years I return to the States, my home is within, the circle complete.

My story is one I believe many women can learn from and enjoy reading.

Thank you for your consideration. A SASE is enclosed.


(In the final letter I will list my publishing credits as well)

10-23-2006, 10:37 PM
Please help me decide whether I should try to market my manuscript as memoir or fiction. I'm totally confused.

Well, I guess my first question is how much of your story really happened to you? If your book is mostly a made up story, loosely based on your real life, I'd lean toward fiction. If you book is pretty much your life story, with some fictionalization of the characters-- changing names of real people, etc.-- then I'd lean toward memoir.

10-23-2006, 11:20 PM
Reminds me of "Under the Tuscan Sun."

10-25-2006, 12:54 PM
I was also thinking it sounded like "Under the Tuscan Sun" while reading the above.

It could work if really well written (like Tuscan Sun), but as it is not an outstanding story, without outstandingly writing I would not pin too much hope on it. Well written with fantastic characters it could be brilliant. It depends on how much you can draw the reader into your life and experiences so they live and experience it them themselves.

There are some grammer errors in your post that you need to fix up before sending the query anywhere.

10-27-2006, 01:26 AM
First of all, what you're pitching isn't a memoir, but an autobiography. Your query letter needs a lot of work. I suggest you post it in the Share Your Work section.