A reader asked me to give him my opinion about his query letter and he agreed to let me share his letter and my thoughts as a blog post. Hopefully people can learn something from it.

1 January 2010
Production Company Name
123 First Street
North Hollywood, CA 91007

Dear Director of Development;

I have a screenplay that I would like to submit to you for your consideration.

Told through the eyes of a forbearing yet naïve young man, this film follows a young man working to overcome his foibles while struggling to keep the family farm afloat in the wake of his father’s passing. It shows what a farmer will do to live on and work the life-sustaining ground he loves, even if it means drinking cheap beer, swing-dancing with the hired man, or having a bar bathroom brawl with his conniving banker (see full synopsis attached).

This film is loosely based on events I experienced firsthand.

Thank you for your time and consideration. If you would like a complete copy of the script, you may contact me at any of the addresses listed below.

Screenwriter’s Name
Screenwriter’s Phone Number
Screenwriter’s Email Address

A lot is going to depend on his synopsis but overall I like the query letter. It’s quick and too the point and doesn’t waste any time. Since this screenwriter doesn’t have any credits he simply cuts to the chase and pithes his story.

If I were going to re-write this query letter I would add a few more details. For instance, instead of just saying “This film is loosely based on events I experienced firsthand.” I would say something like “This film is loosely based on events I experienced firsthand while growing up and working on a real honest to goodness Iowa corn farm.” And instead of this: “I have a screenplay that I would like to submit to you for your consideration.” I would write something like this; “I wish to submit Script Title, a farm-centric, comedy feature film screenplay to you for your consideration.” Hopefully the title is pithy and cleaver and add something to the pitch.

My main point is to try and put in some visual details so people can “feel” your letter a little more. I think adding a little more color to every sentence (but don’t over do it!) could enhance the letter. But overall I really like the brevity of this query.

One thought on “Query letter critique”
  1. Ashley,
    Thanks for posting this. Seems to me that I can write scripts all day long, it’s the query letters and logline area I lack in. *sigh* That’s why God graced us with gurus like you to learn from!!!

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