Query Critique #5: What You Can’t Take Back

Melinda R. Cordell is up today, so please leave your thoughts in the comment section.  Remember: all snark will be destroyed!  Spread the word so Melinda can get tons of helpful feedback!


Dear Nice Agent Person:

I’m querying you because you’re so awesome, et cetera.

After being bullied for the millionth time in seventh grade, Zanny finally finds a defender and friend; herself, or rather her older self, brought back in time as a ghost. But more than embarrassment and social standing are at stake. When the older Zanny tells her that Jake, the boy she’s pining for, is going to die in three days, Zanny has to overcome her shyness and lousy social status now to keep people from dying. But it’s one thing to dream about saving lives and rewriting your past. It’s another thing entirely to step into the heart of a tornado to do so, even with your own ghost by your side.

I’m seeking representation for my 53,000 word MG fantasy novel, What You Can’t Take Back.

I am earning an MFA for writing for children at Hamline University, where I worked with Gary Schmidt (The Wednesday Wars, Okay for Now) on this story. I’ve published fiction in Cicada, Read, Cricket, and Highlights; and articles in The Horn Book.

Please find enclosed in the body of the email the first five pages of my novel, or whatever your submission guidelines tell me to do. Thank you!


Melinda R. Cordell


Leave your comments below, and be sure to keep your eyes peeled for more queries!  Everyday for the next two weeks, I’ll be posting another query, and it’s up to YOU all to help each other.  Thanks, friends and fellow writers!!