I would love to see any examples of successful query letters from my fellow writers. In that spirit, I am posting an email query that got me a job with Missouri Life. My article on the Hunter Dawson house will be coming out in their December issue.
Missouri Life Magazine
Dear Ms. Smith:
Christmas at the Hunter Dawson house in New Madrid, MO means civil war recipe cookies, yards of pine roping, multiple Christmas trees and gaslight tours by guides in period costumes. This 15 room antebellum mansion celebrates a Victorian era Christmas each year for tourists and the riverboat passengers who stop off in New Madrid to explore the town legendary for its 1811 earthquake.
Home until 1958 to descendents of the Hunter family, the house was also temporary headquarters for Union General John Pope during the war, as is noted in your magazine’s list of Missouri Civil War sites. I would like to visit Hunter Dawson for this year’s Christmas celebration and write an article for the December 2007 issue of Missouri Life.
Article Outline: an interview with the house’s director, a side bar recipe for civil war Christmas cookies, details about the Christmas tours, decorations and the house’s Civil War history. The article would also feature pictures of the striking two story mansion, its greenery, and its guides in period costumes.
Possible titles for the article include:
Christmas by Gaslight: The Hunter Dawson house celebrates the season Victorian Style
An Old-fashioned Christmas: The Hunter Dawson House Celebrates a Victorian Holiday
Civil War Cookies for Santa: Celebrate the season at the Hunter Dawson House
I am a freelance writer from St. Louis, and I attended your 2006 workshop at the Heartland Writer’s Guild Conference. My sources will include the director of Hunter Dawson, Mike Comer, and my mother-in-law Nancy Grissom who lives near New Madrid and baked period cookies for last year’s celebration. I also teach Communications at Lindenwood University in St. Charles, MO.
I look forward to hearing from you,
I also included my contact info, but I cut it from this example.