The Top 5 Most Common Mistakes in Screenplay Query Letters

I’ve been reading a few query letters for a client who is literally (OK, not “literally”) buried in them.  Writers are making so many of the same errors I just had to post about it.  Please, people, please read the below tips BEFORE you send your query letter out. 

The five most common mistakes I’m seeing are:

1. GETTING THE NAME WRONG – Address your letter to the correct person and SPELL THEIR NAME CORRECTLY.  I know, you’re sending out a lot of letters, but remember the old adage: the most important word in a letter is the name of the person who is going to read it.  Take the time to spell their name correctly.

2. INCLUDING SAMPLE PAGES – Until the agent/manager/producer ASKS to see pages of your screenplay, do not include any.

3. YOUR FONT IS SMALLER THAN TWELVE POINT – Don’t make your reader squint.  This will anger them.  Seriously.

4. YOU MISSPELL WORDS – Double-check everything.  One misspelling or obvious grammar mistake and your letter will be on the fast track to the recycling bin.  (Is”fast-track” hyphenated?  If I were writing a query letter, I would look that up!)

5. YOUR LETTER IS TOO LONG – Some readers disagree, but in my experience, your query should be no more than a few BRIEF paragraphs and definitely no more than one page in length.  When a query letter has more than one page, it feels presumptuous. The shorter, more succinct you can be, the better.

Hope that helps!  For more on query letters, see the popular post:

How to Write a Query Letter

Best of luck, and…



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