I'm just putting the finishing touches on my very first query letter. I'm so excited! I have another idea for my second query letter as well. I'm trying to start out local, in the hopes that they'll be a little more open to a writer without any major published clips (unless you count my Cave Spring Connection articles, which heck, I DO, because I am damn proud of them, regardless of the size of the audience they reached!). I'm going to pitch to either San Antonio Magazine or "The Scene in SA" for my more localized article idea, and Texas Monthly for my other.
I'm kind of at a loss as to how to include my CSC clips with my query letters, because those articles weren't published online, and while I do have a little brag book put together with all my articles clipped and mounted, they are irregularly sized, and mostly larger than a standard sized piece of paper. I'm thinking that I'm going to drive out and visit my buddies at my old workplace tomorrow and use the scanner to try and reduce the size of these things.
I also need to spruce up my personal website before sending out my queries. I set the thing up in October, when I first got the crazy idea to quit my job and step out onto this fragile freelance writer limb, but I haven't done much else with it since then. I had originally (naively) conceived of the site as a place that random people would stumble onto and think, "goodness, this lady sounds like a fabulous writer! Luckily I have this random writing project that's been collecting dust on my desk, I think I'll send her some money to do it for me!" It didn't take long for me to realize that this was about as likely to happen as I was to receive an email from my old employer, begging me to come back and take over the national CEO position. I also realized, a little too late (after I'd had a thousand business cards printed) that the life of a freelance writer doesn't much lend itself to business card distribution (seeing as it involves a lot of sitting around at home. . . and writing). So, while I felt the whole thing still looked pretty amaturish and incomplete, I pushed it pretty low on my priority list. Now, I've got to figure out pretty quick how to make it not look like someone's freshman english project. Any brilliant web designers out there want to do some pro-bono work for me? : )