Well, I suppose I’ll go for it too. This is the newest draft of my query letter. I’m still not very happy with it, so please critique away!
Sixteen-year-old Albert Woodler knows there’s nothing weird about magic. Albert and his best friend Julia have been doing spells since they were kids, and spelling is predictable, straightforward, scientific. But when a wild-eyed gunman tries to kill Julia in the middle of a spelling competition — and ends up trapping her in the body of an African grey parrot instead — magic gets pretty damn weird.
It’s not that Julia is gone. She’s still there inside that little feathered body, but her transformation defies the laws of spelling. Plus, Albert has no idea who would want her dead. The only concrete clues seem to lie with an enigmatic young man who deals in the same illicit magic used in the attack on Julia. When the young spellers reluctantly delve into the mysteries of illegal “non-loc” magic and find themselves snatched away to a parallel universe far beyond their own, Albert discovers he’s way out of his depth: his years of spelling training are useless in a world where people use non-loc with impunity. But if he can’t find the answers they’re looking for, Julia’s humanity is lost forever. And that’s assuming her attacker doesn’t find them and end both their spelling careers — permanently.
UNFAMILIAR SPELLINGS is a YA fantasy novel complete at 80,000 words. Thank you for your consideration.