Thursday, May 5, 2011


Dear [Agent]:

I have completed a 140,071 word young adult fantasy novel entitled Cutlass, and I hope you might consider it 
for publication.

The last place Barren should be is in Maris (a port town with a government notoriously against pirates) the noose around his neck only solidifies that fact. As Barren awaits death at the hands of his brother, William Reed, the last thing on his mind is the afterlife. At this moment, Barren’s only concern is the map he doesn’t have, a map to his father’s lost treasure.

This treasure, however, is not what Barren expects. It is not gold or silver, jewels or pearls but a terrible weapon of dark magic forged in an attempt to kill Barren's father. However, years after his father's death, the device still lives and kills. Barren must find it and destroy it in order to save his wife and the entire Elvish race it is killing. But destroying a device of dark magic only proves to be more difficult for Barren, especially when a curse of death comes over any who succeed in destroying the device.

I won first place in the Eastern Oklahoma Writing Contest in 2005 and I attend the University of Oklahoma on a Gates Millennium Scholarship.

Please notify me if you are interested in reviewing my complete text for possible publishing considerations. Thank you for your time, and I look forward to hearing back from you.


Ashley Nixon

Tell me what you think! It took me forever to get to this version...and I liked it a lot initially, and now I'm not sure it's working. :/ 


  1. Can I send you an email with some critiques in it?

  2. Yes! That would be lovely. I don't know if you can see my e-mail on my page. You can use

  3. Hi, Ashley. Sounds like an interesting YA read! I found you from Anita Howard's blog. Congrats on the award!

  4. Hello!! Thank you very much! :) I'm so glad you found me!

  5. Hey Ashley, I'm going to shoot you an email as well with my critiques, if that's okay!

  6. OOOOO please continue to post your query journey I'd love to be a part of that!

  7. E-mail sounds great!! :) and I definitely will! I need all the help I can get!

  8. Unfortunately, I won't be any help with the query process yet, but your story sounds intriguing. :-)

    Yep. No help at all. Anyway. Have a great weekend!

  9. lol! Thank you for you compliment! That's always encouraging! :)

  10. ...well written query, and wishing you the best. You've got the talent, but the key is patience, something we all struggle with. Somewhere out there is your's simply a matter of sniffing him out:)


  11. Sounds interesting.

    I'd tweak the beginning a little.

    The last place Barren should be is in Maris (a port town with a government notoriously against pirates) the noose around his neck only solidifies that fact.


    The last place Barren should be is in the port town of Maris; the noose around his neck only solidifies that fact.

    The town against pirates seems redundant since we can assume piracy is against the law, plus the deletion makes the sentence stronger.

    Have a great weekend.

  12. Thank you guys so much! I agree Medeia,I actually never realized I didn't say Barren was a pirate.

  13. Sounds like you're going to get a few crits on your query, which is awesomeness. I love the premise of your story and your characters already feel real to me after seeing your drawings and descrips of them a few posts prior to this one.

    BTW, I'm going to be having a contest on my blog soon where one of my agent's interns will crit someone's query letter and first ten pages. So watch for it!

  14. I would love to give you feedback, but I'm afraid I'm not that much of a help when it comes to queries, and it seems you already have a lot of willing critics, heh heh. But anyway, the concept sounds great. Best of luck!

  15. Anita - Thank you so much! :) That sounds wonderful!! I'll look out for it!

    Aderu - I read your post at AbsoluteWrite, you seemed to be getting a lot of help! And thank you again!!