2nd Draft Query Letter Editors
Our 2nd Draft writing editors will give you expert writing advice on your query letter. They will provide a writing critique and tips on how to write a query letter for a novel, memoir, or nonfiction book. If you want writing advice from published authors, an honest writing critique, and guidance on revising your work then our 2nd Draft service is for you! Many of our critique editors are also WDU online workshop instructors. Check out our course offerings under the above left WORKSHOPS link!
"I found 2nd Draft extremely helpful in stripping down my query letter so that now it’s a more meaningful pitch. You made less better by showing me how to eliminate a lot of extraneous info that agents don’t need to read to get the gist of my novel. Thanks again." Erinn (2022)
Meet the Editors
Jack Adler has been a full-time freelance writer since 1974, drawing upon his previous business experience for his writing specialties: travel, health, recreation, and leisure articles. A full-time job as feature editor of Travel Weekly helped lead Jack to becoming a columnist, on a freelance basis, for the travel section of the Los Angeles Times for 15 years; he wrote two columns: Consumer Report and Bargain Corner. He has also been a columnist for Westways and Cruise Travel magazines, West Coast Bureau Chief for Travel Trade, and a columnist/editorial writer for Better Business Traveling. Currently, he is the leader of the travel bulletin board for Aantares.
Jack’s most recent book, Make Steady Money As A Travel Writer-Without Traveling was published in April 2009. His other published books include Splendid Seniors: Great Lives/Great Deeds, Consumer’s Guide to Travel, Exploring Historic California, Travel Safety: Security At Home & Abroad (co-authored), Companion Guide to Southern India, and There’s a Bullet Hole in Your Window, a nonfiction collection of his own travel experiences. Jack has recently had several novels published, including Ditsy and Champion and a historical trilogy, Parthian Retreat, Seres Sanctuary, and Parthian Karma. Jack also has had several e-books published: How to Break in as a Travel Writer and two novels, Blind Gods and A Savage Duty. Other novels include a travel adventure series: City Havoc, The Impresario of Terror, Irish Spring, The Rage of Kali, and The Sperm Farm.
Jack’s magazine credits include Let’s Live, Shape, Venture, Friendly Exchange, Transitions Abroad, Gentlemen, Off Duty, Home & Away, Discovery, Cruise Travel, Journey and Rice, among others. Jack also developed the Essentials of Travel Writing workshop for Writers Online Workshops.Jack is interested in Freelance: Travel, Health, Recreation, and Leisure Articles. Fiction: Historical, thriller, political.
Following her completion of the Denver Publishing Institute after graduation, Danielle began interning at acclaimed literary agency Writers House. While there, she realized she wanted to put her English degree and love of the written word to work at an agency and began at New Leaf Literary, where she primarily focused on children's and YA books. She branched out five years later to provide freelance editorial services--specifically developmental editing, copy editing, and proofreading--and is also a copywriter. She has been in the industry for over ten years now, working with established authors, as well as prospective writers who haven't yet been published. She is most interested in MG and YA work of all genres, as well as adult fiction manuscripts (especially contemporary, fantasy, romance). She welcomes questions on the critiques she provides for authors, and always hopes that they are truly a jumping off point, believing the author's vision is the most important and her role is to help support them.
Mort Castle is a horror author and a writing teacher who has published over 500 short stories. Twice a winner of the Black Quill award, seven times a Bram Stoker Award nominee, Castle edited On Writing Horror, the primary reference work for dark fiction authors. Mort specialized in horror, dark fantasy, literary, historical, how-to, Pop Fiction, comics/graphic novel.
She has a BFA in Writing for Film and Television from the University of the Arts and worked in entertainment for eight years before returning to her home state of NY where she worked at a literary agency for two years before joining Brower Literary & Management. Jess specialized in YA, adult. contemporary, thriller, romance, crime, & women's fiction.
Margaret Danko (not available for critiques until June 2023)
Originally from the heart of the south, Margaret Danko received her BA from Oberlin College before pursuing an MFA from Temple University. While there, she climbed the ranks to become an editor of TINGE Magazine, publishing fiction, essays, and poetry. She has worked as a freelance editor and media consultant. A lover of the dark, the quirky, and the fantastical, Margaret has a keen eye for projects that take unexpected turns or are told from unusual perspectives. Margaret specializes in literary fiction with teeth, historical fiction with a dash of magical realism, fresh literary and commercial suspense, spooky contemporary and fantasy YA, narratives with a deep sense of place and history, quirky and heartwarming family stories, and rom-coms full of charm and whimsy. She is also interested in nonfiction in the areas of humor, lifestyle, popular science, health/wellness, true crime, and current affairs.
When Megan was a kid she refused to take naps, so her preschool teachers taught her to read instead. A lifelong learner, her favorite stories transport her to another place where there are no bounds to the imagination. She has a deep, enduring love for travel, other cultures, fairy tales, and food. She loves to partner with authors for developmental edits and help propel their work forward through characterization, worldbuilding, plot, pacing, and more. Megan is most interested in MG and YA Fantasy, Sci-Fi, and Historical Fiction. She is also proficient in proofreading and copy editing, focusing more closely on details like grammar, word choice, and punctuation, to make sure the piece is clean and polished. She can’t wait to collaborate with you and polish your gem!
Jordan E. Rosenfeld
Jordan E. Rosenfeld has been writing for the better part of 20 years. She holds a B.A. in Liberal Arts from the Hutchins School and an MFA in Creative Writing and Literature from the Bennington Writing Seminars. Jordan has taught private writing workshops at a wide range of institutions including the Sebastopol Center for the Arts, Gavilan College, the California Writer’s Club, and at conferences such as East of Eden and Mendocino Writers’ Conferences. Jordan critiques items that are 50 pages or less.
Jeff Suess is the author of Lost Cincinnati, Hidden History of Cincinnati, Cincinnati Then and Now, AAC 150, Cincinnati: An Illustrated Timeline, and Tomorrowland: The Past, Present, and Future of Disney’s Most Changed Land. He is a history columnist and librarian at the Cincinnati Enquirer. Jeff also writes fiction and has had stories published by Pocket Books, Post Mortem Press, and DC Comics. Jeff specializes in science fiction, fantasy, historical non-fiction, historical fiction.
The writing career of romance novelist Terri Valentine is truly a Cinderella story. An avid reader all of her life, she began writing her first historical romance in the summer of 1985 on an old Smith-Corona manual typewriter. To date, she has ten romance novels and a Christmas short story in publication. Sweet Paradise was nominated for Best Romance Adventure by Romantic Times and Louisiana Caress received a coveted K.I.S.S (Knight in Shining Silver) Award from Romantic Times. At present she is under contract for two more historicals, and she is currently working on a high-concept romantic novel that her agent anxiously awaits. She has also written a screenplay that is in production rewrites.
A former journalist, Carolyn Walker is the author of the memoir Every Least Sparrow, a book about raising her daughter Jennifer, who has the rare Rubinstein-Taybi Syndrome.
Her creative nonfiction has appeared in The Southern Review, Hunger Mountain, Columbia: A Journal, The Writer’s Chronicle, Gravity Pulls You In: Parenting Children on the Autism Spectrum, HOUR Detroit, The Detroit News, and many other publications. Her essay “Christian Becomes a Blur,” published in the literary journal Crazyhorse, was nominated for a Pushcart Prize.
In 2013, she was made a Kresge Fellow in the Literary Arts by the Kresge Foundation.
Walker is a creative writing instructor for Writer’s Digest University and other organizations. She has led writing workshops in Michigan, Vermont, Nantucket, and Newfoundland. She earned her Master of Fine Arts in Writing degree from Vermont College of Fine Arts in 2004.