Reaching for the stars with this query letter

Wayne Stainrook

1618 Bryant Road

Cherry Hill, NJ 08003

February 26, 2013

Terry McDonnell, editor

Sports Illustrated

1271 Avenue of the Americas, New York NY 10020

Dear Mr. McDonnell,

In a 2001 survey by Survey USA, 55 percent of 500 Indianapolis, Ind. parents reported witnessing other parents engaging in verbal abuse at youth sporting events. As children and teenagers, youth sport participants are meant to derive confidence and enjoyment from playing organized sports, but are outside pressures from parents and coaches soiling their experiences?

Whether a Hit Doctor for baseball or a Wahoos for swimming, youth and adolescent sports clinics abound in New Jersey. I propose writing a 1,500-2,000 word feature on the intensity with which youth and adolescents dedicate themselves to sports and what effects it may have on them. In it, I will interview coaches and parents on how they feel about pushing youth so hard to succeed, as well as sports psychologists and players about what ramifications these expectations have on youth sports participants.

Thank you for your consideration of this article. I look forward to hearing your response.


Wayne Stainrook

3 responses to “Reaching for the stars with this query letter

  1. Hey gang,

    I realize SI might be a bit of a stretch for an unpublished author, but I am in a quandary: I want to push myself to write about my research in a poetic format, but I don’t know much about poetry at all. How can one write about this topic in poems? Or about wine or marijuana research in a poem? I’m very puzzled. Any feedback would be appreciated!

  2. Hi Wayne,
    Ellen Hopkins is a dazzlingly successful author – of poetry. Each page is another poem, but each advances a story line in the book, usually of some extremely difficult social problem. So it’s not hopeless to write poetry of some decidedly unpoetic thing.
    Nice query letter – straightforward and ripped-from-the-headlines!
    Hope you’re feeling better!

  3. Hi Wayne,
    I don’t think reaching for the stars is a bad thing. I would be right by you celebrating if you publish an article in Sports Illustrated. I think the topic has great potential for SI. It’s a perfect niche piece. Sports Illustrated is for sports fans and most sports fans have played sports in school or are parents to someone who does. For this reason I think your piece has a chance. I like how you start your query letter with a statistic. I did the same in my query letter. It grabs the reader’s attention. I also like how it doesn’t drag on too long. I hope everything is going well as far as research goes and wish you the best of luck!

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