The Virility Project Query Letter

As I inch closer to graduation in December (and nearly beg community clients to keep coming to our weekly counseling sessions), I have increasingly turned back to my creative writing and blogging in order to strengthen my passion for fiction and improve my craft. Plus, writing creatively helps me to destress!

My current project is a New Adult Dystopian series, and I am ecstatic that I have gotten well into the process of creating these characters and developing their world. I also feel that I’m juggling several heavy themes pretty deftly. But of course only time, numerous edits, and various feedback will tell!

I proudly present the first draft of my query letter for the first book in my trilogy, The Virility Project. If you have a moment, I would greatly appreciate your comments and suggestions. No matter how long or succinct, they will make a positive difference in my writing!


Dear Ms./Mr. AGENT:

It’s a dark winter day when seventeen-year-old CASIMIR AMADOR guns down the last of three shooters at his high school, but an even more chilling betrayal awaits him in the Virility Center.

Casimir and a handful of his friends narrowly survive the shooting at Purcell High School, on a day when he and his girlfriend EMMA LAURENT are supposed to be celebrating her induction into the Operantis. In response, the Operantis brings its most senior religious figures, known as First Primals, to the city of Crossing. Under the direction of NOBLE PRIMAL GIORDANO JURIST, FIRST PRIMAL STEPHEN FALWELL and his fellow disciples are charged with blessing the citizens in their grieving process. The shooting is a final tipping point for Ameras, and Noble Primal Jurist successfully passes a bill which gives birth to the Virility Project.

The Virility Center quickly becomes a national beacon of hope. The live-in complex offers a comprehensive curriculum to young adult trainees while also exposing them to the intense military training of the Amerian Special Forces. Casimir, haunted by his flashbacks of the shooting, joins the Program to try and mend his spirit by serving as a mentor. As a Shepherd, Casimir’s most daunting challenge becomes convincing ZACHARIAH BISHAY, a brilliant loner and atheist who enrolls to escape his abusive father, that the Operantis can be trusted.

Their tenuous faith is shattered when Amador makes a horrifying discovery: the Virility Center houses a creasing floor below, one in which unruly male recruits are sent to be cut and made more battle-ready. Casimir frees Zach from the floor before the facility is placed on lockdown. Traitors emerge in the crossfire as Cas and Zach flee to save their friends – and expose the lie that Noble Primal Jurist used to thrust the nation into a war from which there is no turning back.

I am currently seeking representation for my New Adult Dystopian novel, The Virility Project, which is complete at 85,000 words. I’ve written several YA short stories and penned two complete manuscripts since earning my minor in creative fiction in 2011. While studying at Texas Tech University, I was awarded the Mary Sue Carlock award for my essay on Henrick Ibsen’s A Doll’s House, titled “Motives That Matter: The Giving Side of Criminality in Drama.”

Thank you for taking the time to review my query. I would be happy to send you a sample or my mss in full upon your request. I look forward to hearing from you soon.


Warmest regards,

Richard-Michael Calzada

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