Melissa Baumgart

Services / Contact Information


Query Letters

When you’re done with your book and ready to send it to agents, you’re going to have to write a query letter, that short pitch that will introduce you and your novel to someone who could fall in love with your writing and sell your work.

Writing a query letter is a different skill set than writing a novel, and many writers struggle to pitch their novels to agents in a succinct and enticing manner.

I can help. I am something of a query whisperer, and my edits have had demonstrable results. Here are some testimonials from writers whose queries I’ve edited:

Melissa has a true genius for writing and editing queries. It’s not always a skill set that comes easily to authors, and she has a way of capturing the heart of a story in the succinct, vivid and tantalizing way that leaves people wanting to read more. I know there are other query services out there, but not like this. I can’t recommend her enough. – Salima A.

Melissa’s a query writing genius! I was very intimidated by the world of querying, but Melissa’s enthusiastic support, vast knowledge, and remarkable efficiency led us to a superb and professional final draft. I received a manuscript request within 12 hours! I cannot recommend her services enough. – Marianne M.

Before Melissa edited my query letter, it was wordy and in need of direction.  She was able to quickly see the areas that needed to be condensed, expanded upon, and thrown out altogether. Her edits were clear and precise. Melissa’s knowledge of the industry’s desires allowed me to tailor my query to each agent and highlight the best parts of my manuscript. I am thankful I was able to use Melissa’s services and would recommend her to both aspiring and experienced authors. – Rebecca C.

Melissa has a true gift for great storytelling and knew exactly how to capture the essence of my work in a few short paragraphs. Additionally, she has a wealth of knowledge about the publishing industry. This savviness proved to be an unparalleled resource for me. I received a request for a full just hours after sending out my first query. I truly appreciated her patience, candor, and dedication to making that sure I had the highest quality query letter.  – Talia S.

Melissa’s advice and edits on my query were invaluable. She helped me streamline my query, forced me to crystallize the most important things about my book and its conflict, and asked me all the right questions to push me to make my query as great as it could be. And my edited by Melissa query got results: I got requests on a third of the queries I sent!Jasmine G., author of The Wedding Date (out February 2018)

I will read your query, provide feedback and line edit suggestions, and once you have revised, review one more time, providing a second round of feedback. For this service, I charge $100. If you would like further guidance beyond that, or if $100 presents a hardship, please let me know and we can discuss rates.


An agent will often request a synopsis with your query letter or manuscript, and this stops many authors cold. Writing a 1000-word synopsis of a novel that is 50,000 words or more is daunting. I can help you edit it down to the need-to-know essentials while still keeping the voice and tension of the novel. I accept two to five single-spaced pages and will offer line edits and suggestions to pare it down, along with editorial questions. After your review/update, I will review a second time. For this service, I charge $100. If you would like further guidance beyond that, please let me know and we can discuss rates.

Melissa has a great way of understanding which story points to emphasize in a synopsis, conveying your novel in a clear & understandable way. – Salima A.

Admissions Essays

I have reviewed undergraduate applications for admissions to NYU, led college essay writing workshops for high school seniors, and privately tutored middle school students applying to elite Manhattan middle and high schools. I truly enjoy the admissions essay/personal statement, and I would be happy to work with you or your child on crafting the perfect essay for middle school, high school, college, or graduate school. In person, I charge $200/hr. Over email, it varies depending on whether you need help brainstorming topics or if you simply want a polish/line edit. Please contact me to discuss rates.

Melissa helped me clarify my personal statements to showcase my abilities and my potential to thrive in MBA programs. Her editing highlighted the strengths in my work experience and my understanding of what an MBA would require, so as to make me an attractive candidate to each program. As a result, I will be graduating from NYU Stern this year. – Zach S.

Melissa helped me write my essay for my application to PA school. She spent countless hours making sure everything was absolutely perfect. I got into my program of choice and can confidently say I couldn’t do it without her. – Jillian, Pace-Lenox Hill (Physician Assistant)

Melissa was a tremendous resource in helping me to edit and refine my personal statement for application to medical school. The application process was daunting, with so much emphasis on demonstrating your character and motivations in one short essay, but working with Melissa made it manageable. With her encouragement, guidance and unique ability to very quickly help me get to the root of what I wanted to say, I was able to find my voice and tell a compelling story that became the focus of discussion in my medical school interviews. Melissa is talented and an absolute pleasure to work with and I cannot recommend her highly enough! – Corey (D.O. – osteopathic doctor)



melissa (at)

One thought on “Services / Contact Information

  1. Michele Prestininzi

    Melissa critiqued my daughter’s college admissions essay. Her comments were encouraging and insightful. She helped McKayla focus her essay and find the heart. Most importantly, Melissa helped my daughter transform her draft into an essay she was proud of. I would highly recommend Melissa to anyone who wants to take her essay to the next level. -Michele P.

    Melissa helped me with my college admissions essay. Her constructive criticism helped me strengthen my essay not change it. She gave me positive feedback and explanations as to why some sections needed to be changed. With Melissa’s help, my essay became more focused and heartfelt. I would definitely recommend Melissa to any student who needs help polishing her draft. -McKayla P. ( high school senior)

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