INQUIRY AND REQUEST LETTER. This is a fairly common, straight-forward, all-around type of letter in which you ask for information, prices, permission, answers to questions or assistance. You are not trying to convince anyone of anything. You are merely asking about something. You will practically always receive an answer. Perhaps you would like to move to another city. You write their Chamber of Commerce. Perhaps you want someone to fill out a questionnaire for you. Possibly you want to find out some information about a program of study. You could write to a film company to ask if they have an intern program for which you could apply. This is the way to gain information. Remember, you are not selling anything or trying to persuade anyone of anything. You simply are asking for information. This sort of letter must be done correctly in order to receive an earnest answer.
The Inquiry and Request Letter only has 3 paragraphs. Paragraph 1 can be a single sentence, provided that it is a question or direct statement.
Paragraph 1: Begin with a specific question: Do you have any evening courses in screen writing?” “What are your requirements for a scholarship in screen writing?” (or a direct statement) “Recently I have become very interested in pursuing screen writing as a vocation.”
Paragraph 2: Add details to paragraph 1 as it pertains to you. This paragraph should include what is wanted, who wants it and why it is wanted. Ex. “I would appreciate your sending me a copy of your college catalog. I plan on applying for graduate school in Theater. Your catalog will help me decide on courses of study to follow should I decide to apply to attend your institution.”
Paragraph 3: You can fill in details about the action you wish the reader to take and by when. Ex. “If possible, could you get this information to me within the next two weeks? I am very interested in applying for your summer screen writing program.” Remember to use add-ons and seeds to flesh out the last paragraph of this letter if necessary.
End the letter with Best regards, or Sincerely yours.
In a later blog, we will be discussing the dreaded Query Letter. That’s the one you will use to try and open doors that seemingly are glued shut with Crazy Glue.