Every line of a query letter is crucial, but the hook is the first part of the query that an editor will read, making it the most important. Most readers tend to move on to something more interesting if the first few lines of an article don't grab their attention. It only makes sense—and is plainly obvious--that an editor won't finish your query letter if you fail to grab his or her attention from the start. Much like the “mission statement” of a job resume, the hook of a query letter is your chance to yank the editor in and then use your writing skill to discuss succinctly how exactly your article is relevant, engaging, and interesting to the publication’s readership.
You can employ a proven hook when writing your next query letter. Each hook comes with its own context and set of benefits. I have listed the five recognizable hooks below, along with tips on when and how to use them.