publishing, Writing Tips

The Anatomy of a Cover Letter

When You Want to Get Published

Whether you’re new to submitting or a seasoned submitter, you probably dread that “Please enter a cover letter” box on Submittable, especially if you’re unsure of what to include. The words “cover letter” might seem a little too official (and, if you were an English major, reminiscent of trying to gain employment…especially if you’re still trying to gain employment).

Image result for cover letter meme

So why would a journal want you to write a cover letter, anyway? Can’t you just send them some work and get on with your day?

Well, a cover letter can, and for many journals, does make a difference–it’s not necessarily going to get you rejected, but it can help editors know whether your stuff gels with what they’re looking for and gives them a sense of who you are. At the very least, it can help streamline the process when you get accepted, since they’ll already have your bio and will just have to update it. Everybody loves some copying and pasting.

So, what do you even put in a cover letter?

See below for insights and an example of a cover letter from our very own editor, Nichole Rued, and feel free to download a copy for your future reference!

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