Writing a Cover Letter for a Writing Submission

Ah cover letters. The bane of many a writer’s existence. Many magazine request a cover letter to introduce your work to them. It’s short and sweet, but still can throw you for a loop. So here are a few quick tips for writing your cover letter:

1. Address your letter to someone, not just ‘Dear Editor’

This is the ideal. I understand sometimes you can’t find the information, but whenever possible you should address the specific editor by name.

2. Keep it under a page.

There isn’t really a reason to go over a page for this letter. Introduce yourself, your week and why you are submitting it to this magazine. If you’ve read their magazines before and are a fan then don’t be afraid to say so.

3. Include any information about previous publications, simultaneous submissions, etc.

Introduce this near the beginning of letter. But first make sure that simultaneous submissions or previous publications are accepted.

4. Include a very brief bio.

Let the editor know who you are, not your life story. Mention any previous publications or honors or degrees you possess. Also if there is anything relevant to the magazine (for example it’s a magazine for nurses and you were a nurse for 13 years then please mention it)

5. Save the creativity for your work.

Keep the cover letter business-like and save the creative work to your writings.


So those are just a few tips for a cover letter. Anyone have any other words of advice?




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