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Author Topic: Short Story Cover Letter Help  (Read 1830 times)
FSHAW17
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« on: May 15, 2017, 01:27:04 AM »

 As an unpublished author, I am unable to quote any previous publications. Any advice on what i can include in my cover letter for submitting short stories? My professional/educational background (Economics) won't be relevant either! Appreciate any help, and I do apologise if I've posted this in the wrong section of the forum.
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Sarah Ahiers (Falen)
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« Reply #1 on: May 15, 2017, 07:56:44 AM »

Any conferences you've attended. Any relevant classes. Any writing forums you spend a lot of time on.
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JeanneG
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« Reply #2 on: May 28, 2017, 05:30:57 PM »

For most lit mags, previous publication credits rarely make a difference for getting your work accepted. They can point to a professional approach, but the most important thing is the writing itself. If you have no prior publishing credits, you can put in something personal, such as: XXX lives in Wonderful City, State, with her husband and 15 dogs, where she spends her free time working on her fabulous novel-in-progress.

*I'm being silly here, but you get the idea. Just include a tidbit about yourself that is interesting.

JeanneG
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« Reply #3 on: May 29, 2017, 07:14:41 AM »

My short story cover letters are usually a one sentence pitch, story info, and a short bio.

Dear {Editor's name}:

A burnt-out professor slouches home from the office to discover his computer has seized control of the house. It's written a heartbreaking work of staggering genius, and it wants a critique.

Inspiration 1.2 is an 1800 word speculative short story.

I have published {blah blah blah}

Thank you for your attention.


If you don't have much in the way of credentials, just leave it at the description and leave off the bio. They'll be judging your story based on its own merits regardless.

If the magazine is doing a specific call or is requesting something that your story specifically hits, mention that in the descriptor paragraph. But don't angst about the cover letter. With short pieces, they're going to look mostly at the story.

Sincerely,
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« Reply #4 on: May 30, 2017, 06:57:07 AM »

Any conferences you've attended. Any relevant classes. Any writing forums you spend a lot of time on.

Plus the simple statement that you are a working writer makes for a good bio if you're not published yet.

Guidelines are important so read before submitting. Give them exactly what they want. With short fiction, some editors do not want a summary in the cover letter.
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