Cover Letters on Paid Market Submissions

Traditional Publishing, Independent Publishing, Hybrid, Old Model, New Model, Etc.
User avatar
Posts: 22
Joined: Mon Feb 25, 2019 12:22 pm

Cover Letters on Paid Market Submissions

Postby DaneCurley » Tue Apr 16, 2019 11:04 am

Hey All!

Still haven't joined the ranks of Rs, HMs, and xFs, but I have enjoyed the discussion/wisdom on the board. Let's cultivate more :)

What are your standard practices on cover letters sent to paid markets as new/young writers?

I usually mention that I am a professional writer and disclose that I have not been published in fiction.
In one, I mentioned a published written interview I wrote for a sports organization - I'm not sure that was the right move.
What have you learned are the yays and nays? Is anyone even reading them? Do they matter?


User avatar
Posts: 947
Joined: Fri Jul 31, 2015 7:21 pm

Re: Cover Letters on Paid Market Submissions

Postby disgruntledpeony » Tue Apr 16, 2019 12:08 pm

Simple is best unless a market asks for more (if they want more detail, they'll say so in their submission guidelines). My default cover letter reads like this:

Dear Editor,

I would like to submit "[story name]," a short story of XXXX words, for your consideration.

I have been previously published in [up to three markets, if applicable].

[insert name here]

You certainly don't have to use this exact wording, but this is similar to example cover letters I've seen elsewhere.
If a person offend you, and you are in doubt as to whether it was intentional or not, do not resort to extreme measures; simply watch your chance and hit him with a brick. ~ Mark Twain

R, SF, SHM, SHM, SHM, F, R, HM, SHM, R, ?, ?

User avatar
Posts: 202
Joined: Mon Sep 10, 2012 8:11 am
Location: Mount Gilead, Ohio

Re: Cover Letters on Paid Market Submissions

Postby morganb » Wed Apr 17, 2019 4:19 am

I haven't been published yet anywhere, other than a short essay I wrote for Orange County, California's Literary Arts Center. My default cover letter reads like this:

Dear Editors:

Please consider my x,xxx word story "Story Title" for publication in "Name of Magazine".

Thank you for your time and consideration, and I hope you enjoy the story.


Your Name

I would imagine they are really looking to see if you have any previous publishing credits. I don't, so I don't even mention it in my cover letters.

"If you can do it for joy, you can do it forever."
- Stephen King

Drop me a line at

HM x 1
R x 4

Posts: 193
Joined: Wed Mar 29, 2017 4:24 am
Location: Wisconsin

Re: Cover Letters on Paid Market Submissions

Postby jficke13 » Wed Apr 17, 2019 8:16 am

Here is a good resource on this subject: ... er-letter/
HM x2, Vol. 34 Q4 - 3rd.

Posts: 1051
Joined: Sat Aug 17, 2013 1:40 pm
Location: Detroit, MI

Re: Cover Letters on Paid Market Submissions

Postby amoskalik » Thu Apr 18, 2019 6:08 am

My standard cover letter is very similar to those given above.

Some markets will also ask for a writer's bio, so you may want to develop one. Write it in third person and maybe mention your occupation, where you live, family, pets, etc. Insert a link to your web page if you have one. Keep it to two of three sentences.
Trajectory HM R R HM R R HM HM HM R R R R HM R HM

Return to “Publishing: The Business Of”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest