The Art of Submission: Cover Letters

I can’t think of anything I’d rather write less than a cover letter.

Maybe something morose and rife with emotional context like an obituary or eulogy, but other than that, cover letters really are the worst.

It’s the talking about yourself ad naseum that gets me. That and the fact that you’re summarizing information that the reader can easily find outlined and elaborated on in your resumé. I threw a legitimate tantrum the other night when I had to write one for a job. My boyfriend read it over offered some feedback: it wasn’t specific enough, it didn’t mention any of my publications, and it didn’t really convey my passion for writing. I kicked my feet under the covers.

Didn’t my five years of graduate school studying literature and writing convey that? Didn’t that whole section in my resumé listing my publications cover that? What more was there to say?

Thankfully, the cover letters necessary for submitting your work to literary journals and magazines are much more succinct.


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