Question on cover letters

I’ve always considered myself an expert on writing cover letters.  Here’s what I’ve always said:

“This is all you need: ‘Good morning.  Enclosed (or attached) is my x000 word story <name> for consideration in your <title> anthology.  I hope you like it.’  That’s it, except that if you have professional credits, mention them.”

Fine advice, and I still stand by it.  Only, how exactly do you mention those professional credits without sounding like an idiot?  Appending, “I have sold a story to <name> anthology,” sounds, well, stupid.  I don’t like it.

Does anyone have any suggestions that flow better?

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Site administrative account, so probably Corwin, Felix or DD-B.

0 thoughts on “Question on cover letters”

  1. Hmmm, how about:

    Professional credits:
    * title, publication 1
    * title, publication 2
    * title, publication 3

    If you are blessed with an over-abundance of credits, you can change it to “Relevant professional credits” I suppose and pick 4 or 5.

    After a certain point it is best not to over-think things.

  2. I have used, “I have sold over # short stories to publications such as [short list],” and, “My short fiction [will be appearing/has appeared] in [venue].”

    Neither is going to make the editor suck his/her breath in at the depth of my eloquence, but since “over #” is currently “over sixty,” I can say that nobody seems bothered by it, either.

  3. Why don’t you create a separate list of your professional credits and attach a copy
    to the letter along with your story.
    This will also save you from having to write them out all over again for each letter.

  4. Thanks for the ideas, some of them useful. The list idea isn’t bad, but it wouldn’t work well for someone who has only one or perhaps two short story sales.

  5. I’ve recently spent some time poking through the archives over at Making Light where I found TNH’s advice on cover letters.
    The gist of it seems to be to keep it short, sweet and factual. Also, easy on the embellishments unless you do cute really well.
    Chocolate truffles optional.

  6. Sorry about the doubleposting.

    Jeff said:

    “you may have seen my previous work at such and such publications or yada yada books”

    Dunno. The “you may have…” sounds slightly patronizing, as if you don’t expect the recipient to know about the publications in question.
    I may be reading to much into it.

    I think

    Earlier publication(s):
    [story] in [venue] [date]

    would be sufficient.
    Besides, it’s hard to go wrong with short and to the point. I’m sure Vlad’ll agree ;>

  7. “If you aren’t familiar with my work, you can find examples in yada-yada-yada…”

    A little less patronizing, I think. It doesn’t suggest any moral defect on the part of the reader for not knowing who you are, but still makes the point that someone saw fit to buy your work.

  8. Selections of my published work most relevant to this anthology are( blah blah). Other works of note can be found :( blah blah)

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