Friday, August 26, 2011

Viewer Call-In Question Time

Someone commenting on the blog wants to know:
Are you guys submitting your stories with cover letters? I never do unless it is explicitly asked for, but I wonder how many more acceptances (or nice rejections) I might get if I mentioned 3 little letters. Le sigh.

Answers, anybody?


Beth C. said...

I include a cover letter unless they state, "No cover letters." I would rather err on the side of being overly polite.

Anonymous said...

I recently met a long-time editor of a poetry journal who said that she couldn't believe people submitted their work to the journal with a listing of their credentials but without saying anything about the magazine or even thanking their potential reader for considering their work. I think a cover letter indicating that you've read the magazine to which you're submitting your story, as well as expressing your gratitude for the reader's time and patience can't hurt. Journals receive thousands of submissions a year, so it's wise to try to distinguish yourself from the fray in any way you can.

Anonymous said...

are you sick of rejection ? Well I'm give out a shut at acceptance!

Laura Maylene said...

I always include a brief, polite cover letter. Some editors like them and some ignore them completely, but unless a journal specifically asks for no cover letter, I always include one.

If your submission is amazing and you followed the basic guidelines, you are not going to be dinged for no cover letter or no MFA. The challenge all of us face is being in the slush pile in the first place. Journals are overwhelmed with submissions and getting an acceptance is never easy.

I have published multiple stories that were pulled from the slush, by the way, and I don't have an MFA. I have also received many, many, many, many rejections from places that did not give a hoot about my publications, awards, or forthcoming story collection because my submission just didn't do it for them for whatever reason. It's life.

Boris said...

I never mention my degrees in my cover letter. Honestly, the paranoia of the non-MFA is a little baffling to me.

Anonymous said...

I doubt most journals care about MFAs. I have a recent one from one of the "top" schools, and I mention it in a very brief (2-3 sentence) cover letter but I hardly expect it will give me special consideration. I also thank the reader for taking the time to consider my work.