What to Include in a Cover Letter

One of the many challenges of people new to submitting their work to literary magazines is putting together a good cover letter. Here are some basic tips (and some ones specific to our magazine!).

  • Make sure to properly address the editors of your category submission. Or, if it’s at a place where editors change frequently, check the website or recent issue for direction. When in doubt, address your submission to the editor-in-chief.
  • Include your full contact information including email and phone number. With so many places now accepting submissions only through online services like Submittable, it’s easy to forget to include properly addressing the header.
  • A brief biographical summary needs to be included in the second or third paragraph. Keep it short. No more than five sentences generally.
  • Start your first line with the title of the work you are submitting and where your submitting it to and which issue. Editors appreciate that detail because it shows you’re paying attention to their magazine.
  • End your cover letter with a closing statement of gratitude. “Thank you for taking the time to consider my work” is always a good and professional standby.


For Helen:

  • Let us know your relationship to Southern Nevada. We’re based in Vegas and Nevada Proud so we want to have each issue reflect that. The work doesn’t have to be created here or take place here, but they have to capture that spirit of Vegas.
  • Give us one or two sentences about how your work matches our theme. Generally speaking, this is something that most cover letters don’t address and most magazine’s don’t ask. But we’re curious and your answer might move your work up that slush pile.
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