Cover Letters


Before writing your cover letter or even thinking about submitting to online or print magazines, read their guidelines and sample copies. When budgets allow, subscribe to the literary magazines you love most. They need your support. Always get to know your market before sending them your work. This will save your time and theirs.

Cover Letter Etiquette

Formatting for hardcopy letters:

  • Standard white paper. Standard font such as Arial or Times New Roman (size 12). Standard margins (1″ top and bottom and 1 or 1.25″ inches on the sides).
  • Single-space the cover letter and double-space the manuscript.
  • Use proper business letter format (see below).
  • If possible, address the editor by name (look through the magazine’s masthead)
  • Close with “Sincerely” followed by your full name and signature.

SAMPLE COVER LETTER (put into your own words):

Skippy Smith
5 Hopeful Way
Living Rock, AL, Zip
your email address

Jill Jolson, Editor
Green Finch Magazine
123 Main Street
Anytown, State, Zip

Dear Ms. Jolson,

Enclosed please find my (short story, poem, play, personal essay) entitled “___________.” (Optional: include a line about the piece or its origins, if relevant.)

My work has been published in (list any publications, online or print). I received (list any awards). I participate in (school literary magazine, NaNoWriMo, summer creative writing programs or anything else that shows your commitment to writing). If there is nothing to report, simply leave this paragraph out.

I enjoy reading Green Finch Magazine. (If possible, mention a particular piece that you read and enjoyed. Be sincere.) I hope you will find my (story, poem, etc.) to be a good fit.

Thank you for your consideration.


Your Signature

Skippy Smith