26 November 2006

Cover Letters

Have you slaved over a cover letter that will get your story noticed by the editors at Electric Spec? Well, don't. We'll read your story unless it is clear from the cover letter that the story does not meet our guidelines. However, I do grow tired of seeing certain things in cover letters that really don't belong there, such as:

1) personal information: age, marital status, number of children, or day job
2) information about the plot of the story (we are going to read it, after all)
3) the phrase, "I've been writing since I was (fill in the blank) years old"
4) requests for comments about the story
5) information about how much you love to write

Please DO include the essentials listed in the Electric Spec submission guidelines, including the name of the story and author in the subject matter line and a word count. A short summary of past publication credits is helpful, but not essential. Be aware that if you include a link to your biographical information, I probably won't go there. I usually don't have time to follow links around.

Here's a sample over a cover letter that would be just dandy:

Dear Electric Spec Editors:

Please consider the attached 4000-word
story, "Hayward the God's Eye Wanderer" for publication in Electric Spec. My
short stories have previously appeared in IGMS, The New Yorker, and Static
Movement. Thanks for your


Edward E. Egglsby

Pretty easy, huh?

1 comment:

lesleylsmith said...

You raise some good points, Dave.
Personally, I don't even read the cover letter!