Submitting a Short Story: Cover Letter

I’ve set a tentative goal to submit my suicide short story to about 2-3 literary magazines in late February.  It’s been through 8-9 drafts so far, but it feels like it’s almost there now.  I need to write the final draft in a week or two and then let it rest for a week or two before submitting.  It was my first real short story of original fiction (prior to this I had just written fanfic), and there was a lot of stuff about writing I didn’t even know I didn’t know.  Now I know some of what it is I don’t know, so I guess that’s progress, maybe XD  It feels kind of weird to still be working on this thing (though I took a 4 month writing/reading hiatus for my new job), but hopefully my next short story won’t need such a grueling editing job.  Although my next short story won’t be told from the POV of a dying man having delusions, so that already makes it easier.

Apparently you need a cover letter which freaked me out a bit because I don’t know of a good way to summarize my story or the reason I wrote it without sounding too emo or macabre.  It looks like you don’t need to go into detail though.  The story is more about finding peace and redemption than it is about suicide, but it’s a sensitive subject, and I don’t want to upset anyone with my cover letter.

I’m also in the process of coming up with a pseudonym.  For now I like the name Ella Hall, but that may change in a week or two.  I love the name Ella, but I’m not sure about Hall.  I’ll probably dedicate an entry to why I’m not publishing (more like attempting to publish XD) under my real name, but that’s beyond the scope of this entry.  For others who are curious or in the same boat I found some helpful articles on the subject.

Links to Helpful Blog/Articles About Cover Letters:

Writer’s Digest: Literary Journal Submissions 101

Freelance Writing: Cover Letters For Short Stories

The Review Review: Your Perfect Cover Letter

David Fitzpatrick’s Examples of Good and Bad Cover Letters

If anyone has another good resource about this issue, please share 🙂

6 thoughts on “Submitting a Short Story: Cover Letter

  1. Hi! This is an awesome post! Thanks so much for sharing.
    I see that you’ve been following my blog for a while and wanted to let you know that I’m now on:
    and Google+ as well:
    If you’d like to follow me on those I’d love to see you around. I update them regularly. Keep up the awesome blogging!

    • Oh wow, how do you keep up with it all? XD Facebook (personal account), WordPress, and Critique Circle is almost more than I can handle with a full time job :$ I’m not on any of those yet, but if I do sign up I’ll be sure to add you 🙂

    • Thank you so much! You are too sweet :$ Well, we’ll see XD Published or not, I learned a lot in the process and am proud of how far I’ve come in the last few months. I’d love to have you read the revised version once I finish it. I posted it over on Critique Circle and got some more helpful feedback so I’m writing the final draft now 🙂

      It’s kind of crazy that I’m still working on it XD The first draft only took like 2-3 weeks to write, but it’s been through many revisions and I took a 4 month break when I started work :$ I think the next short story will be easier because it’s linear and I know more about writing short stories. Most of my experience was spent working on my fanfic novel. I think I had written like five fanfic short stories before this. They are fun because the possibilities are endless and it’s much easier to experiment with form in short stories than it is with novels 🙂

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