1. graphospasm
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    graphospasm Senior Member

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    Contest Entry Cover Letter--Help?

    Discussion in 'Publishing' started by graphospasm, Sep 28, 2013.

    Hello, all. I’m doing something rather out of character and submitting poetry to a lit mag’s poetry contest. They don’t require a cover letter but I have to email my submission. I have to fill the body of the email with something, right? (Or do I, even??)

    Should I approach the email like a standard cover letter, like I would for a typical submission? They’re judging entries based on writing merit, I assume, and not a résumé—so is mentioning previous publications a faux pas? Like an attempt at currying favor your piece might not deserve, or something??

    So far I’ve mentioned my name, the title of my piece, and a confirmation number for the submission fee I paid. It’s really short and to the point, but… well… what else is there to say? (If you know please tell me for the love of all that’s delicious.)

    Just not sure how to approach this; any feedback well and truly welcomed.
     
  2. thirdwind
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    thirdwind Contributing Member Contest Administrator Reviewer Contributor

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    A cover letter is always a good idea IMO (unless they specifically ask you not to include one). If you want to add relevant credentials, I would say that's fine, but other than that your cover letter sounds fine. It's short and to the point.
     
  3. graphospasm
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    graphospasm Senior Member

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    Thanks so much for the response! I love this place. Everyone is so helpful. :)
     
  4. graphospasm
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    graphospasm Senior Member

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    And to needlessly update everyone ever, I sent in the submission with piece's title and purpose (one sentence), confirmation number of payment (one sentence), and brief mention of my publishing experience/education (one sentence). Followed it with a farewell and my signature.

    Aaand we're done. Thanks!
     
  5. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    how much was the entry fee and which contest is it?
     
  6. graphospasm
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    graphospasm Senior Member

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    The Southwest Review, and not much--$5.00. Another contest I'm looking to enter has a $20.00 fee!
     
  7. minstrel
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    minstrel Leader of the Insquirrelgency Staff Supporter Contributor

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    Is that $20 one the Zoetrope: All-Story contest?
     
  8. graphospasm
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    graphospasm Senior Member

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    Yes, but there's also the identically priced Missouri Review's Editor's Prize. I think I'm going to go for Missouri over Zoetrope (provided I enter either; I don't do contests often) since Missouri takes personal essays and that's my principle genre.
     
  9. thirdwind
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    thirdwind Contributing Member Contest Administrator Reviewer Contributor

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    The submission fee for short story/essay contests tends to be higher. I think Glimmer Train is around $18. The short story contest for The Southwest Review is $25 if I'm not mistaken. But $20 for a poetry contest? That's really high.
     
  10. graphospasm
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    graphospasm Senior Member

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    By the way, the Zoetrope: All Story short fiction contest, The Missouri Review's multi-genre contest, The Boston Review's Aura Estrada contest, The Southern Indiana Review's Mary C. Mohr Prize, and the Writer's Digest Poetry Awards are all closing on October 1st, Tuesday. The Southwest Review's poetry contest closes on September 30, tomorrow. Figured I'd share! All of them have a submission fee.
     
  11. graphospasm
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    graphospasm Senior Member

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    The Writer's Digest Poetry Awards have a $15 sub fee for the first poem and a $10 sub fee for every additional poem. I shrugged off the flat $20 poetry contest; don't remember which one it was. I took it off my Master List of Submission Periods and Contests spreadsheet when I saw the price. I need a better job!

    I don't know if I've seen a short story contest sub fee under $15. :/ Sad day.
     
  12. thirdwind
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    thirdwind Contributing Member Contest Administrator Reviewer Contributor

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    The entry fee is usually why I don't like entering contests. What sucks is that a lot of magazines are charging "reading fees" for normal submissions as well. It's getting harder and harder to find magazines that don't charge fees but still pay well.
     
  13. graphospasm
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    graphospasm Senior Member

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    I feel you there. I know why they do it from a business standpoint, but I'm not making enough money to apply to every place I want with no guarantee of payout. It sucks. Guess I'll have to start saving specifically for submissions.
     
  14. minstrel
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    minstrel Leader of the Insquirrelgency Staff Supporter Contributor

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    I'm thinking of entering the Zoetrope contest, but the only stories I have kicking around that are short enough are ones I wrote for online classes. I'll have to examine the rules to make sure they're allowed.
     
  15. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    I don't see a problem with a nominal entry fee. I think if we were talking about a money making gimmick there would be some obvious indicators.

    Do we have a sub-forum yet where some of these contests could be listed?
     
  16. graphospasm
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    graphospasm Senior Member

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    Zoetrope says they accept "unpublished" work. I don't know if that includes class stuff. :/ I hope you can enter!
     
  17. thirdwind
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    thirdwind Contributing Member Contest Administrator Reviewer Contributor

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    Class stuff is considered unpublished, so yes, it can be submitted.
     
  18. graphospasm
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    graphospasm Senior Member

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    Btw, just because I feel like telling someone and the only writers in my life are on this website (I know, I know) I just submitted to Zoetrope and Missouri. Debating two other contests I really can't afford, but... you only live once?

    Someone dissuade or encourage me appropriately because I don't know what to do with myself.
     
  19. thirdwind
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    thirdwind Contributing Member Contest Administrator Reviewer Contributor

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    Go for it.
     
  20. graphospasm
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    graphospasm Senior Member

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    Hey. Not to beat a dead horse (er, thread) but is there a subforum for submission calls and contests? I've collected a long list of upcoming calls and contests and would love to share. Just want to do it in the right place!
     
  21. minstrel
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    minstrel Leader of the Insquirrelgency Staff Supporter Contributor

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    I don't think there is, but if you want to start one, go ahead. :)
     
  22. thirdwind
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    thirdwind Contributing Member Contest Administrator Reviewer Contributor

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    I think there was talk of having a subforum for advertising contests and such, but Daniel never added it. I do think the mods would need to check to see if the contests are legit or not (scams).
     
  23. graphospasm
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    graphospasm Senior Member

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    Well, I have some contests from legit lit journals (yay tongue twister) to contribute if such a thread should come into being. Let me know if I should go ahead and post or wait for approval. Would love to help out any way I can!
     
  24. Mckk
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    Mckk Moderator Staff Supporter Contributor

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    Why don't you just start a thread with the list? Someone else did that. He had a list of publishers calling for unsolicited MS in his blog, and he posted his blog link in a thread he started. That thread hasn't been taken down, so it appears to be ok.
     

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