1. Aerisfullofwhimsy
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    Aerisfullofwhimsy Member

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    Cover Letter Cover letter critique needed

    Discussion in 'Query & Cover Letter Critique' started by Aerisfullofwhimsy, Oct 13, 2015.

    Hey Y'all,

    Alright, so I'm working on a cover letter (that I'll probably use repeatedly) and I need someone to check it out and tell me how terrible I did it. Which would be very helpful and not in any way a negative thing. It is for a short story about a woman who moves to a different part of the county and realizes the stereotypes that she has seen on reality TV and through her mother, may be wrong. I wanted to keep it as short as possible, because it is such a short story that focus on a few small things, although those things are kept relevant and interesting (to me). I intentionally kept the bio that was requested vague, well...because I wanted to I guess. That's the best answer I can give to that. Thanks and I am sure I butchered the English language and grammar. Please feel free to point that out as well. Smiley face :)


    Dear Editor,

    This is a story of young woman, Misty Davis, in a new place, but with old misconceptions. Reality television and her mother's prejudices have always influenced her opinion. With a bout of loneliness and a new neighbor, this may change. What's displayed on the television screen and in the minds of the ignorant, can be very different than what the open minded might experience.

    Aer is a new writer, living in the Blue Ridge Mountains. When Aer is not tinkering with plant distillers and photography, the writing happens- sporadically and often in a chaotic manner.
     
  2. Solar
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    Solar Contributing Member Contributor

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    First things first: find out the name of the person. Never send a covering letter that begins 'Dear Editor'.
     
  3. Aerisfullofwhimsy
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    Aerisfullofwhimsy Member

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    Yeah, oops I should of spotted that, I actually know better. There is one publication I want to submit to, but I can not find out the name of a direct person for the life of me. So should I just write: Dear XXXX Publication?
     
  4. Solar
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    Solar Contributing Member Contributor

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    Can't you give them a quick call and find out the name?
     
  5. Aerisfullofwhimsy
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    Aerisfullofwhimsy Member

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    I thought of that too, and found no number (this may be my fault though). I could probably email them and ask. I should do that. I really detest this cover letter business. I understand it, but detest it.
     
  6. Solar
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    Solar Contributing Member Contributor

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    Always check the submission guidelines. And if in doubt, just make it short n sweet.
    You want to appear professional and on the side of the editor.
     
  7. Aerisfullofwhimsy
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    Aerisfullofwhimsy Member

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    True. I think with the last submission, I followed the guidelines down to a "T". I may of messed up that one though, because again, I could not find the editors name, and did the "Dear Editor" thing, which I knew then was not the smoothest action. I agree with the short and sweet. When I am personally writing to someone, I tend to write myself in circles and corners, and back to circles. So the less I say, the safer the submission is.
     
  8. Tenderiser
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    Tenderiser Not a man Contest Administrator Contributor

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    I've butchered this a lot, which I think is bad form for critiques so I hope you don't mind. I think it's crucial to say where she's moved to, as that's the heart of the story.

    I definitely wouldn't say you were a new writer even if it's true.

    Good luck!
     
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  9. Aerisfullofwhimsy
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    Aerisfullofwhimsy Member

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    No, I don't mind at all :) It is actually very helpful and I like what you did with it. I will not say I'm a new writer, although I feel like I should warn them. I will also state where she has moved to (a rural area opposed to the town area she grew up in). Thank you very much Tenderiser! :)
     
    Last edited: Oct 13, 2015
  10. Solar
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    Solar Contributing Member Contributor

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    To be honest, I don't think you should include a synopsis in the covering letter, and you defo shouldn't refer to
    yourself in the 3rd person (unless you're including a biog as per sub. guidelines).

    A covering letter should be just that: a basic cover for a submission. Something like

    Dear X,

    Please find attached one short story for submission. Digital copies available upon request.

    Yours

    Blahrah
     
  11. Aerisfullofwhimsy
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    Aerisfullofwhimsy Member

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    Oh, yeah, I added the short bio because a few places asked for one. It's not something I was looking forward to doing lol. Also a few of the places requested a synopsis. The ones that don't, I basically just write it up like the example you gave. Thank you for the advice, it has been helpful. (sorry I sound all "blah", I'm working on the second day of no sleep, so if I come off as less than appreciative, just know it's the deliriousness and my sluggish responses).
     
  12. Tenderiser
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    Tenderiser Not a man Contest Administrator Contributor

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    I was asked for a bio with a short story submission, too. Everybody else on the site had written theirs in the third person so I followed suit. It seems to be the norm. :)
     
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  13. Solar
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    Solar Contributing Member Contributor

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    I don't think you sound 'blah' at all. So no need to apologise.

    Of course, if you're providing a bio as per submission guidelines, the general style is in
    3rd person (unless otherwise stated). It's just that, in the OP, it wasn't clearly indicated.

    I think it would be good if you signposted it so the reader can see clearly that it is your bio
    and not a funky cover letter where the author refers to himself in the 3rd person.

    Just a thought.
     
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  14. Aerisfullofwhimsy
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    Okay that probably is a good idea....but here is the embarrassing part--what is signposting? I am sure I would know it if I saw it, but I just don't know the word. Kind of like that time I stared at that round black thing forever that gets me places in the car and did not know the word. It was "tire". I am still proud of that. Tire.

    But yeah, I don't know what signposting is. Thank you Solar, you have been helpful.
     

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