Cover Me

I’ve chosen the poems to send to one of the publications I had in mind, and now I *just* have to write the cover letter. Well … that, and do a little more editing, print the poems again, stare at them for a while longer, and carry them around with me until I’m sick of them and myself. This will involve reading poetry on public transit — my own poetry, no less — which always makes me feel a bit effete, and as if I’m hoping someone will notice. Which I’m not. Really.

But I digress … What I was going to say is that I find cover letters really difficult to write. I know they won’t make or break anything, but I fear sounding like a total jackass, and then this really might jaundice the editors’ view of my work. Will my attempt to sound humble and normal instead come across as false modesty and tweeness? Now that I have some publishing credits, how many of them can I armor myself with to make the point that other people think I’m good — or at least, have thought so in the past (butmaybemybestworkisbehindmeandI’llneverpublishanotherthing)? Past a certain point, a long string of credits must look pretty desperate, as if you believe your work can’t stand on its own. <Cough> And I don’t feel that way at all.

Writers, do you find cover letters difficult, too? Editors, what makes a good one?

And what better way to end a post on cover letters than with a list of credits? Thank you very much to the following publications, which will always hold a special place in my heart (evenifIcan’taffordtosubscribetothem AND eveniftheyhavesubsequentlyrejectedme — what’supwiththat?):


Literary Mama

Alimentum:The Literature of Food

the Aurorean

The Sow’s Ear Poetry Review

Cider Press Review (upcoming)

Exit 13 (upcoming)


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