Many of my students wonder how to write the cover letter to send along with a submission to a literary magazine, so I thought I’d devote a post to that aspect of submissions even though it is not that important. And that would be the main thing to keep in mind: Unlike a cover letter you send along with a resume when applying for a job, you’re not selling yourself, or your work, with the cover letter you send with your writing. The beauty of this process is that your writing sells your writing. You could even do entirely without a cover letter, although that might be discourteous.
So a cover letter for a submission is really a matter of courtesy. Keep it simple, keep it short. I once witnessed an editor hold up his favorite cover letter; it had one sentence on it:
I herewith submit my