Most submissions ask you for a cover letter. I never know what to say in those.
Should I be lighthearted and joke-y?*
Should I be listing off my qualifications? Listing the workshop’s I’ve taken, name-dropping writers I’ve studied under?
Should I start the cover letter with ‘Hello’ or just lunge right in without preamble?
Should I be writing an author bio here?
Should I be talking about the story, ‘selling it’ as it were?
Or should I keep it very short and just say, ‘here’s my story. I hope you like it.’?
So many questions. And for once, I don’t have any advice to offer myself here. I’m not sure what the expected behavior is for cover letters. Most of the submissions pages don’t offer any guidance here either.
So far, I’ve been defaulting to ‘short’ and ‘professional’. Short has to be good. After all, I just want them to read the story and tell me how much they love it. And professional, well, you may regret things you don’t say but you WILL regret things you do. At least in my rambled-mouth experience.
There are so many things we seem to need to learn through trial and error. Ultimately, all we can do is keep trying. Tell interesting stories as honestly as we can. The rest will have to sort itself out. Oh and share the love. You can’t go wrong being nice to people. And buying them lunch.
*No. Avoid humor in email/text. SO many ways for that to go wrong for normal people, let alone someone like me who even my friends can’t tell when I’m joking, sometimes.