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How to Write an Effective Cover Letter for Poetry Submission

Submitting poetry to literary publications can be a rewarding experience, but it can also be competitive. A well-crafted cover letter can help you stand out among other submissions and increase your chances of getting published. In this guide, we’ll discuss the essential components of an effective cover letter for poetry submissions.

Key Takeaways

  • Introduce yourself professionally and provide insight into your work.
  • Address the editor directly and keep the tone courteous throughout.
  • Keep the formatting simple and use a professional font throughout.
  • Include a brief and professional biography, relevant achievements, and publications.
  • Briefly summarize your poems, making them engaging and concise.
  • Conclude your letter with appreciation for their time and consideration, and provide your contact information.

Now, let’s dive into each component in greater detail.


The introduction of your cover letter sets the tone of your submission, giving the editor of the literary publication your first impression. Your poetry submission package consists of both your poems and your cover letter. Therefore, it’s crucial to convey your style as a poet effectively. The main purpose of the cover letter is to introduce yourself professionally and provide insight into your work. A well-written cover letter complements your submission, and editors appreciate reading them.

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Purpose of Cover Letter

The purpose of a cover letter when submitting poetry is to introduce yourself professionally and provide context for your work. It’s an opportunity to tell the editor about yourself, your writing, and why you believe that your work would be a good fit for their publication. The cover letter also helps editors with their job by setting the stage for the submissions they will read. Therefore, it’s essential to make sure that you have a cover letter that complements your work, adheres to the submission guidelines, and captures the editor’s attention.

Formatting the Cover Letter

The formatting of a cover letter is often simpler and more straightforward than that of a resume or CV. You will want to use a professional font, keep your paragraphs short, and use courteous language throughout. Starting with your contact information and the editor’s information, you can begin the letter by addressing the editor directly.

Introducing Yourself

Introducing yourself professionally sets the right tone for your cover letter. You should include a brief and professional biography, highlighting any additional information that is relevant to your writing. For example, mention any major achievements, awards, and publications that demonstrate your writing skills, without over-hyping them. It’s essential to establish your credentials without pretending to be someone you’re not.

Introducing Your Work

When introducing your work, be creative, and grab the editor’s attention. The objective is to provide a concise and intriguing glimpse into your work that makes the editor want to read it in full. Include the title of each poem, the genre (in this case, poetry), and a brief summary of what the poems are about. This should be written in a way that is concise, engaging, and makes your work stand out from other submissions.

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The conclusion of your cover letter should be friendly and show appreciation for the editor’s time and consideration. One of the best ways to show appreciation is by thanking them for their time and for considering your submission. Remember to include your contact information so that the editor can reach you quickly.

Tips for Success

To help you succeed when writing a cover letter for poetry submission, here are a few tips you should consider:

  • Keep it concise and professional
  • Focus on introducing yourself and your work
  • Use courteous language and a clear, engaging tone
  • Proofread your cover letter for spelling and grammar errors
  • Tailor your letter to the specific literary publication you are submitting to


Do I need to include a cover letter when submitting poetry to a publication?

Yes, a cover letter is an essential component of your submission package. It’s an opportunity to introduce yourself professionally and provide context for your work.

How long should my cover letter be?

Keep your cover letter concise and to the point. It’s best to limit it to one page, using short paragraphs and plenty of white space.

Do I need to provide a biography in my cover letter?

Yes, a brief and professional biography is an essential component of your cover letter. It helps to establish your credentials as a writer and highlights any major achievements, awards, and publications related to your writing.

Can I submit the same cover letter to multiple publications?

While it’s acceptable to use the same cover letter for multiple submissions, be sure to tailor it to the specific publication you are submitting to. Make sure it complies with the submission guidelines for each publication.

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In conclusion, the cover letter is a crucial component of your submission package when submitting poetry to literary publications. It’s essential to introduce yourself professionally, provide insight into your work, and follow the guidelines provided by the publication. With the right approach, your cover letter can help make your submission stand out and increase your chances of getting published.

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