Brian Spears

Poet, Editor, Teacher, Blogger.

Good cover letter advice

My old friend Chet (Alan to pretty much everyone else) is an editor at Relief, and he just posted some advice on cover letters. Some of it is specific to their journal, since it’s a Christian journal, like this piece.

Do not tell us that God wants us to publish you.

Lots of people tell us we should accept a story because God told them to write it. Some imply—or even say—that if we don’t accept a story we’re going against His wishes. Now, we certainly believe that the Spirit can move in people when they write, and that God’s hand, especially when requested, is capable of guiding creativity. This fact alone, however, is not a free pass to publication. And telling an editor up front that they’re sinning if they don’t publish you is a really good way to bias your reading.

I will freely admit, however, that the reason they published me was because I threatened to infect them with my atheist cooties unless they gave in.

P.S. The rest of the advice really is top-notch as well, no matter who you’re submitting to.

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September 10, 2008 - Posted by | Alan Ackmann, Relief

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