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With the holiday bringing me relief from my 9-5, I’m spending the morning trudging through the slush pile at Fringe. One “cover letter” in particular has caught my eye, and it serves as a good example of what not to do, in line with our handout last night.

On the Fringe submission page, the guidelines state that “Your email should include your name, a cover letter, the title(s) of the pieces and a press-ready bio.”

This particular writer sent a cover letter that begins: “Not sure what is meant by a cover letter, but here’s a short bio of me.”

What this comment tells me is that this writer did not care enough about the submission process, and hence, his own work, to take the time to learn “what is meant by a cover letter.”

Lapses like this will cause some editors out there to discard (i.e., throw in the trash) a writer’s manuscript before even reading the first line. I’m not that jaded (yet), but when I do start reading this story, I’ll be doing so with a jaundiced eye. And that is never good news for a writer.

Reasearch, research, research.


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