Whenever I submit to a new place, I never get hung up on the possibility of being rejected. This is not the result of colossal arrogance or an ego that would dwarf this or any other solar system, but rather that I understand this is all part of the process.

If I’m going to write, I’m going to be rejected. And my stories will be rejected more often than they’re accepted. To be worried about rejection would be like being worried about getting punched during a boxing match.

No, I’m more worried about looking like a moron in the cover letter.

This is amplified by the fact that most places have different requirements for their cover letters. Some people want your publishing history above all other things, others want a synopsis, some want a mini-biography and so on.

And then there’s the ever-present worry about “Who do I address this to?” Different people give different advice about the salutation, but most agree that it’s poor form to say “Dear Editor.” Of course, most magazines and websites seem to delight in making it near impossible to find out who the editor is.

I become paralyzed while writing the cover letter. Did I write too much plot synopsis, not enough? Did I follow the format? Did I give enough publishing history (which is pretty easy at this point since I ain’t been published)? I become catatonic with the fretting and end up with “DEAR EDITOR SIR OR MADAM AIIIIEEEE” scribbled on my monitor with a Sharpie.

But now I’m just whinging for the sake of whinging.


Dylan Charles

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