Tuesday, March 13, 2012
Poetry Cover Letters
I know what a nonfiction book proposal looks like, vaguely. I have read countless blog posts on how to hook an editor/agent into reading your next novel about a dystopian universe with sparkly, magic vampires. But then there is the poetry cover letter.
I understand the basics. You have your name and contact information, titles of poems submitted, word counts, a small biography with credits if asked for, etc. There may be a small introduction where you thank the editor for taking the time to review your poetry, which I do often.
However, I am reading more materials claiming outlandish things when it comes to poetry cover letters. One person suggests comparing your work to a famous author and, in the next breath, says to not do it in a way that makes you seem pompous or egotistical. Uh, I think we past the boat there! She also goes on to say you're supposed to really flatter editors (more or less). I have also heard people saying to take chances with just SLIGHTLY different colored paper and other creative displays.
Perhaps I am old-fashioned when it comes to everything but I cannot see myself flattering an editor with blatant buttering or sending out poems on light blue paper. I am probably dumb but I thought my writing was what was supposed to get me noticed...
Am I wrong to not try unconventional things to catch an editor's eye? Is there anything in my cover letter I should be adding but don't?
Paper Graphic by: David Swart
Text By: Me