Dear Editor

Free State Review

I was so nervous submitting poems to the Carolina Quarterly in 1982 that I composed four slightly different versions of a cover letter and—overcome by brilliant anxieties and wanting to be done with the whole affair—I hastily included all of them with my poems. Mercifully they were rejected, but the editor replied with four slightly different rejection letters. It was my first lesson in irony.

Since then, I have tried to bolster my natural shyness with unnecessary formalities or excessive personal details—anything—to scatter an editor’s eye from the real purpose of the submission. In 1986, I wrote cover letters which included phrases like “Perhaps you saw the review of my short story in the Los Angeles Times” or “Let me tell you about my Uncle Turner…” But no one liked the bobcat story as much as I did.

Each experience writing a cover letter came with its customary discomfort…

View original post 625 more words

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: