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Cover Letter : FAQs • Writing Forum | WritersDigest.com

Cover Letter

Frequently asked questions. Go HERE and read the first thread.
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Justinsayen
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Cover Letter

Postby Justinsayen » Mon Dec 31, 2012 3:12 pm

Some literary agencies ask for a cover letter. What would be best if I have no previous works or experience?

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louiseh87
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Re: Cover Letter

Postby louiseh87 » Mon Dec 31, 2012 6:19 pm

Just don't mention it. If you have some non-writing experience that is relevant to your story, then that might be worth a mention, but otherwise don't put anything.
Louise :)

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pls
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Re: Cover Letter

Postby pls » Mon Dec 31, 2012 6:24 pm

If you're seeking out an agency, I'm assuming that you have a novel ready to go, right?

Agencies almost never represent short fiction or short non-fiction authors. And it's rare that a first-time writer will produce a manuscript that an agent will accept for representation, but not unheard-of. But you have absolutely no writing experience? No short articles submitted to the local paper, nothing that you've created at work, nothing online like a blog or commentary, no criticism of other works? Just a manuscript for a novel?

Good luck!
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Re: Cover Letter

Postby Justinsayen » Tue Jan 01, 2013 11:11 am

My novel is complete, but I unfortunately I have no previous work or writings. The project took the last 4 years to complete and revise while working fulltime. I focused my energy toward the book rather than other areas. Any thoughts?

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updog
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Re: Cover Letter

Postby updog » Tue Jan 01, 2013 11:38 am

What Louise said. Leave the bio blank if you have no previous publishing credits. Just focus on the story you're submitting.
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mammamaia
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Re: Cover Letter

Postby mammamaia » Tue Jan 01, 2013 12:01 pm

first-time novelists with no writing credits have not only snagged agents, but also made it to the nyt bestseller lists... not all that many, but enough that you should know it's not impossible you might, too...

so don't let having 'just a manuscript for a novel' discourage you... a well-written ms with intriguing characters and a highly marketable plot will always trump noobiness and lack of prior publication... that said, your query letter also has to be brilliantly written and sell that story in just a paragraph...

good luck...
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DrG2
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Re: Cover Letter

Postby DrG2 » Tue Jan 01, 2013 7:49 pm

find out what "cover letter" means.
Typically agents don't want you to just send the manuscript w/ a cover letter.
Usually, agents want a Query Letter, by itself or with synopis and first chapter(s).
If it's a query letter, you can research the art of a query letter until the cows come home.

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mammamaia
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Re: Cover Letter

Postby mammamaia » Wed Jan 02, 2013 12:38 pm

a 'cover letter' is what accompanies a submitted ms... and most agencies will not request the ms until they've received a 'query letter' and are interested enough in the book to request sample chapters or the full ms... in which case, no additional info is needed in the cover letter, since it's all been included in the query... which means the cover letter will only refer to the agent's request to see the chapters/ms and nothing further...

so, i'm not sure what it is you're asking about... i suspect you may have meant a 'query' not a 'cover letter'...
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louiseh87
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Re: Cover Letter

Postby louiseh87 » Wed Jan 02, 2013 5:55 pm

Louise :)

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Justinsayen
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Re: Cover Letter

Postby Justinsayen » Wed Jan 02, 2013 10:12 pm

Wow! Thanks for the immense amount of help. I appreciate it, thanks.

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