How to Write a Proper Short Story Cover Letter

A superb insight into the world of short story cover letters!


Richie Billing writes fantasy fiction, historical fiction and stories of a darker nature. His short fiction has been published by, amongst others, Kzine, TANSTAAFL Press, Bewildering Stories, Liquid Imagination, The Magazine of History & Fiction, Aether and Ichor, and Far Horizons. His debut novel, Pariah's Lament, will be published by Fiction Vortex in Summer 2020. He co-hosts the podcast The Fantasy Writers’ Toolshed, a venture inspired by the requests of readers of his critically-acclaimed book, A Fantasy Writers’ Handbook. Most nights you can find him up into the wee hours scribbling away or watching the NBA. Find out more at

7 thoughts on “How to Write a Proper Short Story Cover Letter

  1. Adam says:

    You know I recently sent off another short story, with a cover letter, so this is rather good timing. Thank you for sharing.

  2. J.J. Adamson says:

    I have to admit I’ve been including one sentence summaries of my stories with every cover letter for at least three years. This author is right, I did it because that’s what novel queries do. I’ll stop and we’ll see what happens.

    1. richiebilling says:

      Same here! It makes sense but all markets are different. A useful insight! Thanks for reading and commenting!

      1. J.J. Adamson says:

        I think in my most recent submission I included a summary because it really fit with the market, as in that market specializes in stories with psychological suspense, and this story was perfect for them. I didn’t think it was necessary, but I didn’t see why I wouldn’t include it, as in I didn’t think it would irritate editors.

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