Cover Letter Guide

Top Tips from TNQ Editors

  • The cover letter is an opportunity for editors to get to know you. Consider including something about your writing plans, who you have worked with, and what writing courses you have taken or plan to take. Our editors appreciate when they can get a sense of your passion or goals as a writer.
  • However, you do not need to speak about your particular submission in your cover letter, unless there is an interesting inspiration or connection that can be briefly noted. Don’t feel like you have to explain your piece; the writing should do so on its own!
  • Editors like to think that you have read The New Quarterly, but they are also realistic. However, showing familiarity with the magazine is always a good sign to them, even if you have just checked us out online.
  • Our Editors think of the publishing process as a relationship. So, they like to think that you are genuinely interested in our magazine. Making the letter personable as well as professional will leave an impression.
  • Remember the basics: good grammar, personal but professional (avoid “Hey Pamela”), and keep it brief (no more than one page).


Sample Cover Letter


Emily Bee
123 Fake Street
Little Town, Ontario, X3X 3X3

Fiction Editors
The New Quarterly c/o St. Jerome’s University
290 Westmount Road North
Waterloo, ON N2L 3G3

September 3, 2020

To Pamela Mulloy and the Fiction Editors of The New Quarterly,

I am submitting “My Cat Won’t Stop Stepping On Me,” a 2500-word story for your consideration. I was inspired to submit after reading Rover Terrier’s story “Cats are F(r)iends” in your latest issue.

My story is a part of a larger collection concerning family pets and their baffling behaviours. I began work on this collection in Dominic Shorthair’s creative writing course “How to Write a Great Story for Your Cat” in 2012. I have since benefited from ongoing creative writing mentorships from Tabby Manx and Calico Bobtail. I hope to one day publish my complete collection.

This is a simultaneous submission. I will notify you immediately if it is accepted elsewhere. Thank you for considering my work.

All best wishes,

Emily Bee

Bio: Emily Bee’s work has been published in many publications, such as Catitude, The CanLitCat and Poetry Paws. She received a Bachelor of Arts in English at the University of Hard Knocks and is working towards an MFA in Creative Writing. They currently live in Little Town, ON.