Three hundred odd submissions later, I asked Leslie J. Anderson, one of the editors of recompose, what she would like to see in a cover letter.
“It’s a lot more boring than people think,” she said. While the cover letter I posted years ago was also from her, she pointed out that was her cover letter for a book, and that she uses something slightly different for magazines. Here’s her template:
Thank you for the chance to submit my work to Magazine. The story [poem] I included is Story or Poem Title. It is XXX words [or XX lines].
My writing has appeared in Other Magazines. My other writing accomplishments include Stuff.
I look forward to hearing from you soon!
It’s simple, to the point, but gets all the pertinent information right out there where the editor needs it. An excellent template indeed.