How to Write a Editorial Cover Letter (With Example)

Discover simple steps to write an effective editorial cover letter. This guide provides practical advice and an example, ensuring your qualifications shine and improve your chances in the editorial field.

Writing a good editorial cover letter is a key step when trying to get your work published. This letter is your chance to make a good first impression on editors and publishers. It's like a short introduction that goes with your writing when you send it to a magazine or newspaper.

An editorial cover letter tells the editor why your work is worth reading. It gives them a quick idea of what your article or story is about and why it fits their publication. This letter can make the difference between your work being read or ignored.

Many writers don't know how important this letter is. They spend a lot of time on their main piece but rush through the cover letter. This is a mistake. A strong cover letter can open doors and get your work noticed.

In this article, we'll look at how to write an editorial cover letter that gets attention. We'll cover what to include, what to avoid, and give you an example to help you start. Whether you're new to writing or have been doing it for years, these tips will help you create a cover letter that makes editors want to read more.

Editorial Cover Letter Example

Edith Nelson
(744) 507-7956
Sandra Bailey
Hiring Manager
Penguin Random House

Dear Sandra Bailey,

I am writing to express my strong interest in the Editorial position at Penguin Random House. As an avid reader and passionate wordsmith, I am thrilled at the prospect of contributing to one of the world's leading publishing houses.

Throughout my career, I have honed my skills in manuscript evaluation, content development, and author relations. My keen eye for detail, coupled with a deep understanding of market trends, has allowed me to successfully shape numerous manuscripts into bestselling titles. I am particularly adept at identifying promising new voices and nurturing them through the publishing process.

What sets me apart is my innovative approach to editorial work. I have implemented digital tools to streamline the editing process, resulting in a 30% increase in efficiency without compromising quality. Additionally, I have experience in cross-platform content adaptation, which I believe will be invaluable as Penguin Random House continues to expand its digital footprint.

I am impressed by Penguin Random House's commitment to diversity in literature and its global reach. Your recent initiatives in promoting underrepresented authors align perfectly with my personal mission to bring fresh perspectives to readers worldwide. I am excited about the possibility of contributing to these efforts and helping to shape the future of publishing.

My collaborative nature and ability to work effectively under tight deadlines make me an ideal fit for your dynamic team. I am eager to bring my passion for storytelling and my editorial expertise to Penguin Random House, where I can help maintain and elevate the high standards your company is known for.

Thank you for considering my application. I look forward to the opportunity to discuss how my skills and experiences can contribute to the continued success of Penguin Random House.


Edith Nelson

How to Write & Format a Cover Letter Header

The header of your editorial cover letter sets the tone for your entire application and provides essential contact information. A well-crafted header ensures your letter looks professional and makes it easy for the editor to reach you.

Key Elements of a Cover Letter Header

When creating your header, include the following information:

  1. Your full name
  2. Professional title (if applicable)
  3. Mailing address
  4. Phone number
  5. Email address
  6. Date
  7. Recipient's name and title
  8. Publication name
  9. Publication's address

Formatting Tips

Keep your header clean and easy to read. Use a professional font and ensure proper spacing between elements. Align your contact information to the left or center of the page, depending on your preferred style.

Addressing the Recipient

Always try to address your letter to a specific person. Research the publication to find the appropriate editor's name and title. If you can't find this information, "Dear Editorial Team" or "Dear [Publication Name] Editor" are acceptable alternatives.

Professional Appearance

A well-organized header demonstrates attention to detail and respect for the recipient's time. It also makes your letter stand out among other submissions, increasing your chances of catching the editor's attention.

Remember, your cover letter header is the first thing the editor sees. Make sure it's polished, accurate, and sets a professional tone for the rest of your letter.

Edith Nelson
(744) 507-7956
Sandra Bailey
Hiring Manager
Penguin Random House

Greeting Your Potential Employer

After crafting a professional header, the next crucial element of your editorial cover letter is the greeting. This sets the tone for your letter and demonstrates your attention to detail and professionalism.

Research the Recipient

Whenever possible, address your letter to a specific person. Take the time to research the name and title of the editor or hiring manager. This personal touch shows initiative and genuine interest in the position.

Use a Professional Salutation

Begin with a formal salutation such as "Dear" followed by the recipient's title and last name. For example:

  • "Dear Mr. Johnson,"
  • "Dear Ms. Thompson,"
  • "Dear Dr. Garcia,"

When the Recipient is Unknown

If you cannot find a specific name, use a general but professional greeting:

  • "Dear Editorial Team,"
  • "Dear Hiring Manager,"
  • "Dear [Publication Name] Editor,"

Avoid outdated or overly generic greetings like "To Whom It May Concern" or "Dear Sir/Madam."

Gender-Neutral Options

If you're unsure about the recipient's gender or prefer a gender-neutral approach, consider:

  • "Dear Alex Smith," (using full name)
  • "Dear Editor-in-Chief,"

Remember, the greeting sets the stage for your letter. A thoughtful, well-researched salutation demonstrates your professionalism and attention to detail, qualities highly valued in the editorial world.

Introducing Yourself in a Cover Letter

The introduction of your editorial cover letter sets the tone for your entire application. This crucial opening paragraph should immediately grab the editor's attention and convey your enthusiasm for the position. Here's how to craft a compelling introduction:

Start with a Strong Hook

Begin with a captivating statement that highlights your relevant experience or passion for the publication. This could be a brief anecdote, an interesting fact, or a compelling reason why you're drawn to this particular editorial role.

Mention the Position

Clearly state the specific position you're applying for and where you found the job listing. This shows that you've done your research and are genuinely interested in this particular opportunity.

Demonstrate Your Knowledge

Showcase your familiarity with the publication by referencing recent articles, editorial decisions, or the publication's mission statement. This demonstrates that you've done your homework and understand the publication's voice and values.

Highlight Your Unique Value

Briefly mention one or two key qualifications that make you an ideal candidate for the position. Focus on skills or experiences that directly relate to the job requirements and set you apart from other applicants.

Keep It Concise

Remember, your introduction should be brief and to the point. Aim for 3-4 sentences that pack a punch and entice the editor to continue reading your letter.

Strong Example

Dear [Editor's Name],

I am writing to submit my manuscript titled 'The Impact of Social Media on Political Discourse in the Digital Age' for consideration in [Journal Name]. As a researcher with over a decade of experience in media studies and political communication, I believe this article aligns perfectly with your journal's focus on contemporary media issues and their societal implications.

This study presents groundbreaking findings on how social media platforms are reshaping political conversations and influencing voter behavior. Drawing from a comprehensive analysis of 100,000 social media posts and in-depth interviews with political analysts, our research offers unique insights that will be of great interest to your readership.

Why is this a strong example?

This is a strong cover letter introduction for several reasons. First, it immediately states the purpose of the letter and provides the manuscript title, showing professionalism and clarity. The author establishes their credibility by mentioning their extensive experience in the field, which adds weight to their submission. The introduction also demonstrates familiarity with the journal by noting how the article aligns with its focus, showing that the author has done their homework. Additionally, it provides a brief yet compelling overview of the research, highlighting its scope and significance. The use of specific numbers (100,000 social media posts) and mention of methodology (in-depth interviews) further strengthens the introduction by conveying the depth and rigor of the research. Overall, this introduction is likely to capture the editor's interest and encourage them to read further.

Weak Example

Dear Sir/Madam,

I am writing to apply for the editorial position at your company. I saw your job posting online and thought I would be a good fit. I have some experience in editing and I like to read books. I hope you will consider my application.

Why is this a weak example?

This is a weak cover letter introduction for several reasons. First, it uses a generic salutation instead of addressing a specific person, which shows a lack of effort in researching the company. Second, the language is vague and unenthusiastic, failing to grab the reader's attention or demonstrate genuine interest in the position. The applicant mentions seeing the job posting but doesn't specify where or show any knowledge about the company. The statement about experience and liking books is too general and doesn't highlight any specific skills or qualifications relevant to the editorial role. Overall, this introduction fails to make a strong first impression, showcase the applicant's unique value, or demonstrate a clear understanding of the position and company.

Writing the Body of Your Cover Letter

The body of your editorial cover letter is where you can showcase your qualifications, experience, and passion for the role. This section should expand on your introduction and provide compelling reasons why you're the ideal candidate for the position.

Highlight Your Relevant Experience

Begin by discussing your most relevant professional experiences. Focus on achievements that directly relate to the editorial position you're applying for. Quantify your accomplishments whenever possible to provide concrete evidence of your skills.

Demonstrate Your Understanding

Show that you've done your research on the publication or company. Mention specific articles, editorial styles, or recent developments that caught your attention. This demonstrates your genuine interest and familiarity with their work.

Showcase Your Skills

Detail the specific editorial skills you possess that make you a strong candidate. These might include fact-checking, copy-editing, content curation, or managing a team of writers. Provide brief examples of how you've successfully applied these skills in previous roles.

Express Your Passion

Convey your enthusiasm for the field of editing and the specific publication or company you're applying to. Explain why you're drawn to this particular opportunity and how it aligns with your career goals.

Address the Job Requirements

Ensure you address any specific requirements mentioned in the job posting. If the position calls for expertise in a particular subject area or familiarity with certain software, highlight your relevant experience or willingness to learn.

By crafting a compelling body for your cover letter, you'll effectively communicate your qualifications and enthusiasm, increasing your chances of landing an interview for the editorial position.

Strong Example

I am writing to express my strong interest in the Editorial position at XYZ Publishing. As a dedicated editor with over five years of experience in the publishing industry, I am excited about the opportunity to contribute my skills and passion to your esteemed team.

Throughout my career, I have honed my ability to transform raw manuscripts into polished, engaging works. At ABC Books, I successfully managed the editorial process for over 50 titles, including two national bestsellers. My keen eye for detail, coupled with my understanding of market trends, has allowed me to consistently deliver high-quality content that resonates with readers.

I am particularly drawn to XYZ Publishing's commitment to diverse voices and innovative storytelling. Your recent publication of 'Echoes of Silence' perfectly aligns with my personal mission to amplify underrepresented narratives. I believe my experience in curating culturally sensitive content and my proficiency in developmental editing would be valuable assets to your team.

I am excited about the possibility of bringing my editorial expertise, creativity, and collaborative spirit to XYZ Publishing. I look forward to the opportunity to discuss how my skills and experiences align with your team's needs and goals.

Why is this a strong example?

This is a strong example of a cover letter body for several reasons. Firstly, it clearly states the applicant's interest in the specific position and company, showing that they have tailored their letter. The writer then immediately establishes their relevant experience, providing a concrete number of years in the industry.

The second paragraph offers specific achievements, including the number of titles edited and mention of bestsellers, which provides tangible evidence of the applicant's capabilities. This demonstrates the impact of their work, which is more powerful than simply listing skills.

The third paragraph shows that the applicant has researched the company by mentioning a specific publication and the company's values. This aligns the applicant's personal mission with the company's goals, making a strong case for cultural fit.

Finally, the closing paragraph reiterates enthusiasm for the role and company, and expresses a desire to further discuss their suitability. Throughout, the letter maintains a professional yet personable tone, and is concise while providing sufficient detail. This balance makes it a strong example of a cover letter body.

Weak Example

I am writing to apply for the editorial position at your company. I have some experience in writing and I think I would be a good fit for this role. I am a hard worker and I can learn quickly. I have attached my resume for your review. Please let me know if you need any additional information from me. Thank you for your time and consideration.

Why is this a weak example?

This is a weak example of a cover letter body for an editorial position for several reasons. First, it lacks specificity and fails to highlight any concrete skills or experiences relevant to the editorial field. The phrase 'some experience in writing' is vague and doesn't inspire confidence. Second, it doesn't demonstrate knowledge of the company or the specific role, which shows a lack of research and genuine interest. Third, the language is generic and could apply to any job, rather than being tailored to an editorial position. Finally, it doesn't provide any compelling reasons why the applicant would be a strong candidate, relying instead on clichés like 'hard worker' and 'learn quickly'. A strong cover letter should showcase relevant skills, demonstrate knowledge of the company and role, and provide specific examples of how the applicant's experience aligns with the job requirements.

How to Close Your Cover Letter

As you conclude your editorial cover letter, it's crucial to leave a lasting impression and prompt the editor to take action. The closing section of your letter should summarize your interest, reiterate your qualifications, and express gratitude for the reader's time and consideration.

Express Appreciation

Begin by thanking the editor for their time and consideration. This simple gesture demonstrates professionalism and courtesy.

Reiterate Interest

Briefly restate your enthusiasm for the position and the publication. This reinforces your commitment and helps you stand out among other applicants.

Call to Action

Encourage further communication by expressing your willingness to provide additional information or meet for an interview. This shows initiative and eagerness to move forward in the process.

Professional Sign-Off

End your letter with a formal closing, such as "Sincerely" or "Best regards," followed by your full name. If submitting a physical letter, leave space for your handwritten signature above your typed name.

Contact Information

Include your contact details (phone number and email address) below your name, making it easy for the editor to reach you.

By crafting a strong closing section, you leave the editor with a positive final impression and increase the likelihood of a favorable response to your application.

Strong Example

Thank you for your time and consideration. I am excited about the possibility of contributing to [Publication Name]'s continued success and would welcome the opportunity to discuss how my skills and experience align with your editorial needs. I look forward to hearing from you soon and am available at your convenience for an interview.

Sincerely, [Your Name]

Why is this a strong example?

This is a strong cover letter closing for several reasons. First, it expresses gratitude for the reader's time, which is professional and courteous. It also conveys enthusiasm for the position and the publication, showing genuine interest. The closing reiterates the applicant's desire to contribute to the publication's success, demonstrating a team-oriented mindset. Additionally, it includes a clear call to action by mentioning availability for an interview, which prompts the hiring manager to take the next step. The tone is confident yet respectful, and it leaves a positive final impression. The formal sign-off with 'Sincerely' is appropriate for a professional letter. Overall, this closing effectively summarizes the applicant's interest, professionalism, and readiness to move forward in the hiring process.

Weak Example

Thanks for your time. I hope to hear from you soon. Have a nice day!

Why is this a weak example?

This closing is weak for several reasons. First, it's overly casual and generic, lacking the professionalism expected in a cover letter for an editorial position. The phrase 'Thanks for your time' doesn't convey genuine appreciation or enthusiasm for the opportunity. 'I hope to hear from you soon' is passive and doesn't demonstrate confidence or initiative. Finally, 'Have a nice day!' is too informal and resembles a casual email sign-off rather than a professional cover letter closing. A stronger closing would reaffirm interest in the position, express gratitude more specifically, and end with a formal, professional sign-off.

Cover Letter FAQs for Editorial


What is the ideal format and length for an editorial cover letter?


An editorial cover letter should be concise, typically no longer than one page. It should follow a standard business letter format with your contact information, the date, and the editor's contact information at the top. The body should consist of 3-4 paragraphs, including an introduction, a brief description of your manuscript, your qualifications, and a polite closing. Aim for 250-400 words total.


What key elements should be included in an editorial cover letter?


An effective editorial cover letter should include: 1) A compelling opening statement, 2) The title and genre of your manuscript, 3) A brief synopsis of your work, 4) Your target audience, 5) Your qualifications or writing credentials, 6) Any relevant market comparisons, 7) Why you chose this particular publication or editor, and 8) A polite closing with your contact information.


How should I address the editor in my cover letter?


It's best to address the editor by name if possible. Research the publication to find the appropriate editor for your submission. Use 'Dear [Editor's Name],' if you have it. If you can't find a specific name, 'Dear Fiction Editor,' or 'Dear Submissions Editor,' is acceptable. Avoid generic greetings like 'To Whom It May Concern' as they can appear impersonal.


Should I mention my publishing history in the editorial cover letter?


Yes, if you have relevant publishing credits, it's beneficial to mention them briefly in your cover letter. This can include previous publications in reputable journals, magazines, or books. However, if you're new to writing, focus on other strengths such as your unique perspective or qualifications related to your manuscript's subject matter. Don't worry if you don't have an extensive publishing history; many successful authors started without one.


How can I make my editorial cover letter stand out?


To make your cover letter stand out: 1) Personalize it for the specific editor or publication, 2) Start with a strong, attention-grabbing opening line, 3) Clearly communicate what makes your manuscript unique or marketable, 4) Show that you've done your research on the publication and explain why your work is a good fit, 5) Keep it professional but let your writing voice shine through, and 6) Proofread meticulously to ensure there are no errors or typos.