An Honest Cover Letter

Dear Publisher or Literary Agency,

I love reading. I love writing. I bet you hear this all the time, but I just want you to know that I mean it. When I begin to talk about books, I feel my stomach leaping and the tips of my toes curl in excitement. When I sit down to write every day, I feel as if this is something I will gladly be doing for the rest of my life, even if it doesn’t result in a lot of money. I’m fully willing to become a waitress to support my writing habit.

However, it’s probably harder getting published as an unknown waitress who writes during her hours off than as a literary agent or editor at a publishing house. Working with you will give me an “in.” Am I being too blunt? Forgive me, but that’s the point. I’ve spent the last two and a half hours drafting (or attempting to draft) clever, concise and comprehensive cover letters in which I subtly explain why I will get down on my knees and beg to work for you. My mind is fairly wrung out, and so in order to refresh and cleanse it, I’m telling you the truth.

The truth is that while my biggest goal isn’t to become a publisher or literary agent, these are jobs that I would do a lot to get if they would help me support my writing habit while also letting me deal with books all day. I’ve been working in a bookstore during the last month, and I’ve found that the mere presence of hundreds of books is enough to keep me motivated and happy. Only think how well I’ll work for you at a job that would involve not only seeing books but reading manuscripts and writing letters!

I fear that my formulaic cover letters will get swallowed in the mass of other likely, qualified candidates that will contact you. If I had the guts, I’d send you this letter instead – although, to be fair, I’d probably work at it a lot longer and make it wittier and more touching than it is.

The bottom line (or, rather, lines) is that I love books, I’m passionate about the written word, and I would love to work anywhere that helps in the process of getting a book from the writer’s personal hard-drive and into the bookstore where I happily purchase it. Even though you’re businesses and your goal is to profit, you also save my life along the way by continuing to publish the books without which I wouldn’t know how to survive the emotional and mental turmoil that every human being goes through.

Hire me, hire me, hire me,

Help me keep writing and books in my life forever by letting me leap into the publishing world during my sophomore year at college,

(I promise you won’t regret it,)

Sincerely,

SlightlyIgnorant

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Boggle

Boggle is an under-appreciated game. Big Boggle even more so. You may be asking, what is this strange word? You may be asking, has she finally gone totally batty? Well, maybe not. Maybe it’s a really well known game and the only reason I’m not aware of that is because there wasn’t one [not even one!] set of Boggle at The Black Squirrel, which is the Sarah Lawrence student-run cafe.

Boggle, in case you don’t know, is a pretty simple game. There are sixteen six-sided dice, and there’s a sort of box thing that has little openings the size of those dice. And then there’s a cover. You shake it around until the dice fall into place, and then you see only one side of each of the dice, and those are the letters you get to work with.

You then need to try to write down all the words you can find in that little box of letters in front of you.

That was probably one of the worst explenations of Boggle ever written, but what can I say? I don’t remember how the rule-book words it.

The point is, it’s a fun game. It’s a wordy game. It’s a game I’m really good at. Scrabble? I’m okay. Quiddler? Well, both my brother and Sir B. F. beat me every single time. They have strategies, you see. If you haven’t heard of Quiddler, I highly recommend looking into it.

But Boggle – that’s a game that plays to my strengths. I write fast, I remember that words like “pot” and “tin” and “teem” can all be written backwards and mean something else, so I always get two words when I see these.

It might be possible, ever so slightly, to tell that it’s 1:24AM and I don’t have much to write about. I spent a half hour today starting to write something that Anne Lamott recommends doing in her amazing book, Bird by Bird. Anyone who wants to read a book about writing that’s both honest and hilarious should read it.

So now, without further babbling, rambling, chatting or similar, I bid you, good fellows or fellowettes, good night.