Ronnie Scott on Phrasings

Posted by @ 12:47 pm on May 3rd, 2010

I went through the cover emails for the last 200ish submissions I’ve received for my magazine, thinking I would present the first lines here in case your own cover emails have started to bore you. I really just picked anything, unless it seemed identical to a line I’d already copied and pasted in.

Some of them are fairly awkward, so I should say that if I went through my own cover emails from the last couple of years, I would probably cringe so hard that it would basically count as vomiting. I’ve also sent some really weird rejections.

I think I accepted four of these, but from the opening lines, you would never guess which. In fact, I have probably never paid the cover emails this much attention before. I just download the files and keep them all in a folder, then do a Gmail search for the filename when it’s time to respond.

My own standard cover letter is: “Dear [NAME, not “Editor”, unless it’s multiple editors],

I’ve attached a short story for [YOUR MAGAZINE]. It’s about [HOWEVER MANY WORDS], and I hope you like it.

Thanks for reading,



I’d like to submit a short story for consideration to be published in The Lifted Brow.

Please find attached (as well as pasted below) four poems for your consideration.

Attached please find the short story “The Lottery,” word count 4103, for consideration for publication in The Lifted Brow.

Attached is my short story for publication consideration in your magazine.

Please consider the following poem (“The Road Not Taken”) for The Lifted Brow.

Please find attached and below my short story, “The Lottery”, submitted for publication in The Lifted Brow.

I have a friend Frank, from Sweden, who is doing some writing while studying English. He asked if

Please consider my short story ‘The Lottery’ for publication.

Thank you for your publication and the opportunity to submit an experimental voice piece entitled “The Lottery.” I hope it suits your current editorial needs.

Dear Editor,
Sometimes it’s the tiniest of things that reminds of our mortality. With this thought in mind, I was hoping the readers of Lifted Brow might be interested in my 4,240-word story, The Lottery.

Please accept my submission ‘The Lottery’ for consideration for publication in The Lifted Brow.

I’ve included three microfictions in the email.

Attached, you will find my story “The Lottery” for your consideration.

Thanks for reading.

My name is Shirley Jackson, and I would like to submit two short stories for consideration in your magazine. I am a Brisbane writer and poet, and I have been published previously.

Thought you might like my short fiction piece – ‘The Lottery’, word count: 3363.

Hello respected Lifted Brown team,
I’d like to send through a few submissions for the next issue. Attached is the first submission.

Please find attached a short story.
I would be honoured if you considered
publishing it in an upcoming edition of
your engaging journal.

Please find the attached short story submission.

Attached is a story called ‘The Lottery’; I hope you like it.

Please accept for submission my three poems.


My name is Robert Frost and I am submitting these poems: The Road Not Taken, Nothing Gold Can Stay, Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening, for your publishing consideration.

Attached is my short story, “The Lottery” for submission to The Lifted Brow.

Please find attached my story ‘The Lottery’ for your consideration.

Attached please find my short story “The Lottery” for your consideration.

Thank you for your time and consideration.

Dear art editor: Thank you for your valuable time as you consider my artwork submissions.

Please find attached three stories called “The Lottery”, “Charles” and “The Daemon Lover”, which I hope you will consider for The Lifted Brow.

Would you please consider this for the next edition of the Lifted Brow?

Please find attached a short fiction submission. I hope you enjoy it.

Please consider my short stories ‘Charles’ and ‘The Lottery’ for publication.

Please accept the following smallish submissions for consideration of publication in LIFTED BROW.

The enclosed work of fiction is for your consideration for publication in The Lifted Brow: “The Lottery” (<600 words) Sorry this is later than December 1. I got an email through my creative writing class saying that you wanted submissions, so here's one. Attached is a copy of my story "The Lottery" for consideration at The Lifted Brow. It's about 4,000 words long and simultaneously submitted. Hello, Thanks for reading. I am submitting the story, The Lottery, for your consideration. Please consider my story, "The Lottery," for The Lifted Brow. Attached is a story titled, “The Lottery,” which I am submitting for consideration in your magazine. I have written a short story for your delectation, which you will find attached. I am writing to submit the attached story, entitled The Lottery, to your publication Please consider the attached short story, 'The Lottery', for publication. I have pasted my Short Story submission in the body of.... no not really. I have attached it. Here are the two stories I mentioned at Alex's party last weekend. Hope all's well. My story, The Lottery, is attached for your review. Please consider this short-short story, "The Lottery," for publication (simultaneous submission). I was sent an email by my CW tutor about your publication, so I've included some of my work as an attachment. I wasn't quite clear on the guidelines, but I feel quite comfortable about that. Please consider my attached story "The Lottery" for an issue. Please find the attached files of my Bio and 10 selected pieces from a longer work the lottery and other stories Please find my story submission attached. I hope it's appropriate for the Brow. Happy New Year! I'm a freelance writer based in Melbourne. Attached are three short stories for submission to The Lifted Brow. Hello, please find attached a submission to Lifted Brow Merry Christmas and thank you- This is my submission for your wicked mag. It's called The Lottery. Please consider the following few poem items for publication. Thank you. Please find attached my Anna Bligh piece from the Fringe Festival, as requested. I have attached a poetry submission for The Lifted Brow. I reside in Australia and am happy to provide a full bio and anything else you need if any of the pieces will suit your most fine publication. Hi my name is shirley jackson. i have attached a file with some pieces of work that i have written and am hoping to submit to 'the lifted brow'. and yes, they are already a word document, so no, you dont have to change it yourself. Hello, here's a submission to The Lifted Brow, My submission is late, sorry about that. Here's something a little subversive, a 12,000-word satire called "The Lottery," This morning, after my third cup of coffee, I ran across your call for submissions on "Duotrope's Digest" and thought I'd hurl some of my scribblings through time and space in your direction. Here is my submission. Thank you for your kind attitude towards simultaneous submissions. Please find attached two stories, 'Charles' and 'The Lottery', in submission for the Lifted Brow Magazine Here's my submission. Not sure if you wanted my name on the attached file so I kept it out here instead. Please find in a Word attachment three poems - titled 'The Road Not Taken', 'Stopping by woods on a snowy evening', and 'Nothing gold can stay' - which I hope might be of interested for an upcoming edition of The Lifted Brow. I'm responding to a callout forwarded to me by a former teacher of the literary kind. Please find attached my submission for the next edition of The Lifted Brow a short story called "The Lottery". I appreciate the support and exposure that Lifted Brow provides for Australian artists and writers, an organisation like this is long overdue. I would love to show my support in any way possible, one of these being contributing content, so I am submitting a comic I've been working on for your consideration. Hello and thank you for considering my short story, "The Lottery." This is a simultaneous submission. Please find it attached here. I hope you enjoy the piece as much as I enjoy your fine journal. Here's a bio just in case: I’ve attached some poems and a cover letter as a Word document. Hope you’ll find something you like. I’d like to submit a story for your review: "The Lottery". 869 words. I believe it’s the right story to submit. Of course, I am hoping you agree. Please find attached two short stories for your consideration. I hope you find one (or both!) of them suitable for The Lifted Brow. I have attached a copy of my unpublished short story, THE LOTTERY, which is 3999 words long. This story is currently submitted elsewhere, but I will inform you right away should it be accepted. Please find attached in submission my story "The Lottery." Please consider "The Lottery" for The Lifted Brow. If published, I would like to donate any author payments to the Enid Blyton Trust for Children. My name is Shirley Jackson, and I'd be grateful for the chance to have you review one of my short stories, "The Lottery," for publication in The Lifted Brow. I've attached it here and hope that method works for you. If not, I'd be happy to submit in some other way. Attached is my submission to The Lifted Brow of 4 poems. The enclosed work of fiction is for your consideration for publication in The Lifted Brow: “The Lottery” (about 2800 words) My name is and attached to this e-mail is a short story submission for your consideration. This is a short work of fiction that I think will be suitable for your publication.

[Ronnie Scott is the editor of The Lifted Brow.]

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