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What not to include in your lit mag submission letter.

April 5, 2010 \pm\30 7:21 pm

I prefer to call these pieces “poetics machines.”

While writing, he likes to listen to Vengaboys.

I enjoy laying on the floor.

He is the mayor of Walgreens on Foursquare.

…or as I like to call your fine publication, HTML Vagiant.

It is with cardiac arrest that I submit these pieces.

I am writing to inform you that the poem “Airstream Machiavelli” was accepted by Pool. So suck it! But the rest of the poems are still available.

Above all else, a God needs fierce competition.

I can haz Ploughshares?

Writing fiction helps me feel good about myself.

Student, lover, seer.

Let’s connect on LinkedIn.

Wanting to “make a difference” I became a performance artist. Now I am permanently unemployed.

Word for/Word is my last hope.

She likes poems and hummus.

Thank you for your rejection letter. But sorry no. Unacceptable. You’ve failed to comprehend the thematic multivalence of my work.

I invite you to check out my photos on Facebook.

F#$K Iowa.

Her firstborn child will be named PANK.

He has written a novel, The Vaccuum Deception, which reads like Dan Brown meets Sophie’s Choice. It is in the ‘pre-publication’ phase.

Her being was formed at UC Berkeley.

I write primarily to understand myself.


  1. April 5, 2010 \pm\30 7:31 pm 7:31 pm

    I invite you to check out my photos on Facebook. How many times have I fell for that line as editor of a literary journal?

  2. paul a. hoff permalink
    April 5, 2010 \pm\30 8:14 pm 8:14 pm

    i think anne sexton said it best: “My need is more desperate!” Ah, writers!

  3. Jen permalink
    April 5, 2010 \pm\30 8:31 pm 8:31 pm

    who do i have to blow at the paris review to get my poems published?

  4. April 5, 2010 \pm\30 8:33 pm 8:33 pm

    Jen, I believe it’s “whom.”

  5. April 5, 2010 \pm\30 8:43 pm 8:43 pm

    Awesome, awesome, awesome. I’ve read some thrilling cover letters lately with all manner of “what not to do approaches.” Charming as all hell.

  6. April 5, 2010 \pm\30 11:06 pm 11:06 pm

    Dear La Petite Zine readers and editors:

    Thank you for your consideration of my poem, “Jetstream Machiavelli & Tupac.” It is a post-post-post-modern satire in the vein of Melissa Broder meets Dave Eggers meets Dostoevsky meets Whitman-channeling-Wordsworth-channeling Coleridge.

    I believe this is an important poem. I believe very strongly you should publish it.


    With sincere thanks and gratitude,


    “Jetstream Machiavelli & Tupac”

    California love
    on the radio
    on the jet plane.

    The prince decrees
    we die.

    The prince, deceased,
    has died.

    California love
    in the bathroom
    of the jet plane.

    Call me your prince.
    Call me your princess.

    We die. California. We fly.

  7. April 6, 2010 \am\30 12:38 am 12:38 am

    Dear Joseph,

    You have received la petite desolee. While the final line of your poem was compelling, and Death Row IS the label that pays, unfortunately, we do not have a place for your work.

    But fear not. We are on Twitter.

    By following our Twitter feed, you’ll be alerted at the precise moment we publish work by OTHER writers. Yes, by following us on Twitter you’ll see us publish poems by many many other writers (some of them your contemporaries, in fact). Just not yours.

    That’s the way the matzoh shatters, we suppose. You might want to try bribing Jason Cook over at Ampersand. We hear he just lost his car.

    Best wishes,

    Melissa and Dan

    P.S. Did we happen to mention we’re on Twitter?

    P.P.S. A follow Friday shout-out would be rilly super.

    • April 6, 2010 \am\30 12:55 am 12:55 am

      Amendment: Anyone who follows La Petite Zine on Twitter is now ineligible for inclusion in the magazine.

      Did we mention we’re on Twitter?

      • April 6, 2010 \am\30 1:02 am 1:02 am


      • April 6, 2010 \am\30 8:39 am 8:39 am

        Dear Joseph,

        While your poetry is important, and your bribe generous, we’re afraid we’re going to pass. While we like Tupac as much as anyone and feel that ghettos and California both have a right to exist, we feel that such vulgarities are often out of place in the high-art realm of literary journals.

        Please try to write something about mountains.

        Thanks for the beer.



  1. Melissa Broder Online » You Had One Eye In the Mirror As You Watched Yourself Gavotte

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