Writing a cover letter to a journal is a bit of a dark art (like so many aspects of academia), but after time and advice from more senior academics, I’ve got a template which I usually use when sending things out. A request over on #phdchat about how to go about writing a cover letter made me realise that there is perhaps not enough advice on this sort of thing out there, so I thought I’d post my standard template as an extra resource. This is suitable for classics journals and, I would think, most humanities subjects, although I’d recommend tweaking as required or recommended by experts in your subject area and the requirements of the journal you’re writing to – checking the submission guidelines will tell you which buzzwords to include.
Dear Professor Editor,
I hope you will consider the attached manuscript, “[title]”, for publication in [journal title].
The manuscript is approximately [number] words, including [or excluding] notes and bibliography. Its [new and exciting approach to its subject] will be of interest to readers of the journal [for these reasons].
Following your submission guidelines, I have [done what the submission guidelines asked you to do - attached the manuscript in .pdf format/enclosed two hard copies/dispatched my carrier pigeon/etc.]. This original manuscript has not been previously published nor submitted to any other journal for consideration.
I look forward to hearing from you.