This is a page taken from my ebook, Get Published in Regional Parenting Magazines, which can be purchased for $15 using the link at the left.
Most of your cover letters will be more general, but for this publication I knew
(1) they wanted seasonal material 6 months out instead of only 3;
(2) they wanted the document as an attachment;
(3) their preferred word count;
(4) the editor’s name, so I popped it in to make it more personal.
I also offered a local sidebar in an effort to get this piece sold quickly and to give it more appeal. Notice how I did not offer local quotes, which are often very difficult to get.
"Dear Ms. Smith,
The problem of where to go on Christmas Day and who to spend the holidays with is one that’s universal. And it only gets more difficult when you have kids. Many new (and not-so-new) parents find themselves feeling pulled in too many different directions during a time that is already stressful. My piece (attached as a Word document), “Dreaming of a Peaceful Christmas”, aims to help solve this dilemma. At 861 words, I believe it would be a great fit for your December issue. If you decide to purchase this piece, I would be happy to include a local sidebar of your choice (e.g., local volunteer holiday opportunities).
I have been published in several publications, including Family Time, Georgia Family, Columbus Parent, Kansas City Parent, Montgomery Parents, Calgary’s Child and Ithaca Child (links available at http://KerrieMcLoughlin.blogspot.com).
Please contact me if you are interested in using this article. I look forward to hearing from you!"