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From Matt Bell, here’s what a successful academic cover letter for creative writers looks like.

Corinne Segal

March 15, 2022, 4:22pm

Today in things that are incredibly helpful: Matt Bell, author of the novel Appleseed and writing guide Refuse to Be Done, shared, over Twitter, an example of a cover letter for creative writers looking for academic jobs. The letter he shared was one he wrote to apply to Arizona State University, where he’s an associate professor of fiction in the creative writing program.

Along with providing some disclaimers—including that the materials he shared are “undeniably imperfect & also aging”—Bell noted that “One organizational tactic I used was mimicking the 40% research, 40% teaching, 20% service split of the typical academic appointment: I go through the categories in order, in roughly those proportions.”

As writing cover letters is often pretty difficult, this is concrete, practical advice of a particularly generous variety. Here is the original Tweet, and the full text of the letter:

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