By Gerry Ahern

USA TODAY Sports Media Group

I've had several questions regarding the proper format for a cover letter to accompany the beat writing entry submissions.

The cover letter for beat writing should be narrative and does not have to follow a specific format (other than it should not be longer than one 8 1/2 x 11 page).

From the story announcing the birth of the beat writing category in the contest:

Entries should include a cover letter with a synopsis of how the combined submissions demonstrate excellence on the beat. The cover letter should note metrics that show authority and audience engagement on the beat (such as blog, chat or message board traffic.) Each paper or website will be allowed two entries in the beat writer category.

Hope this helps.

If you have questions, send them my way.