My question is about the agents out there who do not ask for a query letter, but instead request cover letters; are they the same thing? Can I just send them my query, or do I need to master a whole new genre of introductory letter? As always, thanks for all you do for us anxious woodland creatures.
Generally: yes and yes.
I did a search for agencies and publishers using the phrase "cover letter" and there were several.
In each case, cover letter meant the letter with the submission which is what a query letter is.
University presses used "cover letter" a lot.
They also list what they want the cover letter to include.
Of course, you know to follow the directions.
Bottom line: you don't need a cover and a query. One letter can be the template for what an agent wants to see.