Format Before You Submit
Here are some guidelines in case you need them…
- Name, address, other contact info (email, phone) in top left-hand corner of the first page of your manuscript.
- Genre and word count in top right-hand corner of the first page of your manuscript.
- Title should be about 1⁄4 of a page down from the last line of the info at the top of your manuscript.
- At least two lines between the title and the beginning of the story.
- Acceptable fonts are Times and Times New Roman. Some options are Palatino and Georgia. (You always want to use a clear serif font, not a font like Arial, which is sans serif. Serif fonts are not glaring and the eyes pass more quickly as the “curly-cues” on the tips of each letter serve as connectors so the eyes move over the words more quickly and easily.) Please No Courier — see how bad that looks? We are not in the age of typewriters.
- Fonts should be 12 point. In some cases where fonts might come a little smaller in 12 point than the traditional Times New Roman, you can venture to 14 point.
- Hmmm… I guess I should mention that manuscripts should not look like presentations for near-sighted board members! Don’t send anything in landscape and in 24-point font. It would be excellent to follow this rule when submitting to a publisher, too. Forget about the infamous slush pile, it’ll get you thrown in the garbage if you don’t…
- … and no colored fonts or highlighted lines. Yes it’s eye-catching but not in an attractive way.
- Manuscripts should be double-spaced.
- Manuscripts should have one-inch margins on all sides.
- Page numbers preferably bottom center. As long as they are identifiable but out of the way (although I would not place them on the left-hand top or bottom of the page), you can choose.
If you have headers and footers, don’t have them appear too close to the story text on each page. It is distracting.