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 14 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.

Thanks for your interest in F1rst Pages.
Acceptance of new submissions is currently on hiatus while we attend to our backlog of existing submissions.