Submission Format


Submission Format

By Rory C. Keel

 

When writing a novel or even short works, you will need to format your work.

There are many different format styles. When submitting your work, make a diligent effort to understand and follow any specific guidelines regarding formatting requests.

Below is a good standard format that will be accepted by most editors, agents, and publishers in the industry.

Page Information

  • Margins — 1.5 inches all the way around
  • Font — Courier, Courier New, or other clean monospace serif font from 10-12 pt.
  • Line spacing — Double-space
  • Paragraph indent — first line, 5 pt.
  • Header — right justified, contains the following information: Last name/ TITLE/ page#

A header does not belong on the cover page. Start headers on page one of the actual manuscript.

Cover page — depends on whether you’re agented or not.

      Unagented:

  • Contact information — Name and address, phone number and e-mail address in the top left corner of the page, single spaced, left-justified
  • Title — centered, just above the middle of the page
  • by — centered and one double-spaced line beneath the title
  • Name or pen name — centered and one double-spaced line beneath the word by
  • Word count — centered and rounded to the nearest thousand, one double-spaced line beneath your name or pen name

     Agented:

  • Title — centered, just above the middle of the page
  • by — centered and one double-spaced line beneath the title
  • Name or pen name — centered and one double-spaced line beneath the word by
  • Word count — centered and rounded to the nearest thousand, one double-spaced line beneath your name or pen name
  • Agent’s contact information — Name, business name, mailing address, phone number (e-mail address if you have the agent’s okay first), left justified, single spaced, bottom of the page

First page

Header — should be in the upper right-hand corner of the page, and page number should be 1.

  • Chapter header — can be anywhere from one to six double-spaced lines down from the top of the page, and can be centered or left justified. You can title your chapters, or just write Chapter One or Chapter 1.
  • Body text — drop down two double-spaced lines to begin your story.
  • Scene breaks — drop down two double-spaced lines, insert and center the # character, drop down two more double-spaced lines, and begin your new scene.

Subsequent chapters — start each chapter on a fresh page. Keep chapter formatting and titling consistent with your first chapter.

Happy submitting,

Roryckeel.com

 

Submission Format


Submission Format

By Rory C. Keel

 

When writing a novel or even short works, you will need to format your work.

There are many different format styles. When submitting your work, make a diligent effort to understand and follow any specific guidelines regarding formatting requests.

Below is a good standard format that will be accepted by most editors, agents, and publishers in the industry.

Page Information

  • Margins — 1.5 inches all the way around
  • Font — Courier, Courier New, or other clean monospace serif font from 10-12 pt.
  • Line spacing — Double-space
  • Paragraph indent — first line, 5 pt.
  • Header — right justified, contains the following information: Last name/ TITLE/ page#

A header does not belong on the cover page. Start headers on page one of the actual manuscript.

Cover page — depends on whether you’re agented or not.

      Unagented:

  • Contact information — Name and address, phone number and e-mail address in the top left corner of the page, single spaced, left-justified
  • Title — centered, just above the middle of the page
  • by — centered and one double-spaced line beneath the title
  • Name or pen name — centered and one double-spaced line beneath the word by
  • Word count — centered and rounded to the nearest thousand, one double-spaced line beneath your name or pen name

     Agented:

  • Title — centered, just above the middle of the page
  • by — centered and one double-spaced line beneath the title
  • Name or pen name — centered and one double-spaced line beneath the word by
  • Word count — centered and rounded to the nearest thousand, one double-spaced line beneath your name or pen name
  • Agent’s contact information — Name, business name, mailing address, phone number (e-mail address if you have the agent’s okay first), left justified, single spaced, bottom of the page

First page

Header — should be in the upper right-hand corner of the page, and page number should be 1.

  • Chapter header — can be anywhere from one to six double-spaced lines down from the top of the page, and can be centered or left justified. You can title your chapters, or just write Chapter One or Chapter 1.
  • Body text — drop down two double-spaced lines to begin your story.
  • Scene breaks — drop down two double-spaced lines, insert and center the # character, drop down two more double-spaced lines, and begin your new scene.

Subsequent chapters — start each chapter on a fresh page. Keep chapter formatting and titling consistent with your first chapter.

Happy submitting,

Roryckeel.com

 

Writers’ Conferences


Outtakes 20

Writers’ Conferences

Beginning writers often run into problems jump starting their careers. Questions regarding copyright, contracts, submissions, formatting, genres, and marketing come up and answers are sometimes hard to find. I’ve been there so I understand the frustration. I thought I was the only writer out there who had doubts and questions. I had a novel. I’d submitted it. The agent liked it, but didn’t sign me. So what do you do?

My answer came from a newspaper article for a writer’s conference right here in Amarillo. I read the information, called for the registration packet, and made plans to pick brains, and learn more about getting published. I so enjoyed that weekend. I attended workshops with New York Times Best Selling author Christina Dodd, mystery author Rick Riordan, and Pulitzer Prize winner Michael Cunningham. The best part was that I was no longer alone. I went to the conference not knowing anyone, and left with a pocketful of business cards from fellow writers. I became friends with some of the folks I met, and ten years later, I still can count on their support and encouragement.

Do I recommend writers’ conferences? Absolutely! The trick is finding the right one for your needs. I prefer smaller conferences (I’m shy), but some of my friends like the larger ones. I recommend Frontiers in Writing in Amarillo. The 2012 conference will be held the weekend of June 29-30 on the Amarillo College campus. This year’s conference will offer workshops for everyone whether you are a beginner or a published author. If Amarillo is a little too far away, run an internet search for a conference in your area. It will cost a little money, but this is an investment in your writing career. The contacts you make are so valuable, and the friendships made are priceless.

Cait Collins

Toss, Salvage, Donate, Keep


Toss, Salvage, Donate, Keep

One of the benefits of moving is the opportunity to go through all the stuff in the house and do major editing. I make four stacks – keep, toss, salvage, and donate. It’s not always easy to decide which pile is the right one. Toss is more obvious. Trash is trash and surprisingly I accumulate a ton of that. The salvage pile includes items like a blouse with a missing button. Keep and donate are more difficult. Dishes, clothes, and furniture normally fall into all the categories. Sometimes I make a fifth stack called “I’ll decide later”. By the time I’ve gone through everything, I have packed boxes labeled for the movers, tagged boxes with bright pink sticky notes for charity, and bags of trash are ready for the dumpster. Even with all the editing, I realize I have too much stuff.

Sometimes we need to assess the baggage in our personal and professional lives. Over the years, I learned we carry around baggage that hinders our growth toward healthy attitudes and creativity. Let’s start with the toss pile. Get rid of procrastination. This is one of my weaknesses. I tend to put off things I could be working on now. I claim I can do my best work under pressure, but why add to my stress. Get rid of guilt, resentment, and the “I can’t” attitude. They are counter-productive.

Salvage that under the bed project. I have a novel that fell apart because of September 11, 2001. I took a break from packing to read parts of that story and decided to box it because I think it may be some of my best work. When I’ve completed my current project, I plan to pull out MACON GEORGIA and rework it. Most writers have such manuscripts. Perhaps now is the time to revisit the work.

Donate your time to other writers. Every writer has something to pass on to their peers and beginners. We’ve all learned something along the way. Maybe a trick for formatting or tracking submissions would help a beginner or even a more experienced writer. Don’t keep your tips to yourself. Think about all the folks who helped you, and return the favor.

There are definite keeps in life. I treasure my family and friends. They have supported me through the bad times, shared my tears and disappointments. They have celebrated my successes and kicked me in the backside when needed. I could not survive as a person or a writer without them. I keep copies of my successes to encourage me when the project stumbles. And I maintain a file of failures to keep me humble when I succeed.

Cait Collins