Proper Manuscript Format for Fiction Writers | William Shunn

The old rule of thumb for estimating word count is obsolete

The old rule of thumb for estimating word count is obsolete

In days of yore, the accepted rule for estimating word count was 250 words per manuscript page. Is that still the case today? If not, how should it be done instead?  read
The first paragraph of your manuscript should look like any other

The first paragraph of your manuscript should look like any other

When it comes to indentation, keeps things as simple and uniform as possible. Don’t take your cues from the way published books look.  read
To pronoun or not to pronoun: that is the initial question

To pronoun or not to pronoun: that is the initial question

Is it mandatory to include one’s personal pronouns on a manuscript submission? And is it acceptable to obscure one’s gender when submitting to certain publications?  read
“Proper Manuscript Format” now comes in two distinct flavors

“Proper Manuscript Format” now comes in two distinct flavors

The latest update to the popular manuscript preparation guide can be viewed in either “Modern” or “Classic” format.  read
Indenting paragraphs without the tab key

Indenting paragraphs without the tab key

Set up paragraph styles in your word processor to handle pesky tasks like indentation. Your editor and her staff will thank you for it.  read

When a sentence doesn't end with a period

A reader writes to ask: I know it’s still acceptable to space twice after periods. However, if there’s a close quote after a period is there actually only one space remaining after the quotation mark before first letter of the...  read

How to format a poetry collection

A reader writes to ask: I am currently trying to put together a manuscript of all of my late mother's poetry that she wrote from about 1970 to 2013, when she passed away. I made her a promise that when...  read

Proper paper size for manuscript submissions

A reader writes to ask: I have just one question concerning the "1in from margin" factor: what page size is normally used? 8.5x11? 6x9 ? I see the '1in from margin' statement everywhere but nowhere I've found do they say...  read

Quotations at the beginnings of chapters

A reader writes to ask: I'm finalizing a manuscript and your templates are so helpful. One thing I can't seem to find addressed is the use of quotes - a poem or just a quotation from a person, at the...  read

Page headers in electronic submissions

A reader writes to ask: I enjoyed reading your article about formatting short story submissions, but wondered whether the Name/Title/Page# thing is necessary for electronic submissions. I have a story ready for submission to EQMM. There are essentially two kinds...  read
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