Short Story Format, Pg. 3

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Shunn / Format / 3 if it is relevant. If you belong to the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America, for instance, you would want to mention that when submitting to Asimov’s or Realms of Fantasy, but it probably wouldn’t cut much ice with the editors at The New Yorker or Cat Fancy. In the upper right corner of the first page, place an approximate word count. Round to the nearest hundred words unless you’re edging up into novella length, at which point rounding to the nearest 500 would be appropriate. The point of a word count is not to tell the editor exactly how many words there are in the manuscript, but rather how much space your story will take up in print. If your word processing software doesn’t give you a word count, you can estimate the total by counting the number of words on one page and multiplying by the number of pages in the manuscript. Though many sources say you should, it is not necessary to place your Social Security number anywhere on your manuscript. If the publisher wants to know it, you’ll be asked for it after your story is accepted. Otherwise, it’s extraneous--and in fact presumptuous--information. Place the title of your story one third to one half of the way down the first page. The editor needs all that empty space for writing notes to the typesetter and copy editor. Your title should be centered between the margins. Many writers type the title in all capitals, and you can too if you like, though it’s not necessary.

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Now go ahead and study a sample excerpt from a novel manuscript.
What similarities do you notice? What differences?

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