Nancy's Books

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Formatting a Manuscript, Part II/Call for Submissions

This article is the second of the series, Formatting a Manuscript.

1.      Use a one-inch margin on all sides. A manuscript should look neat and be easy to read.

2.      Create a title page, but don’t number it. At the top left, write your name and address, phone number and e-mail address, single spaced, left-justified. On top right, place the word count. Half-way down the page write the title in ALL CAPS, centered. Write “by” centered and one double-spaced line beneath the title and your name or pen name centered and one double-spaced line beneath the word “by." A cover page is not necessary for short stories and picture books.
3.      First page of manuscript—a header should be in the upper right-hand corner, followed by page 1. Microsoft Word will automatically number the pages in consecutive order. The header should include last name, title, page number. I don't usually use a header for page 1. The same information is on the top of that page, so I start with page 2. Microsoft Word has the option of beginning headers on page 2. The header is an important feature for the editor. If the pages fall off a desk, they can be reassembled more easily and not mixed with another manuscript when the author's name, story title, and page numbers are listed. It's convenient for this writer, too, who has been known to drop pages while in the process of preparing a manuscript for submission. Convenience, that's always a plus.
Next week, I’ll list more tips on formatting a manuscript. 

Call for submissions for adult writers:
Mary Ballard Poetry Chapbook Prize. Free contest gives $500 and 25 copies for a poetry chapbook, 20-40 single-spaced pages. The $500 prize is actually an advance against royalties. Should the book earn well enough to pay out more than the initial $500, you will continue to earn royalties while the book is still in print. Those specificities will be in the contract. Enter online only. Sponsored by Casey Shay Press, an independent publishing company based in Austin, Texas.
Check out more contests on my blog:

















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