Posted by: Kathy Temean | March 16, 2009

Formatting Your Manuscript

How should you format your manuscript?

Here’s the “Author Standard” template:

  • Put a header on each page with your name and title of your work and the number of words in the manuscript. (If you are using Word, go to “View” and chose “Headers.”.  This will place your info on all pages.)
  • You don’t need a cover page.  Put your name, address, phone number, e-mail, etc. at the top left hand side and then skip down some spaces and list your title.  You don’t need to put “by blah, blah, since your name is already at the top and on each page.
  • Always Double Space your text.
  • 1″ margins
  • 1/2 inch indent for a new paragraph
  • Pages numbered (and make sure page numbers don’t start over every chapter)
  • Page break after the end of a chapter
  • No fiddling at all with anything else — no messing with the spacing between paragraphs, no fiddling with the width of the type, no full justification, no hyphenation. Basically just open up Word, hit double spacing, make sure the pages are numbered, and start typing.
  • And most importantly — don’t try and make it look like the layout of a book.

What font? Well, I know there is an ongoing battle between the Times New Roman camp and the Courier camp. (I personally prefer Times New Roman). But do not choose anything other than one of these two fonts. Seriously. No matter how much Gill Sans Ultra Bold Condensed is calling your name, and believe me I know how tempting you can be, Gill Sans Ultra Bold Condensed, you wily devil you…… just resist.


If you are writing a novel, you will need to add a synopsis with your manuscript when you submit.  Please keep the synopsis short and not longer than two pages.  Single space synopsis if it is one page.  Double space if it is longer.

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