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Thursday, April 29, 2010

Before You Submit - Part II - Appearance

Now that you have polished your work to the best it can be, it is time to shape up the look of your submission. Many magazines now accept electronic submission, but some still require the work to be mailed.

Editors spend hours in a day reading manuscripts, whether from a computer screen or sheets of paper. They need print that is clear, legible, and easy to read. Don't try to impress an editor with a font that appears flowing and flowery on the page. Most editors prefer a standard font such as Times New Roman or Courier New in either 10 or 12 point font. Granted, a font size and type can be changed when transmitted electronically, but an editor does not have the time to adjust your work to his convenience. Do not use colors.

Leave plenty of room on all four sides of the page, at least one inch. The first line of a paragraph begins with a 5 point indent. Short stories and essays should be double spaced. Submit poetry in the proper format, such as single spacing within a stanza and double spacing between stanzas.

Your work needs to be titled. The title should by centered at the top of the page. The word "by" should appear one double-spaced line below your title, followed by your name on the next double-spaced line. Skip two double-spaced lines before beginning the main part of your work.

Even when submitting by email, be sure to include your name and contact information, telephone number and email address, or mailing address if applicable, in the upper left hand corner. Once an attachment is opened and saved, it can easily be separated from the email. Failure to identify your work on the actual document could cost you the acceptance of your work for lack of identification.

If your submission is more than one page, enter a header that includes your name, the name of your work, and the page number.

Happy writing!

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