Over the past year, I’ve been trying to help other writers learn ‘the rules of the road.’ And in that capacity, I’ve had more than a few manuscripts sent me for one reason or another.
And I cannot tell you how many DIFFERENT ways these MS were sent to me. It disturbs me because, as a ‘rule girl,’ I’ve always made sure that my document was formatted in the manner that wherever I’m sending it to has requested.
Rule One: IF you are submitting something – a book, a short story, an article – it is EXTREMELY important to find out what format they are requesting your MS to be in. You can always find this somewhere on the site or rules of the contest, etc.
Rule Two: It is rare to see two places requesting you submit your MS in the same manner. So, you must understand your formatting system well enough to manipulate your document to meet their standards.
Rule Three: RARELY is your MS to be submitted with fancy formatting and headers/footers. Sometimes, it’s requested that your document has a numbering system. Still, it is ALWAYS crucial for you to check with the rules/regulations to find out.
Rule Four: If you are using a program that you can’t accurately manipulate your documents to bit standards – LEARN how to do these things OR find someone who can FORMAT your document for you. There are many sources for this service. (I’m one of them.)
The most basic format is to use one-inch margins all the way around, double-spacing, and a twelve-point font, such as Times New Roman or Courier.
Just a bit of information for you