Manuscript Formatting Guidelines

These manuscript formatting guidelines apply to your entire manuscript.

Font: 12 point Times New Roman or Courier New.
Font Color: Black
Margins: 1 inch all the way around.

Primary Title Page

Title: Centered one-third to one-half the way down the page
Author: Centered one double-spaced line below the title. Note: If you’re using a pen name for this manuscript, be sure to show that here. Example: By Connie Sikes writing as “Pen Name”.
Word Count: Bottom left corner of title page, rounded to nearest thousand.
Page count: Do not include numbering on title page.

Chapter Title Pages

A chapter title page is formatted the same as the primary title page. Make sure each chapter has a page break inserted before beginning a new chapter.

Content Pages

Format the main content of your manuscript per these formatting guidelines:

Page Header: At the top right of every page, except the title page, display:
Your last name / The book title / Page Number

Example: Tip Slaussen / Finer Things / 52

Page Numbers: Pages are numbered continuously, with page “1” being the first page after the title page.
Line Spacing: Double-spaced.
Scene Breaks: Insert a blank line, and center three asterisks within that line.
Dialogue: Start a new paragraph every time you change speakers.
Separation between sentences: Single space.
Italics: Use italics for italicized words.
Alignment:  Align left (not justified). The right edges will not be uniform or even.
Indentation: Half-inch paragraph indentations (this tab is pre-set in MS Word) for the first line of each paragraph (even the first paragraph of a chapter).
The End: Center the word “END” after the final line of your story.

Avoid These Common Mistakes

Be sure to consider these Do Not tips before submitting your manuscript:

Do Not indent using tabs or spaces. Use the format paragraph feature.
Do Not justify your paragraphs.
Do Not place more than one line between your paragraphs.
Do Not restart page numbers with each new chapter.
Do Not forget to do one last spell check before printing.

If you feel that you’ve followed these manuscript formatting guidelines correctly, please see our Submission Guidelines page.