“Proper Manuscript Format” now comes in two distinct flavors | Proper Manuscript Format | William Shunn
          

“Proper Manuscript Format” now comes in two distinct flavors

“Proper Manuscript Format” now comes in two distinct flavors
Photo by Matt Artz on Unsplash

Gather ’round, friends, and bring your typewriters, laptops, and tablets. The world is changing, as it always does, which means it’s time for fresh updates to “Proper Manuscript Format.”

I created the original version of my manuscript formatting guide in late 1993 or early 1994, and I’ve updated it periodically since first adapting it for the web in 1995. Some of the basics have remained constant over that quarter-century, but as industry standards have changed and electronic submissions have come to dominate the publishing world, manuscript preparation has changed in some fundamental ways too.

As the de facto standard for a host of professional publications, I’ve tried to keep “Proper Manuscript Format” relevant to the needs of new and veteran writers alike. Besides the usual advice on margins and line spacing, this updated version includes suggestions designed to make your submissions easier for editors to work with after acceptance.

But what I'm most excited about is that, for the first time, “Proper Manuscript Format” comes in two different flavors. The Modern Edition displays in a proportional serif font with one space between sentences, while the Classic Edition displays in a monospaced font with two spaces between sentences. The text of the two versions is identical. Only the presentation differs.

If you’re a writer, you can choose to consult whichever version best reflects the requirements of your intended market. If you’re an editor, you can link to whichever version best suits your preferences. (And if you’re already linking to “Proper Manuscript Format” at its original URL, don't worry. That link will continue to work, redirecting your visitors seamlessly to the Classic Edition.)

Either way, I hope you’ll find that “Proper Manuscript Format” offers the same clear, concise advice it always has, presented in a way that illustrates its own suggestions. Check it out, please let me know what you think, and, as always, best of luck with your writing.  

shortlink: dogb.us/format2020

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