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Classic Manuscript Format
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Shunn / Format / 2
font itself choose something standard and easily readable, like Times New Roman. Avoid sans-serif fonts, and stay far away from anything flashy or unusual. You want to wow the editor with your content, not your font choice. (Some writers, myself included, still prefer Courier New, a monospaced font that resembles typewriter output. You can use that too if you like, but it’s probably on its way out, at least in fiction circles.) Place your contact information in the upper-left corner of the first page, including your legal name, address, phone number, and email. Add your preferred pronouns if you like. List any professional writing affiliations next, but only when relevant. If you belong to the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America, for instance, you should say so on submissions to Asimov’s or Analog, but your membership might not cut much ice with editors at The New Yorker or Cat Fancy. In the upper-right corner of the first page, place an approximate word count. Get this number from your word processor, then round to the nearest hundred. (This manuscript, for example, is 1,488 words in length, which rounds to 1,500.) If you’re edging into novella territory, round to the nearest 500. The point of a word count is not to tell your editor the exact length of the manuscript, but approximately how much space your story will take up in the publication. Though many sources say you should, it is not necessary to place your Social Security number or any other tax ID on your manuscript. If your story is accepted, the publisher will ask
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Last updated 17 March 2020


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