Short Story Format

Get more formatting tips in FLOG, Bill's blog on manuscript preparation.

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An earlier version of this article was reprinted in Writers Write: The Internet Writing Journal, December 1998

William Shunn                                   about 1,500 words
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                    Proper Manuscript Format
                        by William Shunn

     No one knows for certain how many good short stories are

passed over because the manuscripts containing them are formatted

poorly, but it is certain that a properly formatted manuscript

will be more eagerly read by an editor than a poorly formatted

one.  Here are a few suggestions.

     First, use black type on white paper only.  Other colors

make your work difficult to read, not to mention calling too much

attention to the manuscript itself.  Print on only one side of

the page.

     For easy readability, limit your choice of font to either

Courier or Times New Roman.  Courier (my strong preference) is a

monospaced font, which means that every character is exactly as

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Now go ahead and study a sample excerpt from a novel manuscript.
What similarities do you notice? What differences?

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