Got another rejection letter today. Not my favorite way to start the morning but, hey, at least it's Friday. This was mostly a form letter but there was one specific quibble and it wasn't the kind I'd want to see (like, 'this was good but the POV needs work'. That would be gold). No, this one included a reminder/request/rebuke to use the standard manuscript format.
My sins on this submission? I think I used Arial font instead of Courier (which is a font I really don't like. Hurts my eyes to read.) and I didn't include my address in a block at the top. Did my submission get rejected for these sins? Possibly. Possibly not. The story may not have been up to scratch or it may not be what they're looking for. (see yesterday's post. Possibly frequently).
So. Minimize your chances of rejection by doing everything you possibly can to make things easier. One of the simplest is find their guidelines for submission and follow them literally to the letter. The fun part? Every market can have different submission guidelines. Which means, you may end up formatting your manuscript several different ways, once for each magazine or publisher you submit to.
Ah well, that's the gig. No point in further fussing about it.
One of the most common manuscript formats, used by Asimov's among others, is the Shunn Standard Manuscript Format. Take a look at it here: http://www.shunn.net/format/story.html
One thing you can do is to create a template in MS Word that includes all of the setting outlined here: Courier Font (hiss), 12 point, double spaced, 1" margins, etc... Then you can save that custom font, write the story in a format pleasing to you and then simply select all (control A for Windows users) and apply that custom style. Boom. Formatting is done.
Again, there are a lot of reasons you can get rejected. Failing to follow directions is one that you, the writer can avoid. Learn from me: write better stuff and format it according to the publsiher's
I'm a lightly-published author with several novels completed and I hope to have them up on Amazon shortly.
|Mark Andrew Edwards||