Publish date:

Seven Tips for Formatting Your Article Manuscript

Seven Tips for Formatting Your Article Manuscript

When you are attempting to impress a magazine editor, professionalism counts. If you are a beginning writer without a strong industry reputation, you can''t afford to submit material in a manner that marks you as a novice or an amateur. Here are seven tips to help your article manuscript appear more professional.

  1. Don''t use staples.
    Do use paper clips in the top left corner of your manuscript (butterfly clips or paper clamps for articles of more than ten pages). Don''t use staples.
  2. Don''t clip, and especially don''t staple, your cover letter to the manuscript.
  3. Don''t use a separate cover page.
    It''s pretentious for an article-length manuscript and wholly unnecessary.
  4. Don''t justify text or align the right margin.
    Ragged right is fine.
  5. Don''t insult the editor''s intelligence or intentions by putting a copyright notice on the manuscript.
    It''s copyrighted as soon as you write it.
  6. Don''t use unusual fonts.
    A simple Times Roman will do fine.
  7. Do include suggested subheads
    If the magazine''s style is to use subheads, in the body of your manuscript do include suggested subheads; however, don''t rely on subheads as a substitute for transitions.

From Formatting & Submitting Your Manuscript

5 Things I Learned About Writing From Watching Soap Operas

5 Things I Learned About Writing From Watching Soap Operas

Lessons in writing can come from various forms of art or entertainment. Author Alverne Ball shares 5 things he learned about writing from watching soap operas.

From Script

Writing from an Intimate Point of View and Adding Essential Elements to Solidify Your Screenplay (From Script)

In this week’s round up brought to us by Script magazine, TV writer Kate Sargeant shares a first-hand look on her new digital series that was a life-changing experience. Plus an interview with filmmaker Mia Hansen-Løve, a new installment from ‘Ask the Coach’ and more!

Writing Mistakes Writers Make: Collecting Advice but Never Writing

Writing Mistakes Writers Make: Collecting Advice (but Never Writing)

The Writer's Digest team has witnessed many writing mistakes over the years, so this series helps identify them for other writers (along with correction strategies). This week's mistake is to collect writing advice at the expense of actually writing.

The Benefits of a Book Coach for Writers

The Benefits of Having a Book Coach for Writers

What is a book coach? How could they help authors? Award-winning author and writing instructor Mark Spencer answers these questions and more in this post about the benefits of having a book coach for writers.

Clare Chambers: On Starting Fresh and Switching Gears

Clare Chambers: On Starting Fresh and Switching Gears

Award-winning author Clare Chambers discusses the fear and excitement of switching genre gears in her new historical fiction novel, Small Pleasures.

Poetic Forms

Exquisite Corpse: Poetic Forms

Poetic Form Fridays are made to share various poetic forms. This week, we look at the exquisite corpse (or exquisite cadaver), a collaborative poem that would make a fun poetic game.

How Opening Ourselves to Other People Can Make Us Better Writers

How Opening Ourselves to Other People Can Make Us Better Writers

The writing process is both individual and communal, as receiving constructive feedback and outside encouragement helps our drafts become finished manuscripts. Author Peri Chickering discusses how opening ourselves up to others can make us better writers.

What Forensic Science’s Godmother Taught Me About Writing Mysteries

What Forensic Science’s Godmother Taught Me About Writing Mysteries

Stephanie Kane discusses the impact of Frances Glessner Lee, the godmother of forensic science, and her crime scene dioramas on writing mysteries.

Plot Twist Story Prompts: Still Alive

Plot Twist Story Prompts: Still Alive

Every good story needs a nice (or not so nice) turn or two to keep it interesting. This week, reveal that a character who was thought deceased is actually still among the living.