Proper Manuscript Format for Submitting Fiction & CNF

In 1993, science fiction writer William Shunn created a document that explains how and why to format your manuscript when submitting it to magazines/journals for publication. It was great because not only did it explain the formatting rationale, but was also formatted like a manuscript submission -- perfect for either the left brained or right braind among us.


The document floats around the web, often appearing on writers' blogs, however twenty years later it is woefully out of date. It says to use the font Courier and underline text you want to appear in italics, for example. Contemporary submissions are done largely online through submissions managers like Submittable, and so editors now simply copy and paste text directly from Submittable into Adobe InDesign when they begin laying out their journal. It's a pain to search through the text and convert underlining to italics, and we don't want to annoy our editors. So while Shunn did a great job, it is time for an up-to-date formatting guide.  read the whole post

Download the file to the right for an explanation and example of how to format your fiction or CNF manuscript. This can also be used as a handout in creative writing classes. I gave it to my students.

Proper Manuscript Format for Submissions
Text Document 64.1 KB