How to Format Your Manuscript

When I read Kathleen Temean’s post on manuscript format, I knew I wasn’t the only person seeing this problem. No, there is no single way to format your manuscript. Minor variations on a theme are okay as long as everything is clear and easy to read.

But as I started trying to write about format, I realized that it is just so much easier to show you. And then I remembered that I had made up a manuscript mock-up to show my students how to do it.

One more important thing to remember. Not only does your manuscript need to be clean and easy to read, your editor or other recipient needs to be able to open it. First choice is generally a Word file. Second choice is a PDF. If you don’t use Word, this may feel unfair but it really is an industry standard.

Let me know if you have any questions. And if you want to download a copy of the manuscript format handout, please help yourself. You will likely find other examples online and there will be some differences but the basics should look much like this.