FILE FORMATTING GUIDELINES
APOSPROPHES: Be sure all apostrophes are turned correctly.
BRAND NAMES: Do not use brand names that require a registration (®) or trademark (™) superscript. Instead, either use generic terms or invent your own brand names.
CHAPTER BREAKS: Use hard page return between chapters.
CHAPTER HEADERS: Center chapter headers starting at line-3.
DASHES: Use long dashes with—no spaces between words. These will be adjusted during final formatting.
DIALOG: Dialog must be punctuated correctly and have proper dialog tags and tag placement. Never begin a dialog sentence with a dialog tag. INCORRENT: He said, "The tag is in the wrong place." CORRECT: "Well," she replied, "put the tag in the right place."
ELLIPSES: No spaces set inside sentences...with four periods at end…. [as shown]
EMPHASIS: For emphasis, use plain text with Italics or ‘single quotes’. Do not use ALL CAPS (except at the beginning of chapters and scenes). No bold or underline.
FILE DELIVERY: Email attachment (RTF) [3-MB maximum]
FILE TYPE: Resident RTF (Rich Text Format); do not convert
FONT TEXT: Set body text, header, and footer in Times New Roman size-12 (TNR-12).
HYPHENS: Use hyphens only in standard phrases, such as mother-in-law.
LINE INDENTS: No hanging indent codes.
LINE SPACING: Use single line spacing for text body, as well as in the header and footer.
NUMBERS: Never start a sentence with a numeral of any kind. Always write out the first word as text. As a general rule, any number requiring more than two words to write out as text can be rendered as a numeral. Just be consistent throughout the document. Here is an example: Fourteen people answered 222 questions on the survey.
PAGE FOOTER: Set no page footer, but make sure its font is set to TNR-12 single-space.
PAGE HEADER: Put TITLE / Author on header left (TNR-12 single space).
PAGE MARGINS: Set page margins at 1.0" all around on a standard 8.5" x 11" page.
PAGE SIZE: Use a standard 8.5"W x 11"H page trim.
POINT-OF-VIEW (POV): Use either third person restricted (i.e. one POV character per scene) or first person. Novels must be written in one POV style. Mixed POV styles are not allowed, meaning no mainstream.
PUNCTUATION: No semi-colons (;). No double punctuation (such as !? or ...?). No [brackets] or (parentheses). Use colons (:) sparingly. See above for dashes and ellipses.
QUOTES: Double quotes go “outside the punctuation.” Single quotes go ‘inside’.
SCENE BREAKS: Center three asterisks one space apart (* * *) below the last sentence in the scene. Skip one line. Then start the next scene flush-left with the first word in ALL CAPS.
SYMBOLS: Do not include any symbols in the text.
SMART TAGS: Disable all word processor smart tags.
SUPERSCRIPTS: Do not include any superscripts in the text.
STYLE CODES: Disable all word processor style codes.
TABS: Set one Manual Tab at 1/2-inch. No Auto-Tabs.
TEXT BLOCKS: All body text must be justified. No ragged-right. Center chapter headers and scene break asterisks.
VERB TENSE: Fiction novels should be written in simple past tense (i.e. ran, walked, saw). Mixed verb tense (i.e. mainstream) is not allowed.
WIDOW-ORPHAN CODE: Disable paragraph widow-orphan setting.
WORD PROCESSORS: We suggest: Microsoft Word (versions 2002-2003 or 2010), Open Office Writer, or Atlantis Word Processor. All files must be created in standard portable RTF (Rich Text Format).
NOTE: It is the author's responsibility to create a properly formatted RTF file for submission purposes. THANKS!
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