Short Story Formatting Checklist

In the top left corner of page 1:

  • Your name
  • address
  • phone number
  • email address.

In the top right corner of page 1:

  • Approximate word count (nearest hundred is good).

In the middle of page 1:

  • Story title and author name.
    Do NOT include the word “by” 

Double space between author name and the first line of the manuscript.

Beginning on page 2:

  • Top-header with your last name, the abbreviated story title (3 or 4 words), and the page number in top right corner. Use the header function; don’t do it manually; we’re not kidding.


  • Font: 12-point Times New Roman.
  • Left justified.
  • Margins: 1-inch all around
    Scene breaks:  ### (centered) preceded AND followed by a carriage return
    Format: doc, docx, or rtf
  • Double space with half-inch indents, like a book, not a blog;
    do NOT manually set indents; do NOT manually set double spaces; we’re really NOT kidding.
  • No double spaces between paragraphs.
  • ONE space after periods.
  • Anything with manually specified tabs, indents, “special” formatting will be rejected unless it’s for a good reason, i.e. poetry or lyrics and must be explained in the submission e-mail so we know what to expect.
  • Words that are NOT in the dictionary (i.e. foreign words not adopted into the English language, words you made up) must be italicized.
  • Emphasized words must also be italicized (not bold, not underline).
  • American punctuation for dialogue, i.e. double quotes.



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