I agree with Rob. Man, I could have read your blog and posted on mine while my hsanubd drove last week while on vacation. Instead I knitted baby/children hats for our local children's hospital. Oh well,


1.       Use white A4 of as good a quality as you can afford. Don’t use continuous listing paper and use one side only.
2.     Put your name, address, telephone number and email address (if you have one) on the first page of text and cover sheet (see below).
3.     It’s OK to fold a short manuscript (two or three pages) in half, but send a larger one flat in a A4 envelope.
4.     Never forget to enclose an SAE or equivalent postage in IRC’s (International Reply Coupons) if submitting from abroad.
5.     If your manuscript has been rejected and returned a few times and is looking a bit the worse for wear, print out a fresh copy before submitting it elsewhere.
6.     Manuscripts must be typed. There are still a few (mostly small press) magazines that’ll accept hand written manuscripts, but they’re few and far between and most won’t even consider them. None (that I know of, at least) will accept them as final copy.
7. Make sure the print is clear and legible. Regularly invest in new cartridges
8. Clip manuscripts together with paper clips, not staples.
9. Don’t forget to use the spelling check!


1. Always use a cover sheet as this not only immediately tells the editor who the author is, how many words the manuscript contains and the title (short story) or subject (article), but it also helps to keep the manuscript clean.

2. It’s a good idea to put your name on the last page as well, in case the coversheet gets lost somewhere along the line or in the editorial mayhem.
3. Use double spacing.
4. Leave a good-sized margin at the top, bottom and on both sides of all the pages, for editorial corrections/notations.
5. Leave an extra line between paragraphs (unless you indent them, in which case it’s not necessary).
6. At the bottom right-hand corner of every page of text (except the last, of course), type ‘mf…’ (more follows). American editors are particularly fussy about this one.
7. At the end of the last page, type your name, copyright and word count
8. Don’t right-hand justify the text.
9. Always give a word count (necessary so that the editorial staff know when, where and how they can fit you in. Also, many magazines pay on word length).
10.It’s always advisable to send a covering letter, but keep it short and to the point. Something along the lines of:

‘Dear Mr So-and-So, 
I was wondering if you’d be interested in the enclosed short   story/article.  
I look forward to hearing from you soon. 
Yours sincerely, 
Fred Bloggs’.

Never forget!Edit

And one last but crucial tip: Never, ever, forget to keep a copy…!

© Andrea Lowne 2001