Monday, April 9, 2012

A Step in the Write Direction

A Step in the Write Direction
April 9, 2012

Thought for Today: "At times our own light goes out and is rekindled by a spark from another person. Each of us has cause to think with deep gratitude of those who have lighted the flame within us” (Albert Schweitzer).

Laugh for Today:
Signs of the Times
Sign outside a secondhand shop: "We Exchange Anything: Bicycles, Washing Machines, etc. Bring your wife along and get a wonderful bargain."
Sign on a repair shop door: "We Can Fix Anything. (Please knock hard on the door -- the Bell Doesn't Work.)
Notice in a health food window: "Closed Due To Illness"
Sign in a Laundromat: "Automatic Washing Machines: Please remove all your clothes when the light goes out."
Sign in an office kitchen: "After the tea break, staff should empty the teapot and stand upside down on the drain board."
Writing Tips:

The past few weeks I’ve been editing submissions for a mother/grandmother anthology and, while most of the manuscripts were formatted correctly, I found some consistent mistakes. I hope the following tips will help you in preparing your next submission:

Upper left-hand corner contains personal information: name, address, phone, e-mail, and Web site, if you have one. DO NOT include Social Security number. If editor buys your manuscript and needs this number, he or she will ask you for it.

Upper right-hand corner contains manuscript information: rights offered (this will be covered in a future blog), number of words, and copyright information (optional). Hint: copyright symbol can be made by placing a small c inside parentheses, i.e., ©.

Center title on page. Do NOT tab over.

Drop down 2 spaces and type your name. (Don’t need the word “by”.)

DO use tab at beginning of paragraph. Do NOT just type 5 spaces. In fact, in the anthology I’m working on now, the publisher asked me to delete all the indents and put an extra space between paragraphs. In this case, it’s easy to do a search and replace, taking out all the tabs. It is more difficult on those manuscripts where the author spaced over 5 or more spaces.

Do NOT justify right margins.

Use a common font, i.e., Courier or Times New Roman 12.

Put only ONE space at the end of a sentence. Back in typewriter days, we were told to use two, but now this can lead to an extra space or more when publisher justifies a manuscript for publication.

Do NOT underline. In the past, when it was more difficult to show italics, underline signified italics. Now we can just put material in italics. However, use these sparingly, or they lose their effectiveness. And you DON’T need bold at all.

Always double space your manuscript (unless typing poetry. Then you can single space, with an extra space between verses.).

Using these hints will show the editor you are a professional and, hopefully, can lead to an acceptance.

Next week we’ll talk about using Scripture in our writing. Have a good week, and God bless you as you spread the gospel through the printed page.

Donna Clark Goodrich

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