Manuscript Formatting 101: Links and Resources

By Cecilia Lewis

Earlier this month, I wrote about manuscript formatting standards and the importance of having a professional-looking manuscript. But standards can vary from house to house, and there isn’t only one “correct” format. What’s standard for the manuscripts that I see might be different in other areas of the industry. So, for this month’s Links and Resources post, I thought I’d share some additional posts on manuscript formatting so we can take a broader look at industry standards. 

Here are several posts about manuscript formatting that I’ve found to be fairly accurate and helpful:


  1. Formatting Your Manuscript by author/former agent Nathan Bransford
  2. How to Format a Manuscript by author/editor Cassandra Marshall
  3. JV-level Manuscript Prep by Carolrhoda Books
  4. Writing Basics: Formatting Your Manuscript for Submission by author Janice Hardy
  5. What Are the Guidelines for Formatting a Manuscript? at Writer’s Digest
  6. Proper Manuscript Format: Short Story by writer William Shunn
  7. Format Your Novel for Submission by editor Beth Hill
  8. Manuscript Format at the SFWA


  1. Live and Let Font, a post about which font to choose (and why you shouldn’t worry too much about it) by agent Jennifer Laughran
  2. Manuscript Preparation: What is the Recommended Font? at the Chicago Manual of Style Online
  3. The Great Debate: Italics or Underline? by author Janice Hardy
  4. Where Do You Put the Page Numbers? by agent Janet Reid
  5. A Kick in the Head(er) by author Kate Hart, about a mistake she made in her MS header

Know a resource that should be on the list? Have any questions about manuscript formatting? Let me know in the comments!

Looking for professional editorial services for your manuscript or submission materials? Check out my Services page for more info about what I offer.

Related Links:

-Formatting Your Manuscript for Submission

-Print Interior Design Basics

-Self-Publishing Ebooks 101: Links and Resources

-Writing a Synopsis 101: Links and Resources


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