Formatting manuscripts, Publisher's Advice, Uncategorized, Writers Co-op

How to Format a Manuscript

From Tell-Tale Press (

“Now, you can also pay someone to format your stories for you. I do have that capability and offer it via my website. However, why not just save money and do it yourself? Especially when you can make a template that you can open and use over and over again. This format is universal; however, be sure to check the submission guidelines to make sure your document will be correct. Yes, sometimes publishers will want something different, so it’s best to just go with what they ask for. But if they say ‘standard manuscript format’, this is what you’ll use.” -Andrea Dawn

Easy step-by-screenshot instructions! This makes it very easy to create your own permanent template. I did it in a few minutes. My computer wizardry is limited to what I’ve actually done on a computer and I have never before made a Word Template. And, let me tell you, a correctly formatted manuscript ready to submit is a beautiful sight!

bona fides: Andrea Dawn has extensive experience as a technical editor and writer since 1998, fueled by a B.A. in English with an emphasis in literature and creative writing. She ventured into fiction editing starting in 2016 through her work with independent publishers and writers. She has been heavily involved in creating both award-winning and four- and five-star novels and anthologies.
Her previous work includes writing and editing public and classified documents for government agencies and corporations. She used her education to design documents around making them legible in layman’s terms for the general public. She’s written reports, proposals, Standard Operating Procedures, and procedural documents for OSHA, DEQ, USACE, and USAF, among others. She also works as a Transcriptionist and has been employed by such agencies as the SyFy Channel, IBM, WWE, NASA, the Arizona Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office, government branches, and various Fortune 500 companies. From 2004 to 2014, Andrea published the blog “For the Tennessee Walking Horse” and helped bring the illegal practice of soring of the popular horse breed to the public.

Additional reading on manuscript formatting:


8 thoughts on “How to Format a Manuscript

  1. mimispeike says:

    Thanks you again Andrea. I will be trying this. I haven’t gone to your link yet. I need to get ready for work. Is this formatting to submit to an agent or formatting for an ebook? I guess I’ll find out by going to your site. Tomorrow. Right now I have to go to the shower, then to my night-shift job.

    Liked by 2 people

    • andreadawntelltalepress says:

      It’s for formatting to an agent. Formatting for an ebook or print book is tricky. There are lots of ways to do it. I might talk about it in a future blog post, but there was a lot of trial and error on my part to get it right!

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Perry Palin says:

    Andrea, thanks for this. I have never used a template, and have built each of my submissions a keystroke at a time. I’ll give it a close look.

    Yes, it’s not only good but also necessary to follow submission guidelines. I had one last year that specified the typeface, font, line spacing, margins, placement of page numbers, and a few other things too. So maybe they read the story at least before they discarded it, a small step in the right direction.

    We have had two TWHs. The first, an all black gelding, was a wonderful riding horse that we trained to pull a cart as a single. He was very steady and smooth with a long gait. We now have an older sorrel mare with a blaze, a rescue horse with arthritis that keeps her off the trails. She’s a sweetheart though. I’ve had her in a driving harness pulling a cart or a sleigh. Our horses are pets; we never got into the show thing.

    Liked by 2 people

    • andreadawntelltalepress says:

      Glad that you had TWHs! Oh how neat to have horses that pull! We have two draft horses–a Clydesdale and a Percheron/Friesian cross–but we haven’t trained them to the cart yet. We still have my retired Spotted Saddle Horse mare, and we also have a TWH mare that we recently bought. I sold her to her owner about 13 years ago–that’s how her owner and I became friends. She has to cut back on horses now, so we wanted to make sure she stays in the family, so to speak. She’s very safe to ride and is really well gaited. I used to work on gaits with gaited horses without using gadgets or gimmicks, too. I was well known for it for a while!

      Liked by 2 people

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