MisCon 27 Writer's Workshop

Submission Guidelines:

We follow "standard" manuscript format as seen in Vonda Mcintyre's article at www.sfwa.org. Read her article and format your manuscript exactly like hers. There are many small differences in manuscript formats, but this one is a nice general format you can use with any publisher. The only difference is that here you should omit her type of cover page (since we have you doing one our way).

producing an illuminated manuscript

At RadCon 5a, Tor editor Beth Meacham said this is the definitive manuscript format she likes to see in submissions. Since Tor is the giant in publishing science fiction and fantasy, her opinion is good enough for us.

A few tips about formatting:

  • Begin page numbering and your header on page 2, not page 1.
  • Use a monospaced font like Courier to make sure your word count is accurate. Professionals can tell immediately if you use a font you like better (like Times New Roman) and may discard your submission.
  • Make sure you use a font size of 12.
  • Never mess around with margins or spacing.
  • Double space only.
a Victorian-style wheeled writing chair

Word Count:

First, ignore your word processor's "word count" feature. This counts words, not how much space a manuscript takes up in a publication. The amount of space a manuscript takes up is what matters to publishers, not how many specific words you used. If you format your manuscript according to our Guidelines, it will have about 250 words per page. Since a publisher needs to know how much space a story will take up, you need to include all blank space on a page as well as your writing. So. Once your manuscript is properly formatted, take your page count and multiply it by 250. This is your total word count.

For the MisCon Writer's Workshop, you may not exceed the 4,000 word limit. This means 16 pages or less. Please adhere to this, especially since this year we will delete anything beyond the 16 page limit. In the case of our workshop, it doesn't matter if your story is complete, only that the critiquing authors have a chance to examine a substantial amount of your writing so they can help you improve it. The synopsis and cover letter do NOT count toward this word count.

Also remember that if you submit something to a professional literary agency or publishing house and exceed word limits, your writing will not be considered at all. Instead it will probably hit the trash without being read...

In our case, we will just chop it down a bit so it fits our limits. As a side note, we only limit things to 4,000 words because we don't want to ask too much of our critiquing authors. Believe it or not, these kind people have lives outside MisCon and only so much to devote to helping us out.

Again, if you have any questions or just want to talk about writing, feel free to email Justin at ops@miscon.org.

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