It was such a pleasure to meet some of you at the recent
American Christian Fiction Writers’ conference. Whether we met at the
conference or not, perhaps you’re gearing up to submit a query through our
on-line system (the only way to do so). Here’s the main link for submissions to Pelican Book Group: http://www.pelicanbookgroup.com/ec/write-for-us.
Once there, choose the imprint you’d like to submit to:
White Rose Publishing:
Christian romance 
Harbourlight Books: Christian
non-romance
Watershed Books: Christian
young adult (YA) fiction 
When I was first writing full-length manuscripts and getting
ready to submit them to houses, I wondered how to format them. Back then, there
were few resources for finding out. But here are some tips for you, in case
your editor asks to see your manuscript:
~ MARGINS: One-inch margins all around. Also, turn off “widow/orphan
control” in Word so we truly get that one-inch bottom margin. 
~ NO TABS: Please do not use tabs (or repeated spaces) anywhere
in your manuscript. Instead, for first line indent, highlight the entire
manuscript and find the direction for Indentation: Special: First Line. Now, go
back through, highlight scene separators (# or ****) and chapter headings and
just pull the top margin marker back to be flush left so the element is truly
centered. 
~ NO END-OF-LINE HYPHENS: Please allow your word processor to
determine line length. Do not right justify and do not hit “enter” or “return”
until you’ve reached the end of the paragraph you’re typing (or for chapter headings
and scene breaks). Please do not go through and insert end-of-line hyphens on
words. With different formatting, they could end up be-ing off.
~ PARAGRAPH SPACING: Normal paragraph spacing involves a
block of text and an “enter” or “return” command followed by another block of
text. There should not be an extra space (empty line) between paragraphs. 
~ END-OF-CHAPTER HARD PAGE BREAK: Immediately at the end of every
chapter, insert a hard page break (CTRL+enter in Word on a PC). This will help ensure
the layout stays correct throughout.
~ CHAPTER HEADINGS: Begin the chapter heading halfway down a
new page. Use “Chapter One” (and so on) for headings. Titles are fine. Just
center the title below the chapter number. Then, drop down two “returns” and
begin the text. If we contract the title, we’ll change that a bit, but for ease
of reviewing, this is a helpful format.
~ FONT: Use Times New Roman 12-point font. Exception for me
is that while I was reading at conference, Courier New 12-point font was the
easiest to read in that condensed amount of time with distractions all around. 
~ OVERALL SPACING: Set the entire manuscript (by
highlighting all) to double space.
~ AFTER PUNCTUATION SPACING: Use one space after punctuation
like periods, colons, question marks, etc. 
~ QUOTATION MARKS: Insert punctuation before quotation
marks. Use double quotation marks (“ or ”) for dialogue, or to set information apart
that is not in dialogue. If you’re already in dialogue and need to set
something apart (an additional quote, for example), use single quotes. Do not
use single quotes outside of dialogue. 
~ NO BOLD: There should not be any bolded text anywhere in
your fiction manuscript. 
~ NO UNDERLINING: Fiction manuscripts should be void of
underlining.
~ ITALICS: Use italics sparingly. Use it for present-tense
introspection and the occasional emphasized word. That said, it’s best to write
the sentence and surrounding sentences so the reader automatically emphasizes
the key word. 
~ NO REPEATED WORDS: One of my personal pet peeves is
repeated words within a short span (say, four pages). Use a thesaurus or
rework the entire sentence in order to avoid repeated words. Lack of repetition
is the sign of a strong writer who has learned to take the time to find those
synonyms that keep the writing fresh.
~ AVOID REDUNDANCY: Nearly the same as the previous tip, but
this one involves expressing the same thought in another way. If our heroine
has already ruminated on something once, don’t reword the worry and include it
again and again. Dig deeper and give us something more that relates with the
heroine’s angst, or move on with the action.  
All that being said, we know that when you cut and paste
your first chapter into our online system, the formatting will not match these
requirements. However, if we ask you for the full, it’s important that it does. 
Having these elements in place helps us in the review
process by making our time more efficient. We look forward to seeing your
submission!

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This

Share this post with your friends!

Share This

Share this post with your friends!