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By Cheryl Bur

When you submit your manuscript, you want it to look professional. You don't want fancy fonts, coloured paper, or faint typing. Below is all you should know about submitting your manuscript to an editor.

1. Double space all lines of text and leave at least a one-inch margin around all sides.

2. Do not fully justify text. Leave your text ragged on the right side.

3. Use a fixed-pitch font like Courier, 12 point in size. Fixed-pitch fonts are easier on the eyes.

4. To start your story, center the title about a third of the way down the page. You can have it all in CAPS if you like. On the next line type "By", and on the third line type your name. Hit the enter key twice and begin your story.

5. No italics or bolds. If you have something in your manuscript that should be italicized, underline them.

6. In the upper left-hand corner of your first page, place your name, address, and phone number. In the upper right-hand corner, place an approximate word count rounded off to the nearest 50 words. If your word processor does not do word count, count the number of words on five random pages of the manuscript. Find the average number of words per page (divide the count by five), then multiply this number by the number of pages in the manuscript.

7. No page number is needed on the first page. On every subsequent page in the upper right-hand corner, place identifying information and the page number. It should look like this: Your Name/Brief Title/Page # This line is called a slug line and may be inside the margin.

8. Although you don't have to say The End, most people do. Double space a couple of lines, center it, and type it all in caps.

9. When you print out your story, make sure to use a new ribbon. You don't want the typing so light that the editor can barely make it out.

10. When you've printed out your story, fasten it in the upper left-hand corner with a large paper clip, and include a self-addressed, stamped envelope. Top it off with a brief, businesslike cover letter, put it in a large manila envelope, and drop it in the mail. Now you're ready to start writing your next story.