Monday, October 6, 2008

FORMATTING & SUBMITTING YOUR MANUSCRIPT by Cynthia Laufenberg and the Editors of Writer's Digest Books

Are you at the point in your writing career where you are ready to submit your work? Or perhaps you want to submit a non-fiction piece? Do you know how to properly format articles for newspapers or magazines?

Recently, I found myself in a conundrum. I felt ready to submit an article for consideration. However, I had no clue how to properly format sidebars? To be honest, I didn't even know what sidebars where.

My dilemma didn't last too long. I turned to my bookshelf to find my FORMATTING & SUBMITTING Your Manuscript book. But it wasn't there. A friend had borrowed it. This book is a favorite book, which I lend to my writing friends.

The first thing I noticed about the book, which I liked best is the example letters. This book doesn't just give one or two, but page after page shows query letters, cover letters, proposals, outlines, and synopses. Also, there are plenty of examples of electronic submissions and the difference between them and traditional submissions.

The second thing I liked is the various genres it covers. This book shows how to write letters to submit in genres such as novels, personal essays, magazine articles, book proposals poetry, screenplays & scripts, short stories, children's books, and greeting cards.

Last, I like how the narrative is chunked into small information pieces. Reading long passages of scholarly text, bores me. However, this author uses bullets and short paragraphs to convey her thoughts. I can't say enough how much I appreciate chunked information. I learn best in this manner.

This book is a must have for any writer ready for the submission process. It will be the best $20 investment you can make in to your writing career.


  1. Formatting and Submitting Your Manuscript by Jack and Glenda Neff, Don Prues, and the Editors of Writer's Market has been my formatting Bible for years. The authors are concise and offer many examples to go by.

  2. Debra, the only formatting book I've ever read was "How to Write Irresistible query letters" by Lisa Collier Cool. There's also help in "Chrisitan Writer's Market." I never thought about sidebars, but they are needed on articles. Sounds like a good book.


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