How to Format Your Manuscript
Young Adult (YA) Manuscript Format
Submissions will be in a standard manuscript format using our Formatting Guidelines. If you have illustrations for your YA title, notate their placement, but do not send illustration samples. See Manuscript Format Example.
Children’s Chapter Book Manuscript Format
Submissions will be in a standard manuscript format using our Formatting Guidelines. Early chapter books will generally have one or two illustrations per chapter. Include brief illustration descriptions and provide 2 or 3 sample illustrations using our online submission form. See Manuscript Format Example.
Children’s Illustrated Manuscript Format
Use our Formatting Guidelines, but include detailed illustration descriptions and indicate page breaks. Provide 2 or 3 sample illustrations using our online submission form. See Illustrated Manuscript Format.
NOTE: If you do not have an illustrator, use a poetry manuscript format: single space each page as a stanza and double space between stanzas. See Children Manuscript Example.
File Format: .doc or .docx
Margins: 1” on all sides.
Align: Left, do not justify
Font: Times New Roman, 12 pt, black
Line Spacing: Double space - do not add spaces between paragraphs
Page Header: Right align last name, title (may be shortened), and page number
Paragraph: ½” first line indent
Character Spacing: Single space after punctuation, including periods.
Chapters: Start on a new page. Center chapter header 3-4 lines down. Do not add extra lines before text.
Scene Breaks: Center using notations (***, #, etc.) If you prefer a non-standard symbol, notate it in ‘about your book.’ Do not add extra line spaces.
Page Breaks: Fully illustrated books only. Indicate page number, describe the illustration, and include the text. Do not put extra spaces between page entries.
Italics: Use for emphasis – bold does not always show well.
Illustration Location: Write a brief description of the illustration, centered and italicized, where you would like the illustration placed. If the illustration is a separate page insert, such as a map, put that in the description.
- One illustration per file. Include the page number in the file name. Ex: ‘my_story page1’ is the first illustration in the story. If there are multiple floating illustrations for the same page, indicate that (ex. ‘my_story page7-2 is the second image on that page)
- All illustrations are PSD or AI files: 300 dpi, maximum compatibility, RGB
- Full page illustrations: 1/8” bleed. The centerline of a 2 page spread will be cut in printing - ensure critical elements won't get lost
- Floating illustrations: minimum 1” margin
- Text: editable on its own layer. 3/8” margin (½” from outside edge of bleed)
- Layers may be flattened, but enable us to separate characters from color and background layers
- Be able to provide a font file that is licensed for print and e-book use.