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1.3 How should I format the first page and following pages? (misc.writing Writing FAQ)




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This article is from the misc.writing Writing FAQ, by Wendy Chatley Green wcgreen@cris.com with numerous contributions by others.

1.3 How should I format the first page and following pages? (misc.writing Writing FAQ)

First page header:

I. Wanna Write                            Approx. 2000 words
1000 Maple Street
Anytown, USA 00000
(508)555-1212
<address@ISP.com>
 
                  (about 1/3 of the way down the page)
 
                     Title of Story
    
                           by
     
                      Ima Pseudonym

(Note that you use your real name, not your pseudonym, as
the return address; the publisher wants to know who will be
endorsing the check.)

Other additions to the header about which there is some
debate:

Your Social Security number (Pro: Aids publishers in
record keeping when they cut you a check. Con: If they
need it, they'll ask for it.)

A copyright notice (Pro: May be useful in
establishing legal claims to ownership of your work, should
problems arise. Con: "This is a mark of the amateur;
editors have better things to do than steal story ideas.")

Membership in writers' professional organizations --
SFFWA, SCBWI, et al. (Pro: Gets editors' attention in the
slushpile. Con: Doesn't help, doesn't hurt.)

Rights offered (more important for articles/stories than
for books)

For the second-through-final page headers:

Writer's name/Title of Story                         Page X

This shouldn't take up more than one line; shorten
the title to fit. Manuscripts *do* get dropped; if you
identify every page, you reduce the odds of your story's
being re-collated with the last third of "Marshmallow Mud
Maidens from Madagascar". (Richard Curtis, the renowned
agent, feels it's a mistake to include the story title in
the page header, since this requires you to retype or
reprint the entire manuscript if you change the title.)

 

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