When it comes to writing, my favorite thing to write are short stories because well, it's a short story. It still has all the elements of craft like characters, setting, and dialogue only in a less lengthy form while still conveying a full movement so i don't have to feel terrible about not being able to complete a novel yet. Here is what i've gathered from writing, listening, and primarily reading about what a short story format should look like, especially when submitting to an online publication like Writer's Digest. Normally, publications will list their criteria in their "rules and regulations" section but not all do. I still submit my work to places and when i do, i almost always look back to this guide to help me format. Hope this helps you short story writing buggers out there.
Guide to Short Story Format
• Use Courier as the font type
• Always be double-spaced
• Use 12pt font
• Have one inch margins all around
• On the first page of the manuscript on the upper left corner add: Name, address, telephone, and e-mail.
• On the upper right corner of the first page add the approximated word count (round to the nearest hundred unless asked to specify because you have a short limit).
• Make sure the title is centered and a double space after it, add your name or “byline.”
• The story begins two double spaces after the byline.
• Indent every paragraph
• Place a header in the upper right corner of every page except the first; your real surname, one or two important words from the title of your story, and the current page number.
• (Applicable only if you like to keep it old school and use a typewriter or are writing an article for a magazine or newspaper) Make two spaces after every period and colon.
• Dialogs are always in quotations!
• Create a new paragraph for every new speaker.
• For line breaks enter # centered.
• (Optional) After the last line of the story, center the word END.
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