Today we’re going to talk about submissions. This is a topic that comes up frequently with each new contest. People ask about everything from naming and saving their Word documents to asking if we could rank all the entries so people would know where they stood. So, let’s spend a little time talking about the process of submissions.

Our contests were designed by the founders of ICL as a way for people to practice submitting their work to agents and editors. Let’s break down each piece of the contest process and how it applies to submitting to agents and editors.

Entries submitted to our contest must follow the guidelines listed in the contest rules page. Manuscripts should be double-spaced with one-inch margins and in Times New Roman or Courier 12-point font.

Why is this important in the publishing industry? It’s important because agents and editors may read hundreds of manuscripts a day, some from their current clients and some from hopeful writers trying to break through. By having a standard, it allows the editor to focus solely on the story and not be distracted by a strange font or hard-to-read size. It also allows them––at a glance––to get a feel for the length of your story. It also ensures that as your manuscript goes up the publishing chain, formatting isn’t changed because someone’s computer doesn’t recognize the font you chose. Using the proper formatting and font shows you are professional.

What did your teachers use to say? Neatness counts! (And it still does!) 

Listen to the full episode to find out:

  • How to properly name your document
  • What happens after you submit
  • Why you may not hear anything about your submission
  • How submitting to our contest is different than submitting to an agent or editor (and why that’s a good thing)
  • Pro tips you can use on your next submission
Download this episode's show notes
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© 2024 Direct Learning Systems, Inc. All rights reserved.


1000 N. West Street #1200, Wilmington, DE 19801

© 2024 Direct Learning Systems, Inc. All rights reserved. 

Institute for Writers LLC BBB Business Review