General: Submission deadlines are dictated by production schedules and have to be met. Refer to specific Submission Requests.
- Plots must not use the “thought it was a dream” theme.
- Language must be appropriate to the character and situation. No gratuitous swear words—a little goes a long way.
- No erotica, violent sex, child abuse, or similar subjects.
- Excessive violence, gore, or crudeness is highly frowned upon. If it is used at all, it must be vital to the plot.
- Attach submissions (.rtf only) to the Submission Form.
- Standard manuscript format (See example, below)
- Times New Roman font at 12pt.
- 8.5” x 11” page
- Margins 1” all around
- Save your file as Rich Text format. Only attachments in .rtf format will be accepted. We won’t open any other type.
- American English and British English spellings will be left as submitted.
- Misspellings must be corrected before submission. USE A SPELL CHECKER! More than two spelling errors per page (including wrong words due to spell checker corrections) could result in rejection of the piece.
- Some of our editors think typos are just sloppy work. More than two on any page could result in rejection of the piece.
Author Legal Name
City, State, Zip
Phone contact 555-123-4567
Approximate word count: 9,300
In your word processor, set your page size to 8.5” x 11” and your borders to 1” on the top, bottom, left, and right. Set line space to single space. Indent: First line: 0.3″. (Unfortunately, this webpage HTML doesn’t show the indents for you.) Type your full (legal) name and hit enter. Type your pen name, if you have one, and hit shift/enter. Next, type your correct address and hit shift/enter. Type in your telephone number, including area code, and hit shift/enter. Type your full email address and hit shift/enter. Enter the word count from your word processor. Hit enter (with no shift) twice and type your Title. Hit enter and type your Pen Name. Hit enter twice and begin your story.
Remember—within your story—do not hit enter at the end of a line; let the word processor move automatically to the next line. Headers, footers, and page numbers are acceptable but not required. Use only one space between sentences, not two. Style guides differ on the correct formation of the ellipsis, but at Lillicat Publishers, halted speech is indicated with a … group of three periods with spaces at both ends. An interrupted sentence is shown by ending it with three periods with one space to the left. “As I was saying, we will have a five minute …” A sentence that has trailed off will have three periods with the fourth mark the appropriate punctuation. “What would you have me …?” (When in doubt, check this out—http://writersrelief.com/blog/2012/07/halt-punctuate-adramatic-pause/) The Em dash has no space on either side. Use as few commas as you feel is necessary to obtain the proper timing and/or as required for grammar. We use serial commas. When listing several items, describing multiple steps, or otherwise showing three or more things in one sentence, put a comma before the and/or in the last item. Italics should be used sparingly, but use them properly. In most cases, we use italics to indicate internal speech. Everything else is as normally used.
Please remember, your submission will be rejected or moved forward in our process after one reading. Anything that interrupts that first reading increases the likelihood of rejection. Interruptions include errors in grammar, spelling, typos, punctuation, and failure to follow the guidelines. If we get sick due to excessive gore or need to reread sections to verify that something is essential … that is an interruption. Any story, like yours, must have a beginning and an end. We have arrived at the end of our little story and there should be no indication for that.
If we decide to consider your novel, we must have a synopsis. Be prepared to provide one immediately, if we ask.
For published pieces we take First Print and Electronic Publishing Rights (for books) and First English Anthology Rights, for publication in the English language anywhere in the world (for short stories). Bear in mind that most publications will not publish pieces that have been published in print, eBook, or on the web, so for all intents and purposes after your work is published by us it can only be marketed as a reprint, which limits the number of markets that will accept it, and reduces the pay rate it can receive. It is up to you, the author, to decide if publishing your work in print and/or eBook formats and/or on the web, giving up your First Publishing Right for no and/or a token payment, is really what you want to do.
Updated July 23, 2015