Cover Letters v Standard Manuscript Format

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RSchibler
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Cover Letters v Standard Manuscript Format

Postby RSchibler » Sun May 27, 2018 5:29 am

When a publication has an online submission system that includes your name and contact info in the form, but still says "submissions should be in standard manuscript format", should the document itself be anonymous even if the submission information doesn't specifically say so? Some say they want the manuscript anonymized, and some don't. I decided the other day to include the contact info at the top of the manuscript when I sent something in, but now I'm wondering if that was the wrong decision. (Not for the contest, I know that is anonymous) Thanks.
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Sataris
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Re: Cover Letters v Standard Manuscript Format

Postby Sataris » Sun May 27, 2018 7:08 am

I think you're fine. I've always personally included the information on the MS unless explicitly told not to and have never had a problem.
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RSchibler
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Re: Cover Letters v Standard Manuscript Format

Postby RSchibler » Sun May 27, 2018 7:29 am

Thank you. I'd hate to get rejected for something more firmly in my control like that.
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Re: Cover Letters v Standard Manuscript Format

Postby kentagions » Mon May 28, 2018 6:03 am

Hi Becky,

You can find the Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers of America (SFWA) manuscript preparation guidelines here: http://www.sfwa.org/2008/11/manuscript-preparation/. These are the standard guidelines that nearly every market follows when their fiction guidelines instruct the author to "follow standard manuscript preparation guidelines."

I include Name, Address, Phone number and email.

Only remove name and contact information if the guidelines ask you to. Some markets (Escape Pod is one) ask that all identifiers be removed from the manuscript. They will auto-reject if identifiers are included. Identifiers to be removed do not include those embedded in file information (i.e., The kind that identifies the user in a sidebar comment.).

Kent

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Re: Cover Letters v Standard Manuscript Format

Postby MattDovey » Tue May 29, 2018 1:13 am

SMF should include contact information unless guidelines explicitly state otherwise. I know Mike Resnick for one uses that contact info. A manuscript and a cover letter do not always travel hand in hand, if an editor reads on physical copies or an eReader, for example.

FWIW if I'm submitting anonymously I usually do strip out the file properties too--better safe than sorry, and some people had problems with that here, IIRC.
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RSchibler
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Re: Cover Letters v Standard Manuscript Format

Postby RSchibler » Tue May 29, 2018 4:44 am

That's what I figured, and what I finally decided, but then I had a flash of fear that I was giving them an easy reason to reject me by not knowing the secret of anonymous manuscripts. wotf001 Thanks all for the responses. At least if I get a rejection letter, I can reasonably assume it wasn't because of my personal info!
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Re: Cover Letters v Standard Manuscript Format

Postby kentagions » Tue May 29, 2018 4:57 am

Thanks, Matt,

If the necessity arises, removing hidden file information can be done in Word 2013 and higher using the info found in this article: https://computerservices.temple.edu/removing-hidden-information-microsoft-office-files

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Re: Cover Letters v Standard Manuscript Format

Postby YM Pang » Tue May 29, 2018 9:51 am

I tend to save my files as RTFs (unless the market specifically requests other formats) to cut out the file information.

Echoing everyone else's thoughts: Standard Manuscript Format means with contact info unless the guidelines say otherwise.
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