Managing Editor of Content, Peter J Coles, gives advice on submitting to MIROnline
We don’t want to dictate and stifle your creative process. That’s why our submission guidelines are pretty bare bones. However, if you want to have the best chance of your work being accepted, there are a couple of things that we suggest doing (or more importantly, not doing). The main rule of thumb is:
Don’t let the formatting overshadow the text.
Keep it as simple and clear as possible.
- The Basics – Do these and you’re already onto a winner.
- Write in a clear and legible font. Times New Roman is the default and if you are ever in doubt, just go with it.
- 12pt size is ideal. It makes it easy for the readers’ eyes.
- 2.0 or double-line spacing works wonders. Again, this is all about clarity. Not having the text all bunched together makes it so much easier for the readers.
- Helpful Formatting – less important but really helps.
- You don’t need a title page. We just want to get straight to the story. Have your title in bold, and then a couple of lines underneath begin the story. Simple but effective.
- Try to clearly indicate your paragraphs from your section breaks. Scenes should be broken into paragraphs, and different scenes should be broken up by section breaks. Obviously, this doesn’t apply to poetry: you poets go crazy!
- This is down to personal preference, but this editor prefers justified over aligning the text to the left. It’s just neater. Don’t DM me about it!
- Despite what some MPs think, try not to double space after a full-stop. It makes it look as though the text is coming apart and the editors will have to go through and take all those extra spaces out again.
- The Overly Nit-picky – This is just to get extra points.
- Name your document ‘STORYTITLE.docx’ and nothing more. This makes it so much easier for the readers and editors to find the relevant work when we’re searching through our files.
- Submit your work in .docx format. We edit all work at MIR and we can’t afford the fancy .pdf editing software!
- You don’t have to include any contact information including email, telephone number or address in the document. We’ll have all the contact information we need from your submission.
We’ll never reject a good piece which breaks any of the rules above, but following them will put you ahead of the pack. If you have any questions about submissions, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
You can submit your prose, poetry, or creative non-fiction by going here.
Peter Coles studied for his MA in Creative Writing at Birkbeck University. He is the Managing Editor of Content for MIROnline and was a member of the editorial team for The Mechanics’ Institute Review, issue 15. @peafield