NaNoWriMo 2017 – DRB Manuscript Challenge

NaNoWriMo 2017 has officially ended. Some folks scrambled to finish, others finished ages ago, and then there are some who simply threw their hands up in defeat sometime in the middle. No matter where you fall on the spectrum, let us offer our congratulations on your hard work and dedication. Even if you didn’t quite hit the goal of 50,000 words, you still made progress on your writing project, and that’s the whole point of NaNo, right?

At the beginning of November, we issued a manuscript challenge wherein anyone who started and finished NaNo with us could send us a manuscript for review. As promised, what follows is the guidelines for submission, along with some best practices. More than anything, please correct all the things that are within your knowledge base to correct. That will allow us to focus on bigger picture issues rather than teaching you something you already know.

Manuscript submission checklist:

  1. You can send us any manuscript you’d like us to review. It doesn’t have to be the one you wrote for NaNo 2017. If you have a completed manuscript that you’ve spent time polishing and have been working up to submitting it to a publisher, send that one. That will allow us to truly see what you know and are capable of in terms of craft, ensuring the biggest bang for your buck in terms of useful feedback.
  2. Word count limit: 90,000.
  3. Deadline to submit: December 31, 2017
  4. Send your manuscript to: submissions@dirtroadbooks.com
  5. Run spell-check and correct as needed. This doesn’t mean you need to adapt your manuscript to American spelling. If the story takes place in another country, such as Canada, please use whatever is appropriate for that location. We are a worldwide publisher and we want our work to reflect that.
  6. Read over your manuscript thoroughly. You’ll be surprised at what you can correct on your own simply by doing this.
  7. Verify that you are consistent with verb tense. If you start out with past tense, you don’t get to randomly switch to present.
  8. Maintain point of view. If you start out writing in third person (she/her), make sure you don’t slip into first person (me/I).
  9. Please use Calibri or a similar font, 12 pt.
  10. Please double space. If you don’t know how to change this setting in your software, the internet is a wild and wonderful place. Do a quick Google search and the answer will appear.
  11. Do not add an extra space between paragraphs. Again, Google is your friend if you don’t know how to do this.
  12. Indent paragraphs at .25 inch. Same as the last two, engage the power of Dr. Google if you need to know how to do this.
  13. Include your name and manuscript title in the header, and page number in the footer. This may sound a little silly, but it will help us to keep track as we’re going through the manuscript.
  14. Include this checklist on the first page of your manuscript.

If you have any questions, please e-mail submissions@dirtroadbooks.com.

We look forward to reading your work.

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