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Manuscript Suggestions

1. Use only one space between sentences. Only one space is needed between sentences unless you are publishing on a typewriter. Typewriters are monospaced — they allot exactly the same amount of space for an i as they do for an m — and monospacing tends to visually obscure the transition from one sentence to the next. So for many years typing teachers have taught their students to use two spaces between sentences. But word processors, including the one you’re sitting at right now, are capable of proportional spacing — they allot about one-fifth as much space for an i as they do for an m — and a single space is sufficient to distinguish between sentences in a proportionally spaced document. Have a look at any professionally-produced book or magazine and you’ll usually find only one space between sentences.

2. Put your name on your paper. Include your name and contact information, including your email address, at the top of the document you attach. You’ve worked hard on your story, poem, or commentary; don’t forget to identify it as your own. This information will help us track your submission and get in touch with you quickly.

3. Include the word count of your submission at the top of the document you attach. It’s standard practice in publishing to declare length up front, and it’s a good idea to let editors know what’s coming.

4. Make sure your submission is free of typos and grammatical errors. We receive many submissions with these fundamental problems, sometimes in their opening sentences, testifying against the writer.

5. Name the file in a way that helps us identify it as your submission. Guess how many files we receive named “Contrary.doc.” Thousands. Use your last name in the file name: YourName.doc or, if you wish, something like Contrary-YourName.doc

6. If your submission defies our guidelines — for example, if you’re submitting a very long story or a commentary that consists largely of argument or exposition — please tell us why you think it belongs in Contrary anyway.


Proceed to the Submissions Form.