This advice on how to present your manuscript applies whether you're sending it to Keyword, to an agent or to a publisher.

  • Use A4 international paper size.
  • Type in double spacing on one side of the paper only.
  • Indent each new paragraph a few spaces and leave a ragged margin on the right, as editors prefer this.
  • Leave about 3 cms for side margins and top and bottom.
  • Begin each new chapter on a new page.
  • Don't forget to number your pages. If you don't do this and the pages fall on the ground and get mixed up, we will return them. So will an agent.
  • Type a cover page with the title in capitals in the centre. If you want to use a pen name, type it below the title and type your real name in brackets beneath it. Put your real name, address, phone and email details in the bottom right hand corner and on the final page of your manuscript.
  • Don't forget to enclose a stamped, addressed label or enough money for return postage.
  • Avoid using paper clips, staples or fancy binders.
  • Avoid shiny folders as the manuscript can slip out or fall off a desk. The best way to present it is to put a rubber band around the pages and put it in a box - use the one that held your paper - then wrap it in brown paper or use a padded envelope.
  • Type in Times New Roman, Arial or Courier 12pt font.
  • Resist the temptation to type in capital letters or bold in your manuscript.
  • The average novel should make between 85,000 and 110,000 words.
  • Scripts need to be in accepted industry format. This is confusing, as each production company has its own format. You can get special software to take care of this, like Final Draft. See BBC Writers' Room on the BBC website for free format downloads.