Please make sure to view our Manuscript Formatting Example by clicking on the link at the bottom of the page.
For all entries, the following guidelines must be used:
- Use 12-point font. The contest requires the use of Times New Roman, Courier New, Garamond, Cambria, or Book Antiqua.
- The one-page synopsis should be single-spaced with one-inch margins, and begin one double-space below the header. The synopsis may use indented paragraphs with no spaces between the paragraphs or block paragraphs with a double space between paragraphs. PLEASE insert the synopsis first in the document, then the manuscript pages (6 pages total). For suggested resources on writing a synopsis, click here to visit our Writer’s Toolbox page and scroll down to the synopsis section.
- Include a header on each manuscript with the title, category/genre, and estimated manuscript word count on the left side, and page numbers on the right. NO entrant’s name or pseudonym should be in the header.
- The manuscript should be double-spaced with indented paragraphs and one-inch margins. Entries with borders or frames on the manuscript pages will not be allowed.
- Start the first page of your manuscript 4 double spaces (8 single spaces) below the header and on a separate page from your synopsis. Each new chapter MUST begin on a separate page 4 double spaces (or 8 single spaces) below the header. ACFW Virginia strongly recommends inserting a page break at the end of your synopsis and each chapter to keep formatting consistent. (If you are unsure how to do this, Google how to insert a page break and designate Mac or PC.)
- To indicate a scene break, insert a single hashtag (#) or three hashtags (###) or three asterisks (***) one double-space down from the last line of the previous scene. Begin the new scene one double-space down from the hashtag(s) or asterisks.
- Your entry will contain, in this order, a one page, single-spaced synopsis, followed by your first chapter, up to the first 5 pages of your manuscript. Prologues are acceptable and are included in the 5-page count. The entry will be 6 pages total, including synopsis. You may send less than 6 pages. DO NOT SEND MORE THAN 6 PAGES.
Entries not fulfilling the above specifications will be returned to the entrant with one opportunity to correct and resubmit. After this, the entry will be rejected. Entry fees will not be refunded.
“But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.” 1 PETER 2:9 (NIV)