Formatting Poetry and Non-Standard Prose

Please read the information below carefully.

How to format your manuscript

Poetry and Non-Standard Prose

For poetry it is advisable to use the template (available for download below) as a guide and to follow the instructions therein. Most poetry submitted at either A4 size and/or at the standard default size of a word-processed page will be too large for our printed page and for our margins by some considerable measure.

With longer lines you may find that your lines will break in unwanted places and in that eventuality, the longer lines will default to a hanging-indent. We cannot shrink the typeface or change the size of the margins to accommodate the length of these lines.

For poetry that is unconventionally shaped or variously indented to different levels, the use of this template is even more important and hard-tabs must be used (again please follow the instructions within the template to see how to make a hard-tab – clue: tabs do not always work how you think they might in many word processing programs) as they represent formatting that will be stripped out at the typesetting stage. Spaces or ruler guides or the use of a word processor’s alignment tools will similarly not survive the typesetting process. We mention this to save us all heartache further down the line.

Additionally, most of our books are either 5 x 8 or B-Format size and neither size have enough space to reasonably allow writing that is split into columns.

Download Template

Poetry and Non-Standard Prose Word Template

When putting together a poetry manuscript it is important that you include a page-break rather than repeated presses of the enter key to get to the next page.


  • We're afraid that we'll require you to respect these guidelines at the delivery of manuscript stage or this might result in the manuscript being returned to you and may lead to the book being delayed as we move onto books that we are able to work upon. We're sorry to be so harsh but we're a very small team who do in-house typography and time is tight. We have done our best to provide templates to help.
  • The formatting guidelines above are not necessary at the submission stage (i.e. the stage before we have agreed to publish the book/work) but it is very important to adhere to them at the delivery of manuscript stage so that things can go smoothly for editors, authors and publisher alike.

Please Note: We cannot accept invitations to edit Google Docs and nor can we accept manuscripts written in the Pages software that is available on the MacBook. If you are using either of the latter, please export the documents to Microsoft Word .docx files or we can not ackowledge the manuscript. It is possible to download the above template in Google Docs and work on it before exporting it back to a Word format.

Front Matter/Preliminary Book Text

This may consist of some, or all, of the following according to the wishes of the author. Please submit details of all of these in a separate single Word document:

  • Foreword or preface
  • Introduction
  • Dedication
  • Thanks or acknowledgements
  • An epigraph – please note that epigraphs are not covered under fair-use so the writer must seek written permission from the publisher of the quoted work and this permission must be passed to us (see elsewhere for further details).

Back Matter/Appendices

This may consist of some, or all, of the following depending upon the genre of the book:

  • Contributors bios, author bio
  • Glossary
  • Notes
  • Bibliography
  • Any blurbs/endorsements from other writers
  • Index

Note: This does not apply to work submitted for an anthology.

Internal images

We don't encourage imagery in poetry books but if your book has any internal images then you must be able to prove that you have the permission to use them and they MUST be in black and white, high-resolution (at least 300dpi) and, preferably, cropped in a portrait orientation.