Manuscript Preparation, Copyediting, and Proofreading

Q. Does it matter what font style and size are used when submitting an essay for contest consideration?

A. Contest rules usually give guidelines for submitting work. Otherwise, it is standard in publishing to use 12-point type in a serifed font like Times New Roman. Use one-inch margins on all sides, no colors, no ALL CAPS anywhere. Indent the first line of each paragraph. Don’t add space between paragraphs. Type a single space between sentences (not two). Editors want the text to be clear and to speak for itself. Prose decorated with bold and italics and caps looks unprofessional. If you are entering a contest, good luck!