Got an email from my Copyeditor at QST Magazine

Naturally there’s a bunch of backstory to this but we’ll start here. ūüėÄ

My Copyeditor, we’ll call her Jennifer (because that’s her name ūüôā ), sent me an email:

Good morning Dan,

I just wanted to let you know that your article (‚ÄúSingle Operator Portable in the Dry Tortugas‚ÄĚ) will be printed in the March 2015 issue of QST. Over the next month, you will be receiving e-mails from QST staff that will need timely attention.

Dan Passaro at Fort Jefferson, Dry Tortugas

There’s more to the email; some detail questions, some questions about the photos I took, etc.

My second experience with an editor lol.

(The first? My Letter to the Editor at WatchTime. He published my email in that section and included his reply. My first published work haha!)

I had submitted three articles to QST concerning my Dry Tortugas ham radio expedition:

–An overview story; “It was a dark and stormy … “. blah, no it wasn’t. In fact, the weather was great.
–A memorable contact story (ham radio operator in Bulgaria)
–A more technically oriented article about the equipment I used.

These types of articles fit the pattern for what QST prints. Also I wasn’t sure how long to make any one article. The three could have easily stood as one but I was concerned about submitting a book lol.

But one of the email questions was:

4. Do you have any anecdotes about any memorable QSOs*? People were probably very excited to contact you in that rare grid*!

Why yes, Jennifer, yes I did. And it was glorious ūüėÄ

I then sent her the other two articles. She has begun incorporating them into the layout and I should see a proof this coming week, by Wednesday I suppose.

I had taken my good camera, my Canon 7D dSLR with L glass, to Dry Tortugas and I’m looking forward to seeing how those fit in to the story!

I’m giddy with excitement as to what the article will look like!

I love it ūüėÄ

* QSO. A Q code ‘Can you communicate?’ Sorta like ‘did you copy me?’
* Grid, with respect to the Maidenhead Locator System. In my case grid EL84np, which you can punch in HERE at the bottom of the page.


How to format your manuscript

Ever wonder how to format a manuscript?  Ever wonder why even format it?

It’s called a baseline, a standard if you will.

My initial reason for looking into the matter involved my iPad.¬† I’ve written half a book on just my iPad Mini using Pages for iOS.¬† No external keyboard, just the soft keyboard.

And it wasn’t bad!

But back to formatting.¬† Everywhere I¬†searched I found the same answer, one inch in from the margin.¬† My one glaring question though¬†was ‘one inch in¬†from where?’.

I kept looking.¬† Did that grand committee of ‘they’ want¬†the margin¬†in from a 6×9 piece of paper such as the typical hardcover novel?¬† 8.5×11?¬† 8.5×14?

It seemed like the simplest question …. but no answer anywhere.

Well here is the answer: One inch margins in reference to an 8.5×11 page.

I suppose everyone just assumed that everyone else knew!


But why format at all?  My layout is majestic, a treasure trove of literary beauty, a feast for the eyes and even the soulllllllll!!

Well your soul will end up in the circular file or the electronic Recycle Bin if you neglect the format standard.

The standard makes it easy for the agent, the editor, the publisher …. everyone to read.¬† And to make notes on it.

If you make it difficult … well, the next manuscript is right underneath it.

So make it easy!

William Shunn’s straightforward 7 page¬†treatise is the best single source I’ve found concerning the whys and¬†details of how to format your¬†manuscript.

PDF download: manuscript format



Manuscript Format 1 Manuscript Format 2 Manuscript Format 3 Manuscript Format 4 Manuscript Format 5 Manuscript Format 6 Manuscript Format 7


%d bloggers like this: