Psst, those of you who are entering that contest whose deadline is tomorrow: I know that I said that I wasn’t going to be playing contest favorites this year — thus the series on contest prep that does not come to a screeching halt just before your deadline — but if you have a few moments to spare between reading every syllable of your entry (yes, synopsis, too) OUT LOUD and IN HARD COPY and popping it into the mail, I posted a last-minute checklist of common entry errors last year. Might be worth a gander — or a re-gander, as the case may be.
Remember: it’s TWO spaces after a period, not just one, and remember to turn off the widow/orphan control. (It’s under FORMAT/PARAGRAPH/LINE AND PAGE BREAKS in Word.) Unless a contest’s rules specifically state otherwise, the other rules of standard format (delineated in the STANDARD FORMAT BASICS and STANDARD FORMAT ILLUSTRATED categories at right.
And to spare your writing in about it: yes, yes, I know that it’s going to drive some of you nuts that I’m going to still be talking about contests after you’ve sent off your entries, but last year, my focusing on the Contest-That-Shall-Not-Be-Named gave some folks at the organization that runs it the false impression that they had a right to make demands about this site’s content. This year, I want to make it absolutely plain that not only do I have no affiliation with them; I don’t even like them very much.
So good luck, and kindly forget that we ever had this conversation. I’ll be back to our regularly-scheduled programming within the hour.