Some Really Important Bits of Stuff

To prepare yourself for the opening of the Clan Destine Press submission portals, so you can truly impress us with your manuscript, there are a few things you must do, must avoid and must remember.

And all of these must be done before you submit your email proposal.

The Obvious

  1. Avoid clichés – in your writing and your plot.
  2. Sometimes a chair is just a chair.
  3. Use Australian (not American) English.
  4. Check your facts.

Complete your novel

Do not send a synopsis for an ‘idea’ you have; or a synopsis and three chapters of a book that is not yet finished. We’re not interested. Seriously, we’re not.

Don’t send the best bit

Do not send three chapters from the middle of your manuscript ‘because it’s the exciting part’.

If we’re not grabbed from the first line, paragraph or page then we won’t care that it really gets going 50 or so pages in.

Read your own book

Read your completed manuscript through – from start to finish. This means proof read the ‘finished version’ that you plan to send to us.

Give your novel to someone else to read through – before you send it to us.

Make sure that someone else is a reader – of many books – who might have a clue.

If you don’t already belong to a nurturing Writers’ Group whose prime purpose is regular constructive criticism and feedback – that you have heeded – then go find one, or form your own.

If it’s too late and you’ve written an entire novel under the bedcovers by torchlight without showing another living soul then, after you’ve read it again yourself, seek out another living soul.

Oh what? You’re shy? You’re about to send it to us, silly; that’s a way bigger deal than asking your best friend.

Um, speaking of friends, family and potentially-clueless strangers...

Ask someone who knows your genre to read your fabulous novel. Don’t give a crime novel to a sf fan who never reads crime; or a fantasy novel to your Aunt Ethel who only reads gay horror. Don’t give your treasure to your Mum and no one else – because Mums really can’t be trusted with their kids’ fabulous novels. And no, not even if she’s a school teacher. She may well pick up all your typos – which will be great for us! – but she will love your book just because you wrote it.

Make sure you ask Whoever to read the same version, from start to finish, that you intend to send to us. This way you will be able to correct all your typos and grammatical hiccups before you send it to us.

Standard Manuscript Format – in English

Margins 2.5 cm all around

This really does mean 2.5 cm / 25 mm / one inch margins – left and right; top and bottom.

Text 12pt Times New Roman

This applies to your entire manuscript. The font / typeface must be 12 pt TNR – not Arial, not Calabria, not Courier or any other fancy font.

If you have an ‘in-context’ reason to have parts of your novel in a different font – please use Arial 10pt.

Paragraphing Double-space your text.

Indented paragraphs means Use the Tab button on your keyboard for each new para – preferably set to 5mm. Please don’t hit the space bar five or six times!

No line spaces means no line breaks between paragraphs; or any ‘set space’ above or below your paras.

Do not justify your text means please set your alignment Left.

Do not use fancy MS Word boxes of any kind – ever.

Submissions should be sent to Lindy at