Especially No. 14

This comes from the “The More Things Change, The More They Stay the Same” file. The following newspaper submission guidelines appeared in the Portland, Maine, Daily Eastern Argus on May 10, 1864:

Hints to Correspondents: The following simple rule for the guidance of those who write for the press, if observed, would save editors and printers a world of trouble. Correspondents should adhere to them:

  1. Write with black ink on white paper with ruled lines.
  2. Make the pages smaller than that of a foolscap sheet.
  3. Leave one side of each sheet blank.
  4. Give the written pages an ample margin all round.
  5. Number the pages in the order of their succession.
  6. Write in a plain, bold hand, with less respect to beauty.
  7. Use no observations that are not to appear in print.
  8. Punctuate the manuscript as it should be printed.
  9. For italics, underscore one line; for small capitals, two; capitals, three.
  10. Take special pains with every letter in proper names.
  11. Review every word to be sure that none is unintelligible.
  12. Put directions to the printer at the head of the first page.
  13. Never write a private letter to the Editor on the printer’s copy, but always on a separate sheet.
  14. Don’t depend on the editor to correct your manuscript.
  15. Don’s ask him to return the “copy.”
  16. Don’t press him to tell you why he refused to publish your article.  

(Emerging Civil War)



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