contest, formatting

Formatting Issues

I had another first. I got rejected. No, not a rejection from an agent or publishing house. I got rejected from a contest I entered because of formatting! I entered my second writing contest  and woke up the next morning to an email saying the format was all wrong. The person who emailed me was so nice and wrote a two paragraph explanation on how to fix the formating. They even told me they would fix it for me if I wanted! How nice is that?


What I found amazing was I had never even heard of some of the things in the explanation. Widows and Orphans. What in the world?

“The widow/orphan control in Word is a feature that will prevent single lines of paragraphs from appearing on a separate page from the rest of the prargraph (a widow is the first line of a paragraph left by itself and an orphan is the last line left by itself). The widow/orphan control will automatically keep two lines together on a page, shifting them as necessary when you add or take text awar from the document.” (eHow)

Evidently, in order to have exactly 25 lines per page, you have to turn off the Widows/Orphans control. Sigh….I had to do a little bit of research, but I figured out how to fix it. You go to “Home”, then “Paragraph”, then “Line Breaks”, then uncheck the Widows/Orphans box. Yes, you still have to set the lines as EXACTLY with 25 pt. The funny thing is, I didn’t have the box checked to begin with. Hhhmmm.

Very confusing. And just a tad bit embarrassing! But since there is an extension on the deadline, I am blogging tonight instead of correcting my mistake. I’m also wondering if the first contest I entered last month will find the same problems. Live and learn, I say.

Anyone else have any newbie mistakes that they have made along the way? Anyone? Are you sure you don’t wanna make me feel better?