Using Styles for Poetry in the Template
Each production season, poets have questions about formatting their poems in the template. Most want clear guidelines about how to apply the paragraph styles – as shown here – to various elements of their individual poems.
Here are the applicable styles for poetry in the template:
- Author name (appears only on the first of your five allotted pages): Heading 1
- Title of poem: Heading 2
- Subtitle, quote, or attribution (if this applies to your poems): Heading 3
- Body of poem: Heading 4, left-justified; See further details on justification in the notes below.
- Unlike writers who are submitting prose, the poets generally have no need for the Heading 5 style.
Other Formatting Notes for Poetry
- Font: The default font for the template is Times New Roman, 12 point
- Line spacing / Line count: The default is single-spaced, but how many lines you choose to place between the stanzas or individual lines is up to you.
- Remember to include lines between stanzas when counting your line allotment per page (20-25).
- It’s a good idea to leave a little intentional breathing room at the bottom of the page. A poem that’s closer to 20 lines will be less likely to spill over two pages in the final printed product. Also, bear this in mind when you’re choosing where a page break will fall in a longer poem.
- Justification: As noted above, applying Heading 4 to the body of your poem will left-justify the text. You may, however, want your poem to appear differently on the page. You may centre-justify a poem or begin a poem left-justified and then play with indents for lines that follow.
Latitude and Limits
There is a fair degree of latitude regarding everything that happens below the title of your poem. Our print designer does his best to accommodate most requests within the constraints of the final printed page.
Longer lines may wrap down to a second line because of the space constraints of page width. This is an unfortunate reality of page size in the final printed publication. However, you can experiment with where you want to break the line and how many spaces you choose to put between lines to fine-tune the poem’s appearance on the page.
Here to Help
I hope these few pointers help when you transfer your poems to the template. On June 1st, you received an email from me (Janet Fretter, Managing Editor) with a link to your individual Google document template. Feel free to respond to that email with questions for clarification.
I look forward to reading your work!