Formatting your piece in the template


Google Doc FormattingTo submit your piece to the managing editor, you will need to place it into the emerge 17 Google Doc. The Managing Editor will email you the link to your copy.

After you have placed your piece into the template, you will need to  apply the appropriate styles to format your piece. We use the following styles in emerge:

“Normal text”– Header-Author Name
“Heading 1”– Author’s Name
“Heading 2”– Title of Piece
“Heading 3”– an excerpt
“Heading 4”– FIRST paragraph
“Heading 5”– BODY paragraphs

The image on the right shows the styles used, and to which content they apply.

The “an excerpt” section

The “an excerpt” section is there for the author to give the reader extra information about the piece. For example, you can write “written on a beach in Borneo”, or “based on As I Lay Dying, by William Faulkner”, or “an excerpt from …”

“An excerpt” is needed if your piece is from a larger work. Similarly, if you condensed your piece, then you can write “a condensed version” on line 7.

Removing the “an excerpt” line

If you’re looking for a little extra room for your piece, you can delete the “an excerpt” text from the template. If your piece needs no introduction, as described above, then feel free to delete it.

If any of this is unclear, please ask your question in the comment box below.


First Paragraphs

The first paragraph uses the style “Heading 4”, and is always flush left.

Body Paragraphs

Paragraphs following the first paragraph have an indent, but there are no extra line spaces between them. These paragraphs use the style “Heading 5”.

Section Breaks

When there is a change of scene, perspective, or time in a piece, you can add an extra line space between it and the previous paragraph. Add three periods (…) in this extra line between sections. The FIRST paragraph of the new section will have the “Heading 4” style applied to it. See the image above for an example.

Space after a Period

At the end of a sentence, there is only one space after a period. DO NOT ADD two spaces after a period, as the print designer will have to remove them.


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 piece to the template. After you receive an email with a link to your individual Google document template, feel free to respond to that email with questions for clarification.


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