Style Guide for Authors

General Guidelines

Dashes

Sentence Clauses – Any place in a sentences where dashes have been used in place of commas, semi-colons, or parenthesis, em dashes should be used—without surrounding spaces.

Grandmother—she’d been dead a while—laughed and laughed.

Spans and Ranges of Numbers – Any dashed numerical range should use an en dash with surrounding spaces.

RIP Beatrix Potter, 1866 – 1943.

Compound Words – Words that are joined with a dash should use the ordinary hyphen found on the computer keyboard. No surrounding spaces.

Boy, someone must have beaten you with an ugly-stick.

Ellipses

All ellipses should use the ellipses character (…) rather than a string of three periods.

Lists

Bulleted or numerical lists should use the list button in your word processor rather than manually typed bullets or numbers.

Poems

Dedications and Afters

Dedications, afters, and other types of attributions should be offset with an em dash (without a space after) and set in italics.

—for my father

—after Khalil Gibran

Epigraphs

The quoted portion of the epigraph should be placed between double quotes, and there should only be a soft return between the quotation and the citation. The citation should be offset with an em dash (without a space after) and set in italics.

“We all need someone we can bleed on.
And if you want it, baby, well you can bleed on me.”
—The Rolling Stones

Sections

Where a poem is broken up into numbered, lettered, or titled sections, the number letter or title should be given its own paragraph breaks and bolded.

1

There was an angry man after me.

2

I ran as fast as the angry man.

Capitalization

We honor the writer’s intent in all titles and in the bodies of poems. Artist names are always capitalized normally.

Artist Bios

Artist Names

We bold the first instance of an artist’s name in a bio.

Jane Doe is a poet who lives in Wordtown, Rhode Island.

Capitalization – Artist names are capitalized normally.

Initials – Initials should use no periods. In cases where there are multiple initials together, there should be no spaces and no periods.

PT Barnum was a bit of a huxter.

Titles

Journals –  Titles of journals should always be in italics.

Jane Doe has been published in Adroit.

Chapbooks / Books –  Titles of books and chapbooks should always be in italics.

Jane Doe is the author of the chapbook, Various Weather Conditions.

Poems – Individual poem titles should always be in double quotes.

Jane Doe’s poem, “Sunshine,” is awesome.

Publishers – The names of publishers should always be capitalized but otherwise unmarked.

Jane Doe’s chapbook was published by Climate Press.

Commas

Lists – Lists of items, such as publication credits, with more than two items should always include an Oxford comma. Lists of only two items need no comma.

Jane Doe’s work has appeared in Adroit, Rust + Moth, and The Rusty Nail.

Dimitri and Svetlana are two of Jane Doe’s cats.

Other

Currently – In most cases, you should remove the word ‘currently’ from your bio. It rarely adds to the meaning.

Years-Old – The words ‘year-old’ or ‘years-old’ should use a hyphen, not a space or other type of dash.


Submit Here

If your submission is accepted, as well as posting your bio, we also post links to your web presence to help fans of your work connect with you.

By submitting to Rust and Moth, you affirm you are the sole author and maintain all rights for your work.