Style Guide for Authors
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.
All ellipses should use the ellipses character (…) rather than a string of three periods.
Bulleted or numerical lists should use the list button in your word processor rather than manually typed bullets or numbers.
Possessive words ending in a letter S should end in an apostrophe, with no second S appended.
The walrus’ tusks were mighty sharp.
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
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
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.
There was an angry man after me.
I ran as fast as the angry man.
We honor the writer’s intent in all titles and in the bodies of poems. Artist names are always capitalized normally.
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.
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.
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.
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.