NCLR Author Style Sheet

NCLR's submission process is entirely online. Click on the SUBMIT ONLINE tab above for directions in using NCLR Submittable.

Or go straight to NCLR Submittable to get started.

Fiction Submission Period:
Jan. 1 through Feb. 15

Doris Betts Fiction Prize competition guidelines

Creative Nonfiction Submission Period:
February 15 through April 1

Alex Albright Creative Nonfiction Prize competition guidelines

Poetry Submission Period:
Mar. 15 through Apr. 30

James Applewhite Poetry Prize competition guidelines

Questions about submissions, contact:

Read Duotrope Interview with
NCLR's editor.

We nominate for the following prizes:

The Pushcart Prize
Best American Short Stories
Best American Essays

And we welcome writers to call other contests to our attention. We would be happy to nominate the writing in our pages for appropriate prizes.

NCLR Author Style Sheet

General Formatting

  • Times New Roman, 12 pt. font (for notes too)
  • 1-inch margins, 1.5 inch line spacing (for notes and block quotes, too)
  • No spaces between paragraphs
  • Use a line space for section breaks
  • First paragraph of sections is not indented.
  • .25 inch indentions for paragraphs, .5 inch block quote indentions (on left only)

Formatting Interviews:

  • Include in the introduction to the interview information regarding when/where/how interview took place and a note on how it was edited.

  • With first question, give full name of interviewer, all caps, followed by colon in bold.

  • First response, give full name of interviewee, all caps, followed by colon in bold.

  • With subsequent questions/answers, no names unless there is more than one interviewer/interviewee, in which case, preface question and/or answer with bold initials and colon.

  • Italicize questions; remove italics from titles of books, plays, etc. in questions.

  • Line space between each question and answer.

  • Only one space between colon after speaker's name and question or answer.
Formatting Drama:
  • Italicize stage directions and place within square brackets, which are not italicized.

  • Use periods only when stage directions are a complete sentence.

Documenting and Quoting Sources:

  • Cite sources referenced in endnotes (rather than a Works Cited), formatted in MLA or Chicago style (we will adapt to our own house style).

  • If a source is cited more than once, cite second and subsequent references parenthetically and conclude the initial bibliographic note with “subsequently cited parenthetically.”

  • Cite first editions of primary sources whenever possible or unless there is a much more commonly accessible edition. Unless impossible, cite the original source of a quote (i.e., avoid "quoted in..."). Double-check all quotations and citations against original sources.

  • Use block quotes only when quoting more than 4 lines of text (before indention, in 12 point font). No quotation marks in block quotes unless a quotation within a quotation.

Punctuation/Capitalization/Abbreviation Styles:
  • Space once (not twice) after periods, colons, question marks, etc.

  • Use italics rather than underlining. Italicize unfamiliar foreign words and phrases, but if used regularly in English no need to italicize.

  • For dashes, use an en-dash with a space before and after.

  • Do not use ellipses at the beginning or end of quotations, and do not add words in brackets at the beginning of a quotation (rather, start the quotation with the first quoted word). Change ellipses from ... to . . . (i.e., space before/after first and last period of ellipses.) If a period precedes ellipses, no space before period; space after period, before ellipses.

  • Capitalize South, Southern. Use US not U.S. Use 1960s (preferably) or '60s, not sixties. Use BA, MA, PhD (without periods).

  • Write out eighteenth and nineteenth, etc. (rather than 18th and 19th). Except when quoting, spell out numbers that can be written out in two words. Use numerals for numbers requiring three words to spell out.
East Carolina UniversityNorth Carolina Literary & Historical AssociationUniversity of North Carolina Press