The Write Calling

Is writing your true calling? Here you'll find encouragements for writers, book reviews, publishing industry insider tips, and market news. Read musings on writing and publishing by Katey Coffing, Ph.D.: Life Coach for Women Writers.

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Location: Colorado, United States

Published fiction and nonfiction author who embraces her creativity and coaches other women to do the same. For information and prices, visit

Monday, September 22, 2008

Mourning the loss of two spaces. (& blog pause)

That's it, I'm switching over. I've been fond of using two spaces between sentences since I was a four-eyed kid in elementary school. (And if you've paid attention to my previous musical tastes, you can identify that decade.) I prefer the look of two spaces in manuscripts, and since I often read my clients' work before they submit it, I find two spaces marginally easier on my eyes when critiquing.

But for my own writing, it's become too annoying to switch back and forth from two (manuscripts, emails) to one (web work, e-newsletter). So I give up.

I will now be training myself to use one, lonely space after terminal punctuation. It's the end of an era for me. (sniff)

Although I'm switching so I can lessen my own writing frustration, whether you should do the same is up to you. I've judged many writing contests and never penalize entrants for spacing choices, as long as they're consistent about them. My agent uses two spaces, and a quick check of recent correspondence with editors shows that seven of those eleven New York editors also use two--so while there may be a trend toward using one space in publishing, it's hardly universal.

Bottom line: if a publisher specifies a preference about spaces between sentences, follow it when you submit there. Otherwise, no one much cares. Honest.


Now that Write Now Quotes is rolling (10 issues so far and going strong), I doubt I'll be posting here much. (Not, LOL, that this will be much of a change.) So if you'd like to hear consistent suggestions and advice from me, please join the free WNQ newsletter. I look forward to seeing you there!