Notifications
Clear all

[Solved] Question about adding a file when submitting

 
Erik
 Erik
(@fenrik)
Active Member
Posts: 14

So I don't think I'll finish a story in time for Q3 since I'd have less than a month, but I was already looking at the submission form to get a feel for how it works, so I wouldn't be making any mistakes there. Now I've sort of  uploaded a document/file that's just an experiment/draft (no story on there, and I obviously won't be submitting it, just like a sketch of how I'd format the story) to see how the different types of files work. (I'm awful with files and such, and it's good practice) 

I haven't tried out adding a .doc file, but I have tried out .docx and rtf. Both looked absolutely horrible when I tried to format them right. With .docx the pagenumbers would disappear when I converted the document to .docx, and with .rtf the document would look kind of smashed together. (I'm not sure if that's supposed to be the way it looks?)

Now I've tried to add a .pdf file, and it seems to accept it. With .pdf my pagenumbers don't disappear and everything looks better formatted, but since it asks for .doc, .docx, or .rtf I'm nervous that when I add a manuscript in .pdf it won't go through right even if it seems to accept files like that. 

Has anyone ever had problems with submitting .pdf files? 

“Happiness consists in getting enough sleep. Just that, nothing more.”
― Robert A. Heinlein, Starship Troopers

Quote
Topic starter Posted : June 9, 2021 1:23 am
Topic Tags
Disgruntled Peony
(@disgruntledpeony)
Gold Star Member
Posts: 1093

I've never tried submitting a PDF, but with any short story submission I recommend sticking to the requested file types. If they can't use a PDF for some reason or another, your story might get an automatic rejection.

As far as formatting goes, I recommend following Shunn's modern manuscript format (although it's important to keep your story anonymous for Writers of the Future, so you won't actually want to include any information regarding your name or contact info in the document itself). It may not look pretty, but it's considered an industry standard, and that means it will help make your story look professional. https://www.shunn.net/format/story/

If you are in difficulties with a book, try the element of surprise: attack it at an hour when it isn't expecting it. ~ H.G. Wells
R, SF, SHM, SHM, SHM, F, R, HM, SHM, R, HM, R, F, SHM, SHM, SHM, SF, SHM, 1st Place (Q2 V38)
Ticknor Tales

ReplyQuote
Posted : June 9, 2021 6:41 pm
Erik liked
Erik
 Erik
(@fenrik)
Active Member
Posts: 14

@disgruntledpeony

Thanks for the reply! I suppose I will just use .rtf then since the page numbers don't magically disappear then? Is it normal that the document looks squashed together with that type of file, or will the fact that it looks strange like that be cause for it to be rejected? 

“Happiness consists in getting enough sleep. Just that, nothing more.”
― Robert A. Heinlein, Starship Troopers

ReplyQuote
Topic starter Posted : June 9, 2021 10:44 pm
Erik
 Erik
(@fenrik)
Active Member
Posts: 14

Huh, I've actually just found an extra step to make sure the pagenumbers don't dissapear with .docx. First I simply convert the google doc document to .pdf, and it keeps all the pagenumbers, and then I convert it to .docx, and voila no magically dissapearing pagenumbers anymore 

laughing  

The only thing is that the document now doesn't look like separate pages anymore, but rather one large document with pagenumbers, but I suppose when someone opens it it will look different?

“Happiness consists in getting enough sleep. Just that, nothing more.”
― Robert A. Heinlein, Starship Troopers

ReplyQuote
Topic starter Posted : June 9, 2021 11:02 pm
DoctorJest
(@doctorjest)
Silver Member
Posts: 344
Posted by: @fenrik

@disgruntledpeony

Thanks for the reply! I suppose I will just use .rtf then since the page numbers don't magically disappear then? Is it normal that the document looks squashed together with that type of file, or will the fact that it looks strange like that be cause for it to be rejected? 

I'm going to say that this may be down to the software you're using specifically, as I've never personally had this problem with any of the file formats you're describing. Without knowing the specific piece or pieces of software that you're using to both generate the file and then view the completed files, it's difficult to know for sure.

However, the .doc and .docx formats are MS Word native, so you'll usually get the best results from them when you use MS Word, for example, though .doc files are an older format, and more pieces of software seem to do a decent job with it. RTF is usually more agnostic as a format, so while it's more limited, you may find it easier to get a clean file to work with--but it does depend on the software again, as some RTF editors don't use pagination at all, and simply present the final document as a single block of text.

What's your current software of choice? 

R: 0 / HM: 8 / SHM: 4 / SF: 0 / F: 1
Currently in for Q3.V38 / Q4.V38 currently in crit/revision stage
Last result: SHM for Q2.V38
Revised SHM ('Ashwright') at PodCastle
Revised HM ('The Winds of the Mind') forthcoming at Abyss and Apex, ~October 2023

ReplyQuote
Posted : June 9, 2021 11:13 pm
Erik liked
Erik
 Erik
(@fenrik)
Active Member
Posts: 14

@doctorjest

Well, I've used the option in google doc to convert a file to either .pdf or .docx and then I store it in the cloud. (I view it in ICloud Drive, since I upload the document from there) When I convert the document to .docx within google doc the pagenumbers disappear and it's very annoying. This doesn't happen when I convert it to .pdf for some strange reason? With .pdf it looks like nice separate pages with pagenumbers on them, with .docx it looks like a glob of text and no pagenumbers. 

For the .rtf conversion I've tried out some free sites online, which are admittedly not the best choice probably? Everything will look squashed together to the left side of my screen and I doubt it's supposed to look that way.

Then I've tried converting the nice .pdf document to .docx, since that does seem to be the preferred type of file, with the help of more free sites that do that (again perhaps not the smartest move maybe) Now the pagenumbers don't disappear, but it still seems to be like there are no separate pages, even if the pagenumbers are in the right place now.  

“Happiness consists in getting enough sleep. Just that, nothing more.”
― Robert A. Heinlein, Starship Troopers

ReplyQuote
Topic starter Posted : June 9, 2021 11:33 pm
DoctorJest
(@doctorjest)
Silver Member
Posts: 344

@fenrik, yeah, I've tried Google docs before, and had some weird results from its file conversions when exporting. It's a nice way to be able to keep files in a single location, but I usually just copy paste the content into a new editor file instead, I tend to get better results.

R: 0 / HM: 8 / SHM: 4 / SF: 0 / F: 1
Currently in for Q3.V38 / Q4.V38 currently in crit/revision stage
Last result: SHM for Q2.V38
Revised SHM ('Ashwright') at PodCastle
Revised HM ('The Winds of the Mind') forthcoming at Abyss and Apex, ~October 2023

ReplyQuote
Posted : June 10, 2021 12:43 am
Erik liked
Erik
 Erik
(@fenrik)
Active Member
Posts: 14

@doctorjest

Thanks for the advice! Do you have any recommended file editors that you can use on an Ipad that work nicely with converting to .docx? Otherwise I suppose for any future final manuscripts I'll just have to ask one of my family members if I could use their laptop or computer for Microsoft Word, since  I dislike using the mobile IOS version of Microsoft Word. 

Later edit: *Sigh* I've been trying out Word and every time I try to open a .docx document in something that is not Word (an email, ICloud Drive when I don't have the Word app installed) it looks horrible and the pagenumbers dissapear again. I'm unsure what a file would look like to other people, if I uploaded it. I'm very much done with Word lol. 

This post was modified 2 months ago 4 times by Erik

“Happiness consists in getting enough sleep. Just that, nothing more.”
― Robert A. Heinlein, Starship Troopers

ReplyQuote
Topic starter Posted : June 10, 2021 12:48 am
DoctorJest
(@doctorjest)
Silver Member
Posts: 344
Posted by: @fenrik

@doctorjest

Thanks for the advice! Do you have any recommended file editors that you can use on an Ipad that work nicely with converting to .docx? Otherwise I suppose for any future final manuscripts I'll just have to ask one of my family members if I could use their laptop or computer for Microsoft Word, since  I dislike using the mobile IOS version of Microsoft Word. 

Later edit: *Sigh* I've been trying out Word and every time I try to open a .docx document in something that is not Word (an email, ICloud Drive when I don't have the Word app installed) it looks horrible and the pagenumbers dissapear again. I'm unsure what a file would look like to other people, if I uploaded it. I'm very much done with Word lol. 

Unfortunately, I don't have a great deal of familiarity with iOS apps for this kind of thing, though I did write on an old iPad for a while using one of those little external keyboards (it was the closest thing I had to a portable laptop at the time, and I would go and write with a few friends in a coffee shop of an evening sometimes--a nice way to work, but no longer one I can continue with). 

That being said, I generally trust that if a market is requesting documents in a specific format, then those are also the formats for which they have the correct software--so an RTF, DOC, DOCX request to me reads very much like a market that either would be opening those documents in an edition of Word, or which has a reliable way of opening and reading those documents without concerns. Otherwise, I might expect them to have different file requests in their specifications. Other markets, for example, may request the story in the body of an email, or submitted as inline text into a form, and so on.

What I would probably suggest at this point would be saving these iOS files in all three formats, then sending all of them to a PC user (or to an account you can access yourself from a PC, ideally, so you can judge it for yourself), and then have the files opened there to see how they appear. It may give you a better idea of how your files would appear to a third party.

R: 0 / HM: 8 / SHM: 4 / SF: 0 / F: 1
Currently in for Q3.V38 / Q4.V38 currently in crit/revision stage
Last result: SHM for Q2.V38
Revised SHM ('Ashwright') at PodCastle
Revised HM ('The Winds of the Mind') forthcoming at Abyss and Apex, ~October 2023

ReplyQuote
Posted : June 10, 2021 8:50 am
Erik and Wulf Moon liked
Erik
 Erik
(@fenrik)
Active Member
Posts: 14

@doctorjest

Yeah, that's probably what I'll end up doing. Luckily, it's not like I was planning on submitting to Q3 for my first time, so I should still have plenty of time for Q4 to work it all out. I just have this anxiousness about my manuscript being unable to be read, because I always have trouble with sharing files for some reason. Anyways, thanks for all the help and suggestions!

“Happiness consists in getting enough sleep. Just that, nothing more.”
― Robert A. Heinlein, Starship Troopers

ReplyQuote
Topic starter Posted : June 10, 2021 9:11 am
DoctorJest
(@doctorjest)
Silver Member
Posts: 344
Posted by: @fenrik

@doctorjest

Yeah, that's probably what I'll end up doing. Luckily, it's not like I was planning on submitting to Q3 for my first time, so I should still have plenty of time for Q4 to work it all out. I just have this anxiousness about my manuscript being unable to be read, because I always have trouble with sharing files for some reason. Anyways, thanks for all the help and suggestions!

I would add this, as a reply--if you have something in a close to reasonable state, submit it to Q3. Honestly, you really don't have a whole lot to lose by giving it a whirl! As you'll see us repeat here ad nauseum, it's always better to be entered. Then you can spend Q4 writing a new story, and continuing to improve what you know about document formats. Don't try to wait for everything to be perfect--it almost certainly never will be.

The worst you can get is a didn't place, and there's no hardship in that at all. Some people have revised a single R all the way up through the contest placings, revising and re-entering the same story. So if you think you could do better, then if that story comes back (and isn't a Semi-Finalist or Finalist), you can just revise it, tighten it up, and then submit it into Q1 of Vol 39 instead!  

You have the better part of three weeks until the deadline right now, and that's time enough. And as you may know, the forum does critique exchanges--if you ask around, you'll find people who'll take your file, review your story, make suggestions, and perhaps even tell you if the file format looks good, or if it comes up looking a little bit weird.

R: 0 / HM: 8 / SHM: 4 / SF: 0 / F: 1
Currently in for Q3.V38 / Q4.V38 currently in crit/revision stage
Last result: SHM for Q2.V38
Revised SHM ('Ashwright') at PodCastle
Revised HM ('The Winds of the Mind') forthcoming at Abyss and Apex, ~October 2023

ReplyQuote
Posted : June 10, 2021 7:56 pm
Erik liked
Erik
 Erik
(@fenrik)
Active Member
Posts: 14

@doctorjest

Hmm, at the moment I have a little more than 1/8 of the first draft already written I think, so not sure if I'll have enough time to finish it, but that does sound like a good tip I suppose! Thanks again! 

grinning

“Happiness consists in getting enough sleep. Just that, nothing more.”
― Robert A. Heinlein, Starship Troopers

ReplyQuote
Topic starter Posted : June 10, 2021 11:59 pm
Erik
 Erik
(@fenrik)
Active Member
Posts: 14
Posted by: @doctorjest

What I would probably suggest at this point would be saving these iOS files in all three formats, then sending all of them to a PC user (or to an account you can access yourself from a PC, ideally, so you can judge it for yourself), and then have the files opened there to see how they appear. It may give you a better idea of how your files would appear to a third party.

Huh, I've tried this, and it seems like the file will come up right as long as the recipient actually opens it in Word, and not only just in the email. In the email it only looks good if you convert the word document into .pdf. 

“Happiness consists in getting enough sleep. Just that, nothing more.”
― Robert A. Heinlein, Starship Troopers

ReplyQuote
Topic starter Posted : June 11, 2021 1:22 am
DoctorJest
(@doctorjest)
Silver Member
Posts: 344
Posted by: @fenrik
Posted by: @doctorjest

What I would probably suggest at this point would be saving these iOS files in all three formats, then sending all of them to a PC user (or to an account you can access yourself from a PC, ideally, so you can judge it for yourself), and then have the files opened there to see how they appear. It may give you a better idea of how your files would appear to a third party.

Huh, I've tried this, and it seems like the file will come up right as long as the recipient actually opens it in Word, and not only just in the email. In the email it only looks good if you convert the word document into .pdf. 

Ah, that makes sense -- you'll see often that email previews or embeds don't always do a perfect rendering of what you'll get in the full application. But that's a very good sign for your formatted documents! grinning  

R: 0 / HM: 8 / SHM: 4 / SF: 0 / F: 1
Currently in for Q3.V38 / Q4.V38 currently in crit/revision stage
Last result: SHM for Q2.V38
Revised SHM ('Ashwright') at PodCastle
Revised HM ('The Winds of the Mind') forthcoming at Abyss and Apex, ~October 2023

ReplyQuote
Posted : June 12, 2021 12:06 am
Erik liked
Share: