Writers write. Right? (Sorry, I just couldn’t pass that up today. Let me know when you finish groaning. Ready?)
What length should your finished piece be? I’ve compiled a list of typical word counts for some common types of submissions. I offer them as guidelines to give you an idea of a general target number to shoot for. Since every publication is different, you should always (always, always) read the submission guidelines to find out exactly what your intended publication needs.
Greeting cards, one-liners, quips, haiku, six word stories, riddles, quotations
Poems, book/movie review capsules, informative lists, nano fiction, puzzles, jokes, recipes, quick tips, historical facts, news briefs
Children’s short story, puzzles, word game, science experiments, trivia, quizzes, blog posts, sidebars, filler articles, letter to the editor, short reviews
Short essays, how-to articles, profiles, round-ups, long reviews
Feature articles, long essays, short stories
7,500 – 17,500 words:
Novelette, e-book, special report
17,000- 40k words:
Novella, e-book, middle grade fiction
Novels and other book-length works, Young Adult fiction (typically 50-80K). For good advice on the maximum length of novels, check out Nathan Bransford’s post here.
I’m sure there are things I’ve missed. Can you think of something I left out? Please share by leaving a comment.
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