Manuscript Preparation Guidelines

These guidelines and instructions are for all authors submitting manuscripts for publication by Books@Atla Open Press. Unsolicited manuscripts are not accepted. Submission of a book proposal is required prior to acceptance for publication. For information about submitting a proposal, please visit the submissions page.

Authors are required to comply with the following items or their submission may be returned.

Documents to submit

  • Manuscript divided into files for each chapter.
  • Biographical statement as a separate text file. Please consult the guidance in the Atla Open Press House Style for creating your author bio statement.
  • Alternative text for images, if images are included. Please consult the Alt Text for Visual Materials guide.

File Formats

  • Atla Open Press only accepts submissions in Microsoft Word (DOCX), Open/LibreOffice (ODT) and rich text (RTF) formats. 
  • Do not place images or other visual materials in the text file. See our Visual Materials Guidelines for accepted file formats and additional instructions.
  • File names must follow this naming convention: Name_Chapter-Title.docx
    • Smith_My-Chapter-Title.docx
    • Jane-Smith_My-Chapter-Title.docx
    • Smith_Image01.jpg



  • All body text must be double-spaced and use a 12pt, black Unicode font. Only Unicode fonts will be accepted (examples: Times New Roman, Arial)
    • Full list of Unicode fonts
    • SBL Hebrewand SBL Greek are preferred for those languages.
    • If using other non-Roman scripts, please speak with the editorial board before submitting manuscript files.
  • If specialized fonts are necessary to your manuscript, please alert the editorial board in the comments section of your submission.
  • Use the same font throughout the document except where needed for additional language or character support.


  • Indent the first line of each new paragraph.
  • Do not add spacing between paragraphs, use a single return.
  • Do not use double spaces after sentences.
  • Do not include extraneous material such as running headers for each chapter, page numbers, drop-caps, chapter headers beyond the title, etc..
  • Pages must be US-letter size (8.5 x 11 inches) with one-inch margins.
  • Remove all tracked changes and comments.

Titles & Headings

  • Include a title at the start of all chapter text files.
  • (For chapters in edited volumes) Include a byline after the title that includes the author’s (or authors’) name only. Do not include credentials or institutional affiliations.
  • Titles and headings should be left-aligned and in title case.
  • Headings of different levels should be distinguished using the text editor’s built-in heading markup tool.
  • Do not include a heading at the beginning of the body text.

Visual Materials

Please consult our Visual Materials Guidelines for full details on acceptable file types, file naming, and formatting requirements for any photos, charts, tables, graphs, maps, and screenshots taken from web sites or software applications that will be part of your manuscript.

Citation Style

  • Atla Open Press uses the Chicago Manual of Style and all references should conform to this style using the in-line author-date format
  • The author is responsible for ensuring that all required bibliographic content is included and that all citations correctly conform to the CMOS. For further guidance, please refer to the Atla Open Press Citation Guidelines
  • Manuscripts submitted for publication that have missing bibliographic data or that have excessive errors in formatting will be returned to the author for revision. It is not the responsibility of any editor or Atla staff to complete citations or format notes. 

Be sure to...

  • Use a blockquote for quotes of 100 words or more. These should be indented from the left margin and not enclosed in quotation marks. (CMOS 13.10)
  • Use “References” as the heading for your cited sources at the end of your text. Additional sources not cited in the text may be included in the References under a separate descriptive subheading, e.g., “Further Reading.”
  • References list entries must follow CMOS Author-Date style guidelines, formatted with hanging indents, double-spaced, and no extra space between entries.
  • (For chapters in edited volumes) The References list immediately follows the body text of the chapter. Do not add extra spaces or page breaks between the end of the chapter and the References heading.
  • (For monographs) References are submitted as a separate file as with individual files for each chapter.


  • Use embedded footnotes in your manuscript. These will be converted to endnotes after the manuscript goes to layout and design.
  • The embedded footnotes must be discursive, or substantive; that is, they “amplify the text” (CMOS 14.39) and do not contain source citations (which remain in-line within the body of the text). Please use sparingly, and only when the material is truly necessary but cannot be incorporated into the main text.

House Style Guidelines

All authors must consult Atla Open Press House Style Guidelines prior to submitting their manuscript. Authors are required to comply with the rules and interpretations offered there. The House Style Guidelines provide interpretations of CMOS, instructions on constructing an author biography, and guidance on use of the name “Atla” in historical contexts.