Literary Group

Finding and representing the next generation of authors

The Rebecca Pratt
Here are some average word lengths to help you decide what kind of manuscript you’ve written:

Up to 1,000 words: short-short, flash fiction or vignette
1,000 – 6,000 words: short story
6,000 -15,000 words: long story or novelette
15,000 – 45,000 words: novellas
45,000 – 120,000 words: novel (but 80,000 words is common)Anything more than that needs to be condensed or broken into a series of books.

If you’re writing nonfiction, then:
Less than 1,000 words: filler, sidebar, review
1,000 – 6,000 words: feature article
6,000 – 20,000 words: long feature
20,000 – 200,000 words: book length, though most common is 50 – 100,000 words

Word Counting 101


How do you arrive at those word counts? 

Your computer lies—you cannot trust its word counting ability.  It can’t even read.

So, here is the quick and dirty method agents and publishers use.

Assuming your manuscript is in proper
format and typed:

Single side of the page
1 inch margins, top, bottom and sides
Double spaced
12 pt New Times Roman typeface
Indent paragraphs 5 spaces, (No extra lines between paragraphs)

THENyour typed page will contain 250 words.  If you have a manuscript 300 pages long, then the word count will be 75,000.

So put it in proper format, count the number of pages and multiply by 250 to get the number of words.

​Simple, Yes?