If you write 1,500 words, you’ll end up with 6 pages double spaced.
Imagine this scenario. You’re writing a short story for a literary magazine. You’ve written research papers before, with MLA formatting and thesis statements, but you’ve never written something like this. You’ll need to invent the characters, and the setting, and the entire plot. The literary magazine wants submissions to be formatted as Microsoft Word documents with double spacing and a 1,500-word limit. Here’s the question: How many pages do you need to write?
To know how many pages you’ll need, you’ll first have to select a font. We recommend using Arial or Times New Roman in a 12-point font size. That’s a standard, easy-to-read option. Most readers prefer something classic. You could always test your limits with a more exotic font, such as Calibri or Verdana; however, think carefully before selecting anything too hard to read. You want the editor of the literary magazine to pay attention to the content of your writing, not your formatting.
Since you know the literary magazine only reads submissions below a certain word count, your short story must be less than 1,500 words. Using the chart below, you can see that the same number of words may result in a different page count, depending on the line spacing you select. With the literary magazine’s suggested word count and double spacing, your short story would be approximately six pages. Had the editor asked for single spacing, you’d end up with three pages.
Of course, you can imagine that the content of your short story can influence the page length. Let’s say you use lots of long words in your story, like “Lilliputian” and “catawampus”. That 1,500-word story could end up filling more pages. By changing the type of font and deviating from standard 1-inch margins, you can manipulate the total page count. For that reason, we can’t give a definitive answer about the exact number of pages you’ll end up writing.
Here’s the good news: Most word processors contain a word counter that allows you to check the word count and character count of a document. Also, if you’re writing for a publication, it never hurts to ask for clarification. Check with the editor’s guidelines to see whether the publication requires a certain number of pages, font type, or character count.
To help students with term papers and other writing assignments, many high schools, colleges, and universities have a writing services center. If you’re a student, the people employed there may be able to help you by proofreading your short story.
As a good rule of thumb, use this chart to approximate the number of pages you’ll get for a particular amount of words. The chart includes estimates for single space or double space bodies of text with Times New Roman font or Arial font.
If you’d like to know how to convert a speech from pages to minutes, check out this article.