The latin expression manu scriptus (which can be translated as “hand written”) derived, in medieval Latin, into manuscriptum (a “Handwritten text”). Therefore, in our idiom is named manuscript to that whose writing was done manually.
The usual thing is that the concept alludes to a old document or that presents a special value because it is a creation of some famous or recognized personality. From the massification of computers (computers) and printers, manuscripts are less and less frequent.
The information that is written by hand is usually dumped on flexible media such as paper or, further back in time, in scrolls or papyri. The graphite of a pencil or the ink of a ballpoint pen are some of the substances that allow the development of manuscripts.
In a literal sense, a letter handwritten is a manuscript. In any case, as we pointed out lines above, the notion is used more frequently with respect to a text of antiquity, such as the Dead Sea Scrolls (created between 250 BC and 66 AD) or the Voynich manuscript (developed in an unknown language).
It is also often mentioned as a manuscript at Original text that composes a publication. At plays that are submitted to a literary competition, in this framework, they are identified as manuscripts, even when they have been developed in a word processor and sent by email. This shows that there are manuscripts, therefore, that are not handwritten.
Literary competitions represent a great opportunity for writers who have not yet published any of their works, since it not only gives them this opportunity but also gives them a sum of money with which to finance his next book, while the first is sold in bookstores.
In the case of poetry collections, short stories and novels, among other works of a certain length, it is normal that the requirements include the delivery of a document moderately layout, including an index, so that the review by the jury is similar to the experience of reading a finished book. However, it is important to understand that they do not expect to find a final product, but rather contemplate the presence of certain errors, which will be polished in the pre-publication stage.
This point alone is crucial for many writers who do not decide to submit their manuscripts because they feel that they have not yet corrected them sufficiently. One of the best tips for them is to settle for a satisfactory level of consistency, without worrying about any rough edges it may have. The winning book always goes through a stage of correction in the hands of the professionals of the publisher, and then they can change elements of the story and even the title.
This does not mean that we can send a «draft“, That is, a set of unstructured annotations that only we understand. The manuscript must be well ordered and corrected, although there are still details to be polished. In addition, the attitude of the participant when entering a contest must be that of a seller convinced of his product: in the letter with the description of the work we must find the balance between security and pride.
The writer’s job is not easy at all, and contests cannot give everyone a chance. That is why it is so important to send manuscripts to different publishers to ask them to consider your publication, although success in this way is also highly unlikely. In this case, even an unfavorable response is a resource to treasure, since it can help us to improve the work and send it again with more security.