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Writing Books/chapter and section titles starting with dates


Hello Mr. Groner, You have answered other questions for me in the past and I feel comfortable asking another. I am having trouble finding the answer Googling online.  I am co-writing an autobiography of my husband and our Jupiter Shipwreck. It started out as a diary with dates heading each entry. Now that I am cleaning up the content I can't decide if I should keep the story in dated entry form or write continuously, flowing the stories one into the other in chronological order without date headers. If it is alright to keep the beginnings of chapters and or sections in dated form, do I make it numerical or spell them out (2-24-1999 or February 224th, 1999). Thank you in advance.


Congratulations on your progress--keep up the good work!

Any of the following is acceptable to a publisher and easy for your readers to follow.

1. Find a common theme among several chapters and group them under a single heading, such as May 14, 1999 to July 8, 2001. You could have as many groupings as needed, while at the same time giving each chapter its own year heading. Give a single heading its own page before starting the narrative for that heading. Center * * * on its own line before jumping ahead several days.

2. May 14, 1999. Do not use July 14th, 1999, as "th" is reserved for an order of dates, as in "The 14th of July," or "The fourth, fifth, and ninth of October."

3. 14 May 1999, which is universally understood and does not require a comma in the middle.

Best wishes for continued successes.


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Wayne Groner


I can answer questions on all aspects of writing memoirs, biographies, family histories, and corporate histories including handling sensitive issues, interviewing, editing, self-publishing, and setting up a business as a memoir writer.


I have more than twenty-five years of experience as a radio and television news reporter, author, freelance writer, and workshop presenter. I present classes to nonprofits and professional groups, "How to Write Your Memoir or Life Story." I'm author of four nonfiction books. My latest book is A Guide to Writing Your Memoir or Life Story: Tools, Tips, Methods and Examples, available in paperback and eBook at Amazon. I'm past president of Springfield Writers' Guild (Missouri). My articles and book reviews on a variety of topics have been published in national magazines and on the Web. I was a senior-level college administrator for twenty-seven years, including nine years as a vice president, during which I wrote newsletters, brochures, magazine articles, and published and edited an alumni magazine.

Missouri Center for the Book, Springfield Writers' Guild, Greene County Historical Society, Christian County Historical Society.

Books: Witnesses of Hope, Faith, Love and Healing; Dumb Luck or Divine Guidance; The Pastor's Guide to Fund-raising Success; Levell-Drew Family History. National magazines including CASE Currents, Congregations, Ozarks Mountaineer, Your Community Hospice, Power and Light series of Sunday-school curriculum for adult learners.

Graceland College

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