Dear Miss Snark:
I came across the following phrase on an agent’s website, under things not to do when submitting the first 50 pages of the manuscript: No “widow/orphan protection”.
Can you enlighten me?
A "widow" is the last line of a paragraph that appears alone at the top of a page. An "orphan" is the first line of a paragraph that appears alone at the bottom of a page.
If you click "widow/orphan protection" on your word processing program, the program will move lines to make sure there are no widows or orphans. I'm not sure why anyone would specify to turn it off unless it doesn't translate well to the word processing program they're using or they think it wastes paper.