Make it reusable
Remove all “insider” references that only your group will understand. You might have included a welcome, or some announcements, or other “insider” references in your manuscript (like, “Remember what Jackson did with those Skittles last year at Toast? That was crazy!”), but these won’t help someone else who is using your content. So, delete them.
Wherever you can, add helpful leader instructions/notes to clarify what you are trying to accomplish at specific points within your content. For example, your manuscript might include specific instructions within your lesson for your students to engage in discussion. But remember that the way you handle discussion times within your lessons may not work for other groups. So, add notes within your specific instructions to make them as generic and helpful as possible for another user.
Make it usable by others
Edit so the content makes sense even though you are not the one presenting it. When you taught the lesson to your students, you may have included a killer personal illustration from that near-death experience you had while swimming with a giant tortoise in the Galapagos Islands. But we’ll go out on a limb and guess that the youth worker who uses this lesson in her youth group hasn’t had the same experience. So, edit your illustration as if he/she were telling your story. (Because he/she will be!) Or, think about adding some leader notes to give users ideas of what types of illustrations or media they might use as alternatives to make the same point.
[LEADER NOTE: Tell a story about a time when you had a near death experience or felt deep, intense fear.]
Include Scripture translation
When you use Scripture references, also include the translation you are using. This isn’t because we only accept certain translations; we simply want other users to know which translation a certain verse or passage is coming from. Abbreviations are totally acceptable, for example: "NLT" instead of "New Living Translation".
If your teaching content includes video clips, make sure you follow these tips:
- Do not include copyrighted video files along with your submission. For example, if you show a movie clip in your lesson, don’t submit the actual clip. Instead, in your teaching notes, include the movie title and the time code location of the clip. (For example: Mary Poppins Meets Godzilla, clip start: 00:34:23 / clip end: 00:37:10).
- If you use an online video clip (YouTube, Vimeo, etc.) in your lesson, don’t include the video file in your submission. Instead, include the URL link where the clip can be accessed.
- If you create an original video clip for use in your lesson, DO include the video file in your submission. Just make sure the content is 100% yours.
- If you decide to add videos clips to your message, please follow this guide for Formatting Video.
- Make sure that you follow our guidelines for formatting videos.
When submitting a series, be consistent. Example: If you are submitting a four-week teaching series, don’t submit full manuscripts for the first two weeks and abbreviated outlines for the last two weeks. Send either four lesson manuscripts OR four lesson outlines (or four manuscripts and outlines). Be consistent.
If we send a resource back to you, you can always make changes and resubmit it! We believe that each of you has something incredible to contribute to the DYM community, so if we send your resource back to you, please don’t take it personally. As we are able, we will attempt to provide some direction for how you could improve and resubmit it. Some of our very best authors have had a resource or two rejected or were asked for significant changes.
A word on including multiple file versions
In addition to submitting Word documents, some of our published authors also include alternative file-type like Pages and PDF files. We appreciate our authors’ efforts to make their content available to a broader variety of users. Still, we will only edit Word files. This means that if edits are made (which is likely!) to your Word document, the alternative file versions you have submitted will remain unedited. This may not be a big issue, but please recognize that it might be. In some cases where substantial edits have been made to a Word document, we may choose not to include unedited alternative PDF version when we publish the final resource.