GUIDELINES FOR SUBMITTING TEACHING CONTENT: (SERMON/SERIES MANUSCRIPTS, SMALL GROUP CURRICULUM)
We’re so excited that you’re interested in submitting teaching content to DYM. These guidelines will help you provide a sermon, series, or small group curriculum that’s high-quality and ready-to-use… for youth workers to teach in ministries around the world!
- The Basics
- How to Format Your Documents
- Tips and Tricks for Self-Editing
- What to Include In Your Teaching Submission
- How to Name Your Files and Folders
- How Do I Increase the Probability of Being Published?
• Teaching resources must be submitted in Word documents using Arial 14pt font.
• Sermon/Series content must be submitted as word-for-word manuscripts. Each manuscript should contain a minimum of 1,500 words and maximum of 3,000 (resulting in a typical message delivery of 20-25 minutes).
• Edit before you submit. Seriously. We mean it. Have one or more trusted friend(s), leader, fellow DYM Author read-through your resource before you send it to us. If your content is full of typos, incomplete sentences, contains grammatical or other structural errors and expresses less than complete thoughts, we will return it to you. (We’re not trying to be tough, but we do have limited editorial resources.)
• Edit again. Submitting clean content improves your chance of being published and the speed at which your resource can move through the DYM Editing Pipeline. Do you want to improve your chances even more? (You know you do!) See Tips and Tricks for Self Editing
How to Format Your Documents:
• Margins should be set to “Normal” – 1” Top, 1” Bottom, 1” Left, 1” Right.
• DO NOT add title images (series theme/message) to the teaching documents. (It’s lovely, but unnecessary when the end-user is presenting the material.
• Use one space after a period. If you are a traditionalist and use two spaces after a period in your writing, use Find>Replace for an easy fix.
• Capitalize God pronouns like He, Him, His.
• Jesus: when referring to Him, use Jesus more than you use Christ, Jesus Christ, or Lord. He is all of these, of course, but His name is Jesus.
• Pay attention to tenses when recounting Bible stories. Don’t mix past tenses with present tenses (as in, “Jesus walks up to the woman, and He said to her…”) Be consistent.
• When quoting Scripture passages:
→ include the entire passage in your manuscript.
→ italicize them and highlight them in yellow.
→ include the translation you are using. An abbreviation is more than acceptable, for example: (NLT) instead of New Living Translation. (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.)
• Add Teacher 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 to your specific instructions to make them as generic and helpful as possible for another user.
Format a Teacher Note:
→ Using [brackets] around the content
→ Changing the text color to blue.
Tips and Tricks for Self Editing:
Remove all “insider” references. (Anything only your group would understand.) You might have included a welcome or some announcements, or other inside jokes or group-specific 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.
Edit the content so it makes sense even though you are not the one presenting it. When you taught the lesson to your students, you may have included an amazing personal illustration from that near-death experience you had while swimming with a giant tortoise in the Galapagos Islands. We’re willing to bet the youth worker who uses this lesson in her youth group hasn’t had the same experience. Add a TEACHER NOTE above/before the illustration to give users an idea of what type of illustrations or media they might use as alternatives to make the same point. For example: [TEACHER NOTE: Tell a story about a time when you had a near-death experience or felt deep, intense fear.]
What to Include In Your Teaching Submission:
The files you submit are largely dependent on what files you actually use in your local setting, but here are a few guidelines for file types you may choose to include:
• Individual Word documents for each week/piece of the content. For example: if you are submitting a 4-week series that includes small group lessons, you should submit eight (8) Word documents: Week1TeachingGuide.docx, Week2TeachingGuide.docx, Week3TeachingGuide.docx, Week1SmallGroupLesson.docx, Week2SmallGroupLesson.docx, and so on.
We're currently most interested in teaching series that are a maximum of four weeks in length.
• Title Slide and Content graphic(s). If you have support graphics for your teaching content, submit them with your resource. Be sure they are widescreen (1920px by 1080px, 72ppi) and labeled ResourceNameTitleSlide.jpg and ResourceNameContentSlide.jpg.
*You do not have to submit graphics with your resource--DYM can create support graphics for your series. However, this will slow the rate at which it is pushed through the Editing Pipeline and will also adjust your royalty split. If you’d like to move your resource along more quickly, consider collaborating with another author/designer in the DYM Community in order to submit your teaching content with the support graphics.
• If you choose to submit presentations along with your teaching content, submit them in PowerPoint files. Presentation slides must be editable, for both our editors (to match any edits made before release) and for the end-user (to adjust to his/her ministry context).
• If your teaching content includes video clips:
- 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 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 export them in the following format to keep the file size to a minimum and compatibility with presentation software to a maximum.
Video File Guidelines:
Dimension: 1920px by 1080px (1280px by 720px is also acceptable)
Frame Rate: 29.97fps
File Type: MP4
There is no need to include multiple file versions of your teaching content:
In addition to submitting Word documents, some of our published authors also include alternative file-type like Pages and PDF files. While we appreciate our authors’ efforts to make their content available to a broader variety of users, we will only edit Word files. This means that if edits are made to your Word document, (which is likely!) the alternative file versions you have submitted will remain unedited. 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.
How to Name Your Files and Folders:
To help our editors review your resource at-a-glance (and, help your resource make it from submission to site more quickly!) PLUS helping a youth worker who purchased your resource use it quickly and easily, please organize the files in your submission accordingly:
• For multi-week series/curriculum/lessons, each item should be labeled with the week number and the type of content it contains: Week1TeachingGuide.docx, Week2TeachingGuide.docx, Week3TeachingGuide.docx, Week1SmallGroupLesson.docx, Week2SmallGroupLesson.docx, and so on.
• If you choose to submit Powerpoint presentations, label each file with the week number and the content it contains: Week1Teaching.ppt, Week1
Here’s an example of how you might** structure your teaching content folders for submission:
** not every submission will include all of these file types.
• Main Folder: Labeled with the name of your game and your name: Resource Title--My Name
• Compress your larger files and share them with us using a Dropbox link.
How to Increase the Probability of Being Published:
• Follow all submission guidelines to the letter.
• Edit. Edit. And then have someone else edit.
• If we send a resource back to you, ask for feedback, make some 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 rejected or were asked to make significant changes. Don’t give up!