- The Basics
- How to Format Your Documents
- Make it Ready for an End-User
- Finalize Your Editing
- What to Include
- How to Name Your Files and Folders
1. The Basics
- File Type: Microsoft Word
- Font: Arial Size 14
- Style: Word-for-word manuscript (1500 – 3000 words, resulting in a message delivery of 20-25 minutes)
- We're currently most interested in teaching series that are a maximum of four weeks in length.
2. How to Format Your Documents
- 1-Inch Margins all around
- Quoting Scripture Passages:
- include the entire passage
- italicize and highlight in yellow
- include the translation you are using. Use the abbreviation, like 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.
To Format a Teacher Note:
---> Use [brackets] around the content
---> Change the text color to blue
- 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
3. Make it Ready for the End-User
- Remove “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.
- Edit the content so it makes sense and is usable for someone else. For example, 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. However, 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.]
4. Finalize Your Editing
Edit before you submit. Have one or more trusted friend(s), leader, fellow DYM Author read-through and edit your resource before submission. The questions for clarification and feedback they have is GOLD for you – they are the same questions a customer would have after buying your resource.
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 to fix.
- DO NOTadd title images (series theme/message) to the teaching documents. (It’s lovely, but unnecessary when the end-user is presenting the material.
- Capitalize God pronounslike 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 tenseswhen 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.
- 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.
5. What to Include
- Individual Word Docs for Each Piece of 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, Week1SmallGroupLesson.docx, Week2TeachingGuide.docx, Week2SmallGroupLesson.docx, and so on.
-> Small Group Discussion Guides - Not required, but it is a value-add for our audience and we would recommend including small group discussion guides with your teaching resources to appeal to a wider audience. Make sure your questions are open-ended to invite conversation, and point towards practical application that helps students connect the dots to their lives.
- Graphics (Optional): Title Slide and Content graphic(s), and a Website Thumbnail.
- Title and Content Slide:
- Widescreen (1920px by 1080px, 72ppi)
- Labeled ResourceNameTitleSlide.jpg and ResourceNameContentSlide.jpg.
- 640px by 360px
- Labeled ResourceTitlepreview00.jpg
- Title and Content Slide:
*You do not have to submit graphics with your resource--DYM can create support graphics for your series. However, this will adjust your royalty split. Consider collaborating with another author/designer in the DYM Community in order to submit your teaching content with the support graphics.
- Presentation Type (Optional): PowerPoint. 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).
- Note: There is no need to include multiple file versions of your teaching content: In addition to submitting Word documents, some authors also include alternative file-types 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 when edits are made to your Word document, the alternative file versions you have submitted will remain unedited or removed from the final resource.
If your resource includes a beautiful PDF, we can edit the Word Doc you include, and then ask you to make those same edits into your PDF, and then we will offer both a Word Doc and PDF to the end-user.
6. How to Name Your Files and Folders
- Main Folder: Labeled with the name of your teaching resource and your name: Resource Title--My Name
- For multi-week series/curriculum/lessons, each item should be labeled with the week number and the type of content it contains: For example, Week1TeachingGuide.docx, Week2TeachingGuide.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
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.
One last tip: check out our other support article titled
"How to Submit Teaching Resources that Win with our Audience"!