Writers’ Guidelines

General Info

dreamstimefree_251887--smaller with creditWelcome! You don’t have to be a professional writer or even know how to blog in order to share writing on this site. Easter Lutheran Church’s blog is designed to share Christian reflections such as prayer tips, words of encouragement, devotions, meditations on bible verses or spiritual wisdom, and stories/experiences of God’s presence and action in our everyday lives. Written by a team of Easter Lutheran members and pastors, this blog nourishes our spiritual lives and shares the good news with people within our congregation, our community, and the greater world.

Writers’ Guidelines

  • Plan ahead: You know your own writing style. It’s good to mark your calendar a couple of weeks ahead of when it’s your turn to prepare a blog post. The date you are assigned is the “publication date”–that’s the date your reflection will appear online. (If you can’t write at that time, consider trading dates with another writer. Also, if the blog coordinator is uploading your post, please send it to him/her one week in advance.)
  • Content: Be creative! There are a wide variety of topics available, as discussed in “General Info” above. Maybe you have a favorite bible verse, spiritual quote, or something heard in a sermon that you want to share (describe how it influences your life). Reflecting on the Sunday readings is a great idea (list of upcoming themes/bible passages found in the newsletter on Easter Lutheran’s website  –click on “Events & News.”) Perhaps you have a spiritual practice such as prayer walking, devotional yoga, singing, spiritual journaling, or other ideas you want to pass on to others. Teens may want to reflect on summer mission experiences. The list is endless, but whatever you choose, be yourself, be honest, and feel free to raise questions you wrestle with. Also, keep in mind that a wide variety of people around the world may read your post.
  • Length: Typically, blog posts are 250 to 600 words. Longer is okay if your subject matter demands it, but you may want to see if your long piece could become two shorter blog posts. A simple bible verse with a photo and reflection question is shorter but might be very effective.
  • Photos: People enjoy pictures and images, and photos really perk up your post. Make sure you have permission if you are using someone else’s photo. There are some photo sites online that will allow you to use a photo free of charge, but not everything on the internet is legal to use.
  • Style: The word “blog” comes from “web + log” — a log being like a journal, diary, or observations. This means the style of writing is less formal than if you were writing an academic paper or formal business presentation. One can ponder questions or invite the readers to ponder questions for themselves. Blogs may also be more personal in nature.
  • Categories and tags: In blogging, these serve to help people on the internet searching for something to find what you have written. “Categories” are also ways of organizing certain posts together (see the right side of this page), and “tags” are more specific (listed at the end of posts).
    • For example, if I write a devotion about the birth of Christ in the manger, complete with a bible verse and prayer at the end, my categories could be “devotions,” “bible verses,” “prayer” etc. The tags could be “Jesus’ birth,” “Luke 2:16” “they found Mary and Joseph and the baby lying in the manger” (you do not need quotes).  Sometimes I use the more general phrases such as “religion,” “Christian” or “Easter Lutheran Church” in the tags to help the internet search engines along. For more about categories and tags, visit Word Press’s support and tutorials.
  • Grammar and punctuation: Just before posting, check your writing one more time for correct grammar and punctuation. There is a feature on Word Press to help with this, but not every automatic suggestion will be what is correct for your sentence. You can always have someone you know check for grammar and punctuation.
  • End with a question or prayer: This is optional, but it is a good way for the reader to join with you in prayer, keep the conversation going, or give them something to ponder for themselves.
  • For more info: WordPress.com (the version we use) has many tutorials and support.  You can also contact volunteer blog coordinator Julie McCarty (or Pastor Brandon) by calling the Easter Lutheran church office.

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