Submission Guidelines


The Connecticut Conference of the UCC welcomes news briefs and press releases from conference churches, as well as from other organizations with news of interest to our members and congregations. Our goal is to share your milestones and important news with the rest of the Conference. The guidelines below will assist us in efficiently sharing your news.

News Briefs

News Briefs are shorter pieces, generally three paragraphs or less, intended for inclusion on the Conference web site in the News Brief section.

Some sample topics for news briefs:

  • Major Milestones
  • Building Projects
  • Major Contributions
  • Missions Projects
  • Generosity Programs
  • Unique Benefit Events
  • Unusual Activities
  • Significant Changes
  • Recognition of Individual Accomplishments

Note: Fundraisers and common church events such as fairs and dinners should be reported as events and submitted through the events form at www.ctucc.org/events/.

Articles

Articles or feature stories are a longer format, intended for publication in the News section of the Conference web site.

Guidelines:

  • Write between 400 and 600 words (articles may be edited by CTUCC staff before publishing). Anything longer should be discussed with the editor as soon as possible.
  • Use a simple font.
  • Write in 3rd person (no “I”). Pretend you are someone else writing about you!
  • When possible, get a quote from someone involved in the story: a leader, a participant, or someone experiencing the event.
  • Avoid jargon, abbreviations, and acronyms. Write for an audience who does not know.
  • Use the church’s full name at first mention. There are many “First” churches in the Conference.
  • Be sure of facts when stating them. If possible, include reliable source.
  • Please get permission from the subjects of photos. If you are not the photographer (and giving us permission), we need the photographer's permission as well.
  • When naming minors in articles, consider using only first names, especially if photographs accompany the article.

Format Guidelines:

For Immediate Release – These words tell us the brief is timely and needs to be shared.

Contact information – Name, phone number, email and postal address of author; these will not be published, but they are necessary.

Dateline – This is the relevant city or town and important in telling audience how you article relates to them.

Lead Paragraph – Your basic message should be contained in these 3-4 sentences. Include Who, What, When, Where, and Why. No need for details here. You can elaborate later.

Paragraphs 2-4 – Develop your brief with details. Always think about your audience and what they need or want to know. Include further discussion on WHY this happened and share HOW it happened with the audience. Quotes give readers a personal connection to the story. Include names and titles of relevant people. Be sure everything is related to the first paragraph, your principal message.

Further Information – If more information on your topic is available, include a short ending paragraph with this information. Be very careful with emails and websites. One wrong letter or number will prevent readers from finding this information.

About the author – We like to close our stories with a sentence about the author. Please note whether you are ordained, the church of which you are a member, and whether you have a post related to your story (church pastor, committee leader, etc.).

Other Features

First Person Reflections

The Conference also seeks brief spiritual and theological reflections, which can be published in addition to the Spirited Wednesday series. We also have a small sermon library.

Resources

Resources are writings that are less about "what's just happened" and more about "here's how to do this" are also welcome. Please contact the communications staff or Ruth Dudley Resource Center staff about your project.

Photographs

If you have photographs to accompany your story, we would love to see them and include them if possible. Please send them via email as attachments to the Conference media staff. Please make sure that the total file size of any one email is less than 10 MB (megabytes), as this is the limit on many email systems. We prefer uncropped, unedited photos at the original resolution, as this best permits use in a variety of media.

We can also accept photos delivered on CD. We can work with most graphic formats.

Please accompany photos with text that identifies the subject(s). Please be sure you have the permission of people who are recognizable in any photo, and of the photographer, before sending it.

License – In submitting your story, photographs, or other media for publication by the Connecticut Conference UCC, you claim your right of authorship to share those materials, you grant a license to the Missionary Society of Connecticut to publish your work without compensation, and further you grant a license for reprints to other agencies and settings of the United Church of Christ. You grant the Missionary Society of Connecticut the right to edit or amend your work for the purposes of clarity and style, and for the requirements of the various media by which it may be shared. You retain full rights to your own work, and may submit it for publication in other settings under whatever terms you find appropriate.