Writing Guidelines

If you’re interested in writing a blog post for Anglican Compass, you’ve come to the right place!

(Note, if you’re interested in writing a book for Anglican Compass to publish, please fill out a book proposal form and email it to Greg Goebel at greg.goebel[at]anglicancompass.com.)

Please read this all the way through before submitting a piece for consideration. Seriously!

1. Come up with a unique and original idea that serves our audience.

(SHORTCUT: Pick an idea from our Writing Prompts page. Make sure to follow the rest of these guidelines, however.)

Here’s a brief refresher on our intended audience.

Anglican Compass is your guide to Anglican life. We help you navigate the Anglican tradition with clarity and charity.

We write both to

  1. people interested in learning more about following Jesus in the Anglican tradition (the “Angli-curious“), and
  2. pastors interested in becoming better leaders.

(Often, the pastors are looking for accessible resources they can pass along to their people.)

Our readers are interested in clear and charitable Anglicanism for the sake of the Church.

They are NOT interested in:

  • undefined Anglican jargon (confusion, lack of clarity) and
  • angry Anglican arguments (contention, lack of charity).

There are plenty of other websites out there for angry Anglican polemicists. Not Anglican Compass!

Note: This doesn’t mean that Anglican Compass content never disagrees with anyone or anything. However, if you’re going to write a piece about “Why So-and-So is wrong about Such-and-Such,” your piece is going to need to be excellent, nuanced, and persuasive in order to be published on Anglican Compass.

To test your idea, ask yourself these 3 questions before continuing:

  1. Does your idea help our readers follow Jesus better in some specific aspect of Anglican life or Anglican leadership? If not, revise the idea.
  2. Does it do so without falling into esoteric Anglican debates? If not, revise the idea.
  3. Has this piece been published elsewhere on the internet before? If so, please revise your idea.

We’re only interested in original and unique pieces, not reusing content that’s already been published. Also, please do not reuse Anglican Compass content elsewhere online in the future without our permission! (See our Republishing Guidelines for more information.)

2. Check if we’ve already covered the idea/topic on Anglican Compass.

After you’ve come up with a successful idea, please check to see if we’ve covered your idea/topic already.

Here’s the easiest way to do this:

  • Go to Google and type: “site:anglicancompass.com INSERT YOUR IDEA/TOPIC HERE”
  • Look through the search results and note what you find

Now, just because we’ve covered something before doesn’t mean that we’re not interested in covering it again! However, your post will need to add something new to the discussion, as well as link to the previous discussions of that topic on Anglican Compass.

3. Pitch us your idea (preferably before you take the time to write a draft).

Now, if you want to send me a rough draft (that meets our writing guidelines below) before pitching me the idea, go right ahead! However, you do run the risk of me saying “I’m sorry, but this doesn’t serve our audience.”

If you want to play it safe and get initial feedback before you start writing, pitch me your idea (Joshua Steele, editor@anglicancompass.com). I’m looking for:

  • A short summary of your idea (100 words or less)
  • Your target audience and how they will benefit from your piece
  • Why you’re qualified to write this piece

You can use this form to pitch your idea:

Keep it brief! What's your main point? Do you have an idea for a title that captures the essence of the piece?
Is this for the "Angli-curious"? Anglican leaders? Some other sub-set of our audience? What benefits or takeaways will your piece provide?
You don't need to be a world-famous expert! But why should our audience listen to what you have to say on this topic?

4. If we approve your idea, write a draft that follows our writing guidelines. (Use this template to get started!)

NOTE: I’m going to ask you to submit the draft to me via Google Drive. So, it might be easiest to start writing your draft in Google Drive. Here is a TEMPLATE GOOGLE DOCUMENT to get you started!

Here’s what to focus on when writing your draft:

  • Shoot for 1,000–2,000 words for most posts. Make it at least 500 words at a bare minimum.
  • Keep it readable. Online, this means scannable!
    • Use simple syntax.
    • Define/explain your terms.
    • Use short paragraphs.
    • Break up the sections of your piece with H2 (main points/sections) and H3 headings.
    • Use bulleted or numbered lists whenever appropriate.
  • Watch your tone.
    • Here at Anglican Compass, we’re aiming for content that’s:
      • Pastoral
      • Irenic
      • Conversational
    • Stay away from sounding:
      • Arrogant
      • Pejorative
      • Stuffy
  • Proofread and spell-check your document before submitting it.
  • Use only one space between sentences.
  • Use a serial (AKA “Oxford”) comma.

Also, make sure to include the following:

  • A suggested Title/Headline for the post.
    • Note: We will pick the final headline.
    • If you need help writing good headlines, go here.
  • A suggested Featured Image for the post.
    • Make sure this image is legal for us to use.
    • We find a lot of our images on Unsplash and Pixabay.
    • Give me the URL for the image you suggest.
  • A brief Author Bio.
    • Write up a “So and so does so and so…” as you would like it to appear at the end of your piece.
    • Keep this short! 50–75 words.
    • Include any relevant links (to your church’s website, your Twitter profile, etc.)
  • Email me a Headshot Photo (preferably .jpg) for your author profile.

5. Submit the draft via Google Drive.

Once you’re done with a draft, please send it to me at editor@anglicancompass.com (share it with me) via Google Drive.

Make sure to give me editing privileges (and not just “View” or “Comment”), so that I can make changes to the document itself.

If you don’t know how to do this already, read Google’s instructions here.

6. Read and reply to our edits/comments.

Sometimes, I’ll go ahead and make necessary minor changes myself. Other times, I’ll suggest higher-level changes for you to make to the piece before it’s ready to go live.

After we iron-out the main content, I will give one of our copyeditors access for a final grammar, spelling, syntax, and formatting check.

All I ask is that you stay engaged throughout this process, especially if I have questions as to what precisely you mean in your post! I want to make sure your content is as clear as possible for our readers, and that you’re not being misrepresented by the final product.

7. Share your post with others once it goes live!

After I publish the post, I’ll share the post’s URL with you. Please feel free to share your posts as widely as possible! It helps us out here at Anglican Compass

Copyright Notice

Writers own the copyright on their own writings. By submitting an article, writers agree to allow Anglican Compass.com to publish and also to republish the material in other formats.

Republishing Guidelines

We ask that you ask for our permission before republishing an Anglican Compass piece.

If we give our permission, we ask that the republished piece include both of the following:

  1. the tag “originally published at AnglicanCompass.com” and
  2. a “rel=canonical” tag pointing back to the piece’s original AnglicanCompass.com URL.

(If you don’t know what “rel=canonical” means, check out this helpful piece from Moz about using it across domains.)

Want to Learn More About Writing Blog Posts?

Read these excellent discussions: