Writing Guidelines

If you’re interested in writing an article for Anglican Compass, you’ve come to the right place! Please read this all the way through before submitting a piece for consideration.

Be aware that we receive a large number of proposals and other communications and have a small team.

Also note: if you’re interested in writing a book for Anglican Compass to publish, contact editor@anglicancompass.com directly.

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

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 and lay leaders 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
  • unnecessary controversy (contention, lack of charity)

Note: Anglican Compass does draw lines of distinction between the church and the world. However, Anglican Compass does not focus on debates amongst Anglicans.

To test your idea, ask yourself these three 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

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 our Resources page and search words related to your topic.

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 and also 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 us a rough draft (that meets our writing guidelines below) before pitching me the idea, go right ahead! However, you do run the risk of us 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 your idea (editor@anglicancompass.com). We’re 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:

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

NOTE: While we do accept articles via emailed files, submitting a document via Google Drive is preferred. So, it might be easiest to start writing your draft in Google Drive. Here is a TEMPLATE GOOGLE DOCUMENT to get you started! Even if you don’t submit using Google Drive, this is helpful in cluing you in on our general format.

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

  • Aim for 1,000–1,500 words for most articles. Make it at least 500 words at a bare minimum and 2,000 an absolute maximum.
  • 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. Headings should appear at least every 300 words whenever possible.
    • Use bulleted or numbered lists whenever appropriate.
  • Watch your tone.
    • Here at Anglican Compass, we’re aiming for content that is:
      • Pastoral
      • Irenic
      • Winsome
      • Conversational
    • Stay away from sounding:
      • Arrogant
      • Polemic
      • Pejorative
      • Stuffy
  • Proofread and spell-check your document before submitting it.
  • Use only one space between sentences.
  • Use a serial (AKA “Oxford”) comma.
  • The ACNA’s 2019 Book of Common Prayer is preferred for Prayer Book quotations. However, should you need to use another edition, please designate it by year (1549, 1662, 1928, 1979, etc.).
  • Likewise, the ESV (English Standard Version) is preferred for scripture quotations. This is in keeping with its use as the default translation of the 2019 Book of Common Prayer. We recommend defaulting to it unless the rendering cannot work for your text. However, if you need to cite another translation, please designate that alongside the scripture citation (NIV, NRSV, NKJV, etc.). Also, we recommend using the New Coverdale Psalter from the 2019 Book of Common Prayer for Psalm references, particularly when cited liturgically.
  • Use colon formatting for scripture citations (i.e., John 3:16) rather than decimal formatting (John 3.16).
  • Do not capitalize divine pronouns except within quotations from works where they are used. This is to maintain uniformity with the ESV and many other frequently used modern Bible translations (NIV, NLT, NRSV).

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 us 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 us a Headshot Photo (preferably .jpg) for your author profile.

5. Submit the draft.

Once you’re done with a draft, please send it to me at editor@anglicancompass.com either by attaching a Word document or 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 the 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 or an assisting copy editor access will give your article 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.

Writers continue to own the copyright on their own writings. However, by submitting an article, writers agree to allow Anglican Compass, Inc. perpetual rights to publish and also to republish the material in other formats.

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.)