Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) for Potential Authors
Q: How do I apply to be an author for a Tapestry of Faith program?
A: The best way is to respond to a Call for Authors.
Once a program is planned and scheduled, the Lifespan Faith Development’s curriculum office will post a Call for Authors. The Call will give you information on the name, theme, and number of sessions of the program, the ages the program addresses, the time frame for writing the program, how to apply, and who to contact if you have questions. It will also detail any special qualifications or skills needed.
Most programs will ask you to submit an application consisting of the following:
v A resume or curriculum vitae
v A cover letter introducing yourself and answering the following questions:
§ Why would you like to be considered as a writer for the Tapestry of Faith curriculum?
§ What is your experience with Unitarian Universalism?
§ Do you prefer to work on your own or with a co-author?
§ In which age group(s) and content area(s) do you have expertise?
§ What skills and interests would you bring to your writing?
§ What three attributes of curriculum are most important to consider when designing/writing a religious education program?
§ What support would you need to write curricula for Unitarian Universalist faith development programs?
v At least one sample of your curriculum writing
v Optional: additional writing sample(s).
Q: Where are Calls for Authors posted? How often do you call for authors?
A: Call for Authors are issued as needed, so it is best to check regularly. A Call for Authors will be included in the monthly congregational mailing; submitted to the REACH list, LREDA list and UUMA list; and posted at www.uua.org/tapestryoffaith.
Q: If I miss the deadline for a call, may I still apply?
A: Calls for Authors always contain a deadline to fit the projected schedule for the program. All applications received by the deadline will be reviewed. Applications received after the deadline might be reviewed if the authors have not yet been selected.
Q: Is it best to apply as an individual or co-author with another writer?
A: We accept applications from both individuals and pairs of writers. If you and an associate wish to write as a team, submit your applications together. Sometimes, the UUA Tapestry of Faith staff team invites individual authors to partner together as co-authors because we believe the combination of skills and experiences of the two would significantly benefit both.
Q: What attributes and skills should potential authors possess? Do I have to be Unitarian Universalist? Do I need to have teaching and/or curriculum development experience?
A: First and foremost, we are looking for people who can bring creativity and depth to Unitarian Universalist faith development in age-appropriate ways.
While authors do not have to be Unitarian Universalists, they do need to be familiar with and committed to Unitarian Universalist values and Principles.
Our authors include lifelong UUs, recent UUs, and a few non-UUs.
We are looking for skilled writers who can articulate their ideas in writing for others to easily understand and apply. Remember that you will be writing instructions for religious education leaders to follow. You need to be able to write these instructions clearly, concisely and completely.
Though writing skills are needed, you do not have to be a published curriculum writer. Our developmental editors will support authors who are qualified in other areas and wish to expand their curriculum writing skills.
Familiarity with UU religious education philosophy and practice is important. Experience in UU religious education programming is also important, although not required. Demonstrable experience with children, youth or adults in the age range you would be writing for is essential.
You may have other skills that could be valuable to Tapestry of Faith. We seek a diversity of life experiences, theologies, and cultural connections to enrich the tapestry. Social justice work, experiences as a member of a marginalized people and professional experience in a specific field of study are a few such life experiences that might make you the ideal candidate to write a program.
Q: If I respond to one Call for Authors, will my application be considered for future programs in need of authors?
A: Applications are kept on file. However, to guarantee that your application will be considered for another program, you should respond to each Call for Authors of interest to you by submitting a cover letter, as described above.
Q: Are Tapestry of Faith authors paid for their work?
A: Yes. Upon hiring, authors enter into a contractual agreement that ties compensation into the completion of project benchmarks (or deadlines). Compensation is based upon successfully meeting each benchmark by its due date.
Q: How does the writing process work? Are authors instructed in what to write or do they decide what topics the program will include?
A: Authors work closely with the developmental editors and others in the LFD Tapestry of Faith team to develop the program. Though the Call for Authors will include a description of the program as envisioned by the staff, the author’s vision will also shape the program. Potential authors are asked to present an outline and overview of their original ideas for the program. Once hired, staff and authors work together to develop the ultimate content of the program, including the themes, stories, and activities. Throughout the months of the writing process, the author’s work is reviewed by the developmental editor and the Director of Lifespan Faith Development. The author uses feedback from the Director and the editor for revisions. Working together with the LFD staff provides support for authors while allowing for creative input and realization.
Q: Do I need to be computer savvy?
A: You will need to submit your work in a MS Word template that is provided to you. You should be comfortable using a word processing program, but you do not need to be a computer whiz.
Q: Are authors responsible for obtaining permission to use copyrighted material?
A: Yes, authors are responsible for seeking permission to use copyrighted material. LFD will help by providing guidelines and other resources, and the UUA, not the author, pays copyright fees.
Q: Who owns the rights to the material authors write for Tapestry of Faith?
A: The UUA owns the rights to all the work described in the author’s contract.
Q: May I submit my resume even though there is not an active Call for Authors?
A: Resumes and writing samples can be submitted to LFD at any time. You may send resumes to firstname.lastname@example.org or to email@example.com. However, to guarantee that your application will be considered, you should also respond to each Call for Authors of programs of interest to you by submitting a cover letter as described above.
Q: I have an idea for a program I would like to write. How do I submit a proposal?
A: Proposals for new Tapestry of Faith programs are reviewed by the developmental editors of each age group. Like resumes, they can be submitted to firstname.lastname@example.org or jfrediani @ uua.org. Proposals should explain the theme, goals, and structure of the program, as well as the population it will serve. It is also helpful to include an outline detailing each session’s theme, story, and a few possible associated activities.
Q: Aside from authors, what other specialists are needed?
A: The Tapestry of Faith project uses storywriters, musicians, photographers, and graphic artists on a consultant basis as well as free-lance editors and proof-readers. To be considered, submit a resume, cover letter, and electronic portfolio to religiouseducation @ uua.org.
This work is made possible by the generosity of individual donors and congregations. Please consider making a donation today.
Last updated on Wednesday, October 26, 2011.
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