Lela M., past delegate, has come up with these guidelines for all submissions for Literature to Alcoholics Anonymous and Grapevine that she has presented to Area Workshops.
Experience, strength and hope guidelines!
• Everyone has a story. You are here. If you only follow one suggestion — it is simply this: Share your experience, strength and hope the same way you would in a meeting!
• Purpose – The purpose of A.A.W.S. recovery literature is for the member to identify with the problem and find hope for the solution. The literature is the welcoming arm into A.A. – often the first step in the process to working one-on-one with another member!
• Your writing does not need to be elite. The story needs to be accessible. One person who was published in Grapevine shared at the International how she didn’t graduate from college and she was published anyway.!
• We TRY to carry the message!
• Focus on message of hope!
• Focus on theme!
• It’s not “me – ville.” Focus on the reader!
• Reference and quote literature!
• Write until you find the love!
• Ask your sponsor or someone you trust to read it before you submit it!
• The review process will include very thorough and inclusive review. The process very much follows the “principles before personalities” approach. They read submissions blind (anonymous), multiple times. “They” is “us” :)!
• Details bring the story alive. Where are you? Was it cheap beer or expensive? However, watch for clutter!
• Keep it simple!
• Pull someone in at the introduction!
• You don’t have to be a great writer. There are editors. They keep your voice. Don’t worry about being perfect.
• Follow the word count as best you can. Suggestion to write first. Then count. Then edit as many times as necessary!
• Have a clear flow to the story line – with a beginning, middle, and end!
• Be authentic. Be yourself. You are the only one who has your story!
• We cannot dual submit between AAWS and GV. Send one memo and one submission to correct address in time for the deadline!
• Brainstorming: could cluster; could create an outline; could just start writing chronologically!
• Some people want to know where to get more insights on writing. I (Lela M.) will share this great author in case you want to learn more. But it’s not necessary. William Zinsser and his two books, On Writing Well and Writing to Learn.
For AA submissions, e-mail email@example.com or mail to Literature Coordinator,General Service Office, Box 459, Grand Central Station, New York, NY 10163