Project Submission Guidelines
What we’re eager to publish, plus best practices
From 2011-2012, VSAcademy was developed as an online leadership development resource site. They aimed to leverage technology in order to connect our constituents with one another, regardless of location. However, over the last few years, engagement with VSAcademy diminished. Between 2017-2018, VSAcademy was integrated as a cabinet committee to reboot the production of resources readily available to our members.
With the official relaunch of VSAcademy in August 2018, we will strive to publish as many evergreen VSA resources as possible. We want to publish content that will be useful today, tomorrow, next year, and if we’re lucky… for decades. We will operate with strict editorial standards for any submissions we accept and the ideas we pursue. At the end of our term, we will explore many inquiries and submissions both internally and externally to our committee, and will only consider those that fit the criteria below.
Align With Our Themes, Align With UNAVSA
First and foremost, each production must align with UNAVSA’s mission and vision:
To empower the next generation of Vietnamese leaders with a passion for service, propensity for leadership, and self-awareness with the intent of advocating for progress in the North American Vietnamese community.
A thriving non-profit organization that’s achieved inclusiveness and equality in the Greater Vietnamese Community through resources, education, social awareness and embracing diversity.
Moreover, each story must align with one or more of our themes. Our themes include cultural awareness, professional development, organizational development, and personal development.
- Cultural Awareness: to be culturally aware is to understand that cultural differences do exist and to be sensitive to and respect those differences when interacting with people whose customs and worldview may be different from our own.
- Personal Development: efforts to develop your intellectual, emotional, physical, spiritual growth in life.
- Professional Development: the process of improving and increasing capabilities for your professional career.
- Organizational Development: practice and knowledge of planned systemic change to increase an organization’s effectiveness and well-being.
We are promoting uplifting ideas that individuals and teams can use to enhance a VSA experience and create a better growing environment.
Connect the Dots
Each piece of content should include a purpose, no matter how brief, to connect readers to how it can be applied in their VSA. Our audience ranges from general members, executive board members, and officers of VSAs and regional organizations (UVSA, IVSA, etc.). All of our resources must be applicable and offer a value to either the members or the general organization’s operations. Our content must be usable and strive to instill knowledge and/or actionable outcomes. In other words, if the product is only fun to read and offer no value, then this does not count as a resource for VSAcademy.
Entertain & Educate
Our materials will seek to explore, entertain, and spark conversation around rapidly emerging technologies and issues that occur in VSA. Most importantly, the resources will strive to provide perspectives and solutions. These should be tangible materials that each VSA can use, not just news, knowledge articles or opinion pieces. Include how these pieces of information can be used to educate (ex: presentations, lessons, etc.) and how to best present it to a crowd. We’re looking for ways to make things better, faster, smarter, more efficient, and more accessible!
Here are the divisions of projects we will produce:
Level 1: This is a low-collaboration project. In creating these projects, the individual does research and collects the information for the piece and will collaborate only if multimedia materials are needed. The typical turnaround time for this project should be 1-2 weeks. Examples include:
- Powerpoint Presentations
- Written articles between 750-1,500 words (most likely to be posted on the blog due to the opinion-based perspectives), but it can even be as few as <400 words. If you have an idea for a piece longer than 1,500 words, we highly suggest a pitch for your idea first (it might become a Level 2 type project due to length).
- In-depth how-to pieces
- Instructional guides (like this one!)
Level 2: This is a medium-collaboration project. In creating these projects, the individual will potentially collaborate with designers for visual projects and/or spend more time personally working on details to create elevated work. The timeline for this project will be 2-4 weeks.
- Visual/Non-video project (infographics)
- Audio Projects (interviews, podcasts, audio storytelling)
Level 3: This is a high-collaboration project. In order to create a project in this category, we all must agree on the timeline and details. This will require additional collaborations with media specialists and more research. The timeline for this project will be 1-2 months.
- Video Projects (banh xeo)
Architecturally, Stylistically, and Visually Appealing
We’re looking for content which has been carefully structured and edited for grammar, spelling, readability, and cohesiveness. We will facilitate drafting stages for critical feedback (prior to the completing drafts of our piece!).
All projects will have a featured image or multimedia highlight. These can be obtained from UNAVSA’s MPR team, collaborations with designers, or personally created. Bonus points for content with beautiful, rich media (video, data, charts, or even GIFS!) throughout the work. However, we heavily emphasize that these will not be stock photos. In other words, all images must be owned by you or included a cited source for usage. We retain the right to remove images from projects and will ask that they are correctly replaced.
Please consider researching various formatting features to elevate written work – headers, quotes, italics, etc. Thoughtful usage of formatting will make articles easier to read and share; it makes key themes and ideas stand out.
Before you start on any project, we require that you submit a project proposal that contains all of the information listed in our Project Proposal Outline. After your proposal is submitted, we perform a full review to ensure that it fulfills the basic requires of aligning with UNAVSA’s vision and mission and is a feasible project. This process could take up to a week before an idea is approved. If your idea is not initially approved, we suggest that you further develop your idea to cater to the needs of the organization and consider resubmitting. Once your proposal is approved, we will go through the drafting process.
Draft #1: Peer Review
After your idea is approved, you will propose a timeline for when your first draft with be viewable (this will depend on your project type because for example, a video project will take longer than an article). During this draft, your project will undergo the following:
- Peer Review and Suggestions (to be completed within 48 hours from time posted, each person gives 3-5 constructive comments + rolling edits)
- Personal Review (based on comments) – what new ideas and additions will be made (to be completed within 48 hours of receiving Peer Review)
- Create Draft #2
Draft #2: Director Review
After the first draft, you will again propose a viewing date for your second draft and once submitted, your project will undergo the following:
- VSAcademy provides constructive feedback within 48 hours of receiving draft
- Personal Review (based on comments) – what new ideas and additions will be made (to be completed within 48 hours of receiving a review from VSAcademy)
- Repeat above as needed until final approval of VSAcedmy
- Create Draft #3
Draft #3: Executive Review
This draft will be for cross-UNAVSA review and moving towards finalizing content.
- VSAcademy, Executive Board, and Marketing & Public Relations (MPR) will all review this draft and provide feedback
- Revisions will be made within 48 hours as needed
- Information Technology (IT) and MPR will be notified of the upcoming release
This is the final step before officially releasing content.
- IT/VSAcademy will transfer the project to WordPress and create a viewing draft
- This draft is reserved for minor revisions and styling only
After your project is finished we will be collaborating with MPR regarding the outlets and mediums of marketing the content to our constituents. Looking for more reach? Consider ‘liking’ and ‘sharing’ your content on your social media platforms as well!
Our response time varies, but we’re usually pretty quick. If you haven’t heard back about a submission within a week or a draft within 48 hours, please send a follow-up message. We also will expect that you will also respond to our requests within 24 to 48 hours especially to acknowledge that you have received our message.
We will be primarily using Google Drive for proposal and drafting submissions. We will be sending email communications (and possibly texting/calling dependent on the collaboration).
Topics to Consider Exploring
- Technology – software, hardware, apps, techniques, shortcuts and commands, computer tools, how-to guides
- Personal – optimizing ourselves/time, promoting empathy and love, fitness/health/nutrition, development
- Culture – language, history, recipes, dance choreographies, travel, traditions
- Organizational Best Practices – knowledge transfer, documentation, project/event planning, leadership roles
We’re looking forward to your projects!
If you have a great idea in mind and are ready to submit a proposal, please follow this link.
Have questions? We have answers – Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org!