INTRODUCTION                         writer must use good judgement in preparing      Most newsletters are
                                                  a club newsletter and highlight the long         prepared on a type-
A club newsletter is essential to successful      range plans, short range plans, financial        writer or computer
club operations. They come in various             status, and other business activities of the     using club stationary or
shapes, sizes, styles, and content. The club      club. The newsletter should contain a            on a special devel-oped
newsletter is a "picture" of the club and         schedule of future club, area, state and         club newsletter format.
reflects on the club operations. To produce a     national events and report the status of         It may contain the club
newsletter, an editor must understand the         club/class membership as to sickness,            logo to make it eye appealing to the club
design, goals, writing techniques, assembly       absentees, etc. The newsletter should also       members. The nameplate of the newsletter
procedures, printing and distribution             reflect praise to members, caller, cuer,         is one of the most important design features.
concepts.     This Information Sheet will         workers, etc. that have provided support to      It is placed on the top of the newsletter, in
provide a thumbnail sketch of a club              the club. Avoid using the newsletter to          large conspicuous bold print and is the first
newsletter.                                       voice personal criticism of the club.            and most often thing observed by the reader.
                                                                                                   The date and issue number is normally
PURPOSE:          The club newsletter is a        WHY A NEWSLETTER? A club                         placed under the nameplate. The size of a
communications tool of the club and is used       newsletter is needed to COMMUNICATE              newsletter is optional. The standard 8½” X
to disseminate information to the club            with the active, inactive, and absent club       11" size paper provides for ease in
members.       It serves to bond all club         members. The newsletter will assure that         preparation and printing. The smaller 5½" X
members together into a family unit and           "all" club members are aware of club plans       8" requires folding and stapling with a
keeps the members informed of all planned         and actions.     It also provides advance        special stapler. One, two or three column
club activities and functions. The club           schedules of club events so that the members     format can be successfully used in the
newsletter builds interest in the club and its    can plan other family, work or home              newsletter design. The size of type should
activities. It also can be of great assistance    activities "around" existing scheduled dance     be sufficient so as not to make the reader
in obtaining membership involvement in            events.                                          uncomfortable in reading the entire
club functions.                                                                                    newsletter. The newsletter may be one to
                                                  WHO PREPARES THE                                 several pages in length.
WHAT IS A NEWSLETTER?                             NEWSLETTER? A club officer or
A newsletter is a document that informs,          designated club editor is suggested. The         The writer or editor must continuously think
announces, reminds, advises, instructs,           editor must have access to club planning         "What do they want to read about and what
advertises, and communicates. The club            sessions and meetings to properly obtain         should they read about?" Use the 5 W's
newsletter is a short publication that contains   factual data to convey to the club members.      Story Form for each article that is written.
specific information about the club and the                                                        Every newsletter article or story should
related dance community.           It must be     HOW IS THE NEWSLETTER                            answer these five questions -- Who, What,
attractive to catch the eye of the club                                                            When, Where, Why.
                                                  PREPARED? The design of a club
member and make the member want to read           newsletter is accomplished in advance and is
it without laying it down. The newsletter                                                          Readers enjoy seeing their name or photos in
                                                  given serious thought. First impressions are
should report on the recent club activities in                                                     print, so use names and photos of your club
                                                  critical in a printed document. If the
a newsy fashion that will make absentee                                                            members and visitors. Most photographs
                                                  document does not impress a reader at first
dancers wish they had not missed any club                                                          will appear as dark blobs without special
                                                  glance, the reader ignores the document.
function. The newsletter should be written                                                         processing. You cannot run a photo through
                                                  The design of a newsletter is worthless if the
in a manner that the readers want to attend                                                        a copy machine and come up with a copy
                                                  content is poor. The newsletter design and
and participate in all future club sessions and                                                    that can be used in a newsletter. The photo
                                                  content should complement each other.
activities. The contents must be accurate,                                                         should have a halftone made by a print shop
factual, brief and impartial. The editor or                                                        or by use of an art screen. A halftone makes
the photo appear as several thousand little
dots which will provide the required contrast    HOW IS THE NEWSLETTER
in the photo. Clip art used in newsletters is
illustrations or drawings that have been
                                                 DISTRIBUTED? The most economical                                CLUB
                                                 method is to pass the newsletter out at the
clipped out of special clip art pamphlets,       next club function. You must be careful not
magazines or books that can be purchased at      to interrupt the dancing. You don't want the          NEWSLETTER
art stores, print shops, school supplies or      dancers sitting around reading when they are
from dance magazines or shops. The best          needed to fill a square. The newsletters that
source comes from other newsletters.             are not distributed at the club event should
                                                 be mailed the next day. It is very important
After all the articles, ads, fliers, etc. have   that the newsletters are delivered without
been prepared for the newsletter, the            delay.    "News" becomes history if the
document should be assembled and may             newsletters are not delivered immediately.
require using the cut and paste method.
                                                 SOURCES OF INFORMATION: The
Review and proofreading is of prime              best source of information is from the
importance in the preparation of a               Publications Display at every National
newsletter. People who are good editors or       Square Dance Convention. There are many
writers    are   not     necessarily   good      sample copies of newsletters and magazines
proofreaders. Individuals that write articles    that can provide a lot of ideas, articles and
also read them like they want them to be         clip art.    Ads in the national dance
read - not necessarily like they are written.    magazines also provide numerous sources
Be your worst critic! Check factual details.     for information that an editor may need.
Correct typographical and grammatical            Other editors are a good source for
errors. If in doubt about a word or phrase,      information and guidance.
check it out! Does the article inform you
and attract your attention? If it doesn't -        ********************************              This information sheet was developed by the
rework it. Make the reader proud of you and                                                      Education Committee of the UNITED
the club.                                                                                        SQUARE DANCERS OF AMERICA, INC.
                                                                                                 and will provide a brief discussion of a club
WHEN IS THE NEWSLETTER                                                                           newsletter designed for a square, round,
PUBLISHED? A club newsletter issued                                                              contra, clogging, or folk dance club. For
once a month should be adequate. More            For additional information about USDA           additional    information     about     Club
often is too much and quarterly would not be     or any of its programs, please contact:         Newsletters, see USDA Pamphlet P-025.
sufficient to provide the desired club news
and schedule of club events. They should be               Len & Connie Houle                     Leadership Education material can also be
published on a standard schedule, such as           Education/Publications Committee             printed directly from USDA web site at
the first of the month or the 15th of the                                                        www.usda.org
                                                               32 First Ave
month. It is very important to maintain a                Westfield, MA 01085
firm publishing schedule. Club members                       (413) 519-0261
will be expecting the newsletter on schedule!                    E-mail:
Production is normally accomplished by the
                                                  usda.education.publications@usda.org                            IS-025-03
use of photocopy machines at quick-print

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