Behind the Scenes of VBS
As you are enmeshed in having fun and teaching kids about Jesus during VBS, have you ever thought about how the ideas are created? How are the Bible stories chosen? Who writes the curriculum? How is it put together? Today I’ve asked my friend, Candace Powell, who is the production editor for VBS at LifeWay Christian Resources, to share some of the ”behind the scenes” for us.
I’m Candace and my friend, Christi, asked me to write a guest blog today. Christi and I met when she worked at LifeWay years ago. I work as a production editor on the VBS team. I work on all the products for first through sixth grade. This week we are having writers conference for the next VBS. We hire writers to come to Nashville, and we spend three days planning how to teach the Bible stories with fun games and activities. The writers then return home and write the VBS curriculum over the next few months.
While the writers are writing, work is still going on for those of us on the team at LifeWay. The designers are turning blank pages into designed pages. The writers send their text in Word documents, and as production editor, it is my job to copy the text into our publishing software. When all the text is pulled in, it is my job to style the documents. That means I make sure all the words are italicized and bolded in the correct place and that the correct fonts are used. Then I read the manuscripts for grammar and biblical accuracy. It’s important that all the Scripture and references are correct. It is also my job to verify all of the fun facts that the writers have included, because printing any information that is not correct can destroy your credibility with your audience.
I pass the manuscripts to the content editors, and they edit the activities to be appropriate for the different age groups. They also make sure that the activities are the best ones to emphasis the Bible content. I get the manuscripts back after their read to edit the changes they have made. When these edits are complete, the documents are sent to the graphic designers to add the art and make it pretty! After the designers are finished, I read the manuscripts one last time to make sure there are no more changes and that the correct art has been placed in the manuscripts. This entire process, from the first concept to the finished products, takes approximately one year.
While I spend most of my days reading and editing, there are many other jobs that come my way. I manage the writers’ contracts, keep track of the historical files so that we have copies of all the products we produce, and work on just about anything else that comes my way. I love my job, and it’s such a great opportunity to minister to thousands of kids who have the opportunity to go to VBS each summer.