Every day Volunteers read emails, local papers and websites and add a short update to the website with any relevant news, with a brief post on Facebook and Twitter linking through.
Day -56 Managing editor asks somebody to be the next edition’s editor (and approaches editors for future months so have lots of notice) and calls all other volunteers to check they’re happy, want to carry on and don’t want to change roles, identifies which roles need filling and adds to content plan for next month, – Friday eight weeks before distribution
Day -44 Editor reads through email inbox and tidies emails into relevant folders, so he is in a position to create the rough plan,
Day -42 Editor, managing editor and Chairman use any emails so far, calendar, past editions (to judge how recently we’ve represented a group or area) and copy of magazine from same time last year (for seasonal events) to make as good a plan as possible for content, allowing space for ad hoc stories that will come in (again, refer to past editions to guess how much space to allow for this) – Friday six weeks before distribution
Day -35 Editor (with help of managing editor as needed, making Chairman aware where necessary) commissions pieces from contributors (copy-editor for press releases, organisation leaders for updates and calendar content – including 70 words of detail if appropriate), asking for pictures good enough to compete for cover, warning all pieces subject to cutting, giving clear word count requirement and unmoveable two-week time frame – Friday five weeks before distribution
Day -28 Editor (with help of managing editor as needed, making Chairman aware where necessary) chases contributors for all content, giving unmoveable one-week time frame (and tell distributor, designer, proofreaders and Chairman we’re on track) – Friday four weeks before distribution
Day -21 Absolute deadline for content from distributors. Editor (with help of managing editor as needed, making Chairman aware where necessary) collects all content, adds to a single document and cuts to fit (with help of copy-editor volunteers, sending cut pieces to contributors if approval needed), adds photos to a single folder, gathers dates from all pieces for the calendar page – Friday three weeks before distribution
Day -15 Editor sends final cut of copy to proofreaders for check, and Managing editor and Chairman for input – Thursday two weeks before distribution
Day -11 Copy absolutely final, editor sends to designer (who has finalised advertising by this date), who returns it for quick readthrough during next five days – Monday week before distribution
Day -4 Designer sends to printers – Monday before distribution
Day 0 To distributors – first Friday of every odd month (avoid mentioning any date within three days after that, to allow time for delivery)