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  • Don Milne

Help Wanted to Help New Writers


Last year I was able to review the first story of every new volunteer to give them some best practices pointers.


As the project grew, I no longer had the time to do this. I asked for volunteers to take on this role and more than half a dozen stepped up. They have been reviewing one to two first stories a week from those just starting out.


With the continued growth of this project, it would be great to have some additional experienced SBTS writers step forward to join our team of reviewers. We hope that will allow us to keep your review work to just one or two stories a week.


If you would like to help with this, please email don@storiesbehindthestars.org and I will set you in the queue to review first-time stories.


If you want to learn what you can expect from this experience, please read what three of our reviewers said below.


Last of all, if you have a passion for this type of work, make sure you read the additional volunteer opportunity at the end of this communication.



Bryan Fusfield from Colorado:


1) Thanks to reviewing new stories I have made so many amazing connections with volunteers who, while new to our project, are experienced researchers and have even given me resources on my own stories that I was unable to find. This is an excellent way to meet others interested either in your specialty unit history or genealogy in general.


2) I am able to make an impact on the project beyond my stories by helping the new volunteers understand our quality standards and usual practices - this makes sure our stories are traceable (add those SBTS call-outs!) and up to par.


3) Reviewing new writer’s stories ensures my own writing always maintains a standard of facts and narrative quality.


4) it saves Don time :)



John Lannefeld from Utah:


I have an occasion to review several submissions for the Stories and if anyone is interested in reviewing, I would say it's very useful to have a second set of eyes to improve the story. However, bear in mind that in numerous cases the individual has done an excellent job of reviewing other submissions and has viewed the training video and as a consequence they are often spot on with their submission and your review will simply serve to validate their effort. Good luck!



Linda Simpson from Oklahoma:


There is a saying I've always liked,

"It's amazing what you can accomplish if you do not care who gets the credit.”


It's gratifying to find like minded people who are eager to learn, then extend their skills for SBTS. "Helping" them accomplish this goal is one of the reasons I was drawn to this project, it was quite apparent the people involved had a similar mantra, let's write the best bios possible for these young men.


I had the privilege of 'helping' two exemplary writers, Mac Kolar and Red Mulvaney, they already had the tools and the talent, all that was needed was a little editing.


Extend a helping hand, you'll not regret it.

One of the challenges when working with a bunch of volunteer amateurs is that you are working with volunteer amateurs. Despite best efforts, mistakes are bound to creep in.


With Fold3 there is no easy way to quickly fix errors that may have ended up in a story without having to go back to the original writer. One of the reasons we are adding the Together We Served platform to save stories to is because TWS is able to grant designated people Editor status. This means Editors have rights to make corrections to any fallen profiles. We want our writers to do the best job possible, but sometimes it makes more sense to have an editor level ability to make needed corrections.


If this type of role appeals to you, email me at don@storiesbehindthestars.org. We can have multiple editors with different focus. Some may have a speciality in a certain area like the AAF or the Navy. It would be a great way to improve the quality of our stories.




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