Our dedicated team of volunteers is made up of editors, reporters & photographers, downloaders, preppers, quarkers, and proofreaders. We welcome anyone interested in joining our team and offer training sessions for new volunteers. If you would like to be a part of our team call us at 860-668-7442. No previous experience is necessary.
Editors of the Month meet with the editor in chief to determine the type of material to seek that month. Many submissions arrive through an originator’s own initiative, but the editors often call seasoned writers and request articles on key issues or topics. Between the 8th and 16th of the month, the editors read and edit all submissions, typically in two-hour sessions. The editors of the month have the option to write an editorial and to help select front page material.
Reporters and Photographers submit material for publication. As noted, we have a team of volunteers we call upon to cover certain issues and topics, but if you have a talent for photography, we need you! All digital submissions are due to the Observer by the 15th of the month. Visit the Submissions page for more details.
Downloaders take submitted articles from the email and enter them into our system. Downloaders drop in to the Observer office daily throughout the month to monitor email. Each downloader works one day a week and the session is usually less than one hour.
Preppers take text material submitted to the paper, and “prep” it in column format. They also serve as copy editors, adjusting details to the Observer’s standards (while preserving the writer’s individual “voice”). Preppers work from the 10th of the month to the 17th. Shifts are usually scheduled in two hour time slots.
InDesigners take the prepped material and photographs and place them digitally onto pages of the paper. We make up the paper with a computer program called Adobe InDesign. If you enjoy puzzles, this is the perfect job for you. The InDesigning task begins on the 17th of the month and ends on the 24th. Like prepping, these sessions are usually two-hour time commitments.
Proofreaders read the paper just before it is sent to the printer. Every page is care-fully read, corrected, reprinted, and read again – typically on the 23rd and 24th of the month.