Newsletters and Periodicals Committee

The Newsletters and Periodicals Committee is responsible for both creating and maintaining communications with State Societies and Chapters which result in the improvement of SAR newsletters and other periodic publications.

The Committee is also responsible for conducting a newsletters and periodicals workshop at each National Congress for interested State Societies and Chapters.

In addition, judges the Carl F. Bessent Award, the Jennings H. Flathers Award, the Paul M. Niebell, Sr., Award and the Grahame T. Smallwood, Jr. Award at each National Congress.

Newsletters and Periodicals Handbook

The Newsletters and Periodicals Committee has created the following Newsletter Handbook to assist those Compatriots, Chapters and State Societies in their creation of a periodical newsletter.


You can Find the Handbook here


Newsletters and Periodicals Awards

Guidelines for Judging

  1. Eligibility: To be eligible for competition, there should be a minimum of two (2) printed issues per year submitted to the Committee Chairman by December 15. However, Editors are encouraged to place the Committee Chairman on their normal distribution list.
  2. Judging:
    1. Contains: (Chapter, State and/or National activities, a calendar and/or notices of events, membership info, such as welcoming of new, remembering deceased, etc., special observances announced and/or reported, and special stories)
    2. Editorial Content: (writing style & content, punctuation, spelling & typo’s, helpfulness to readers, general interest of articles, identifiable masthead & SAR logo, and overall quality)
    3. Appearance: (general layout, use of photographs, use of art/graphics, typefaces, and neatness).

          Submit State and Chapter Newsletters to:
              Steve Pittard
              NSSAR Newsletter Chairman
              414 Wilder Drive
              Fayetteville, NC 28314
  3. Categories:
    1. Chapters: Determined by the number of printed pages.
          (Bessent)    Up to four 8 1/2 x 11 pages for single sheet.
                           Five or more 8 1/2 x 11 pages for multi-sheet.
    2. States:
          (Niebell)     Up to ten 8 1/2 x 11 printed pages, over 500 members.
          (Smallwood)     Over ten printed pages, over 500 members.
          (Flathers)     500 or less members.
              (Blank pages are not part of page count, but will be considered
              in use of space or appearance.)
  4. Method of printing: Whether by copier, digital or offset printing, it is not to be of primary concern. Cost of production should not be the major factor in determining the “best all-around” newsletter. It is true that with more money to spend, the quality of the print, pictures, and design will be high, but content, and making do with the available resources will be considered.

    Further considerations will be made in quality of production through quantity of mistakes and errors, an identifiable masthead with the state or chapter name and SAR logo prominent, the officers’ or editor’s name given or a contact number, wise use of space, and that pictures are an integral part of the coverage.

    Every editor, and state society or chapter, considers their newsletter to be excellent and deserving of recognition. They are to be commended for the efforts expended. However, there are only a few awards available, and the competition is fierce, with little room for error. There is also some subjectivity incorporated into the judging process in order to provide flexibility in determining the best newsletters. These guidelines should help editors determine if they are meeting the requirements necessary to be competitive. If so, then they can submit them for judging. If not, then they should work towards meeting the requirements before submitting. Remember, good communication is the goal, not awards or accolades.

Carl F. Bessent Award

This award has two categories:

  • Single Sheet - Up to 11 by 17 inches (four 8 1/2 by 11 pages) See description in the attached PDF below.
  • Multiple Sheet - Five or more 8 1/2 by 11 inch pages

The award is presented to Chapter Editors for best multiple sheet and single sheet periodicals.  A certificate is presented during the annual Congress to both first place and honorable mention for each category.

Bessent_Single_Sheet_Description.pdf50.72 KB

Jennings H. Flathers Award

The Jennings H. Flathers Award is presented to the State Society with fewer than 500 members judged having the best periodical or newsletter.

A cash award will be presented for first place and honorable mention from the proceeds of the endowment fund established by his widow, Mrs. Elizabeth Flathers. The fund was established in the memory and recognition of Jennings H. Flathers' work and devotion to the improvement of State and Chapter newsletters as Chairman of the Newsletters and Periodicals Committee.

State Societies currently having fewer than 500 members include:


New Hampshire
New Mexico
District of Columbia
Rhode Island
United Kingdom