The Truly Co blog and magazine present a collective of many writers from various life stages and situations. We want to celebrate individual writers and simultaneously craft a consistent experience for our readers. One way we do that is our style guide. Here’s a basic survey of the guidelines we follow during the editorial process and instructions on how you can prepare your article for submission. If you have more questions on the submissions process for articles, and what to expect, please review our editorial guidelines.


  • We use the Oxford (serial) comma:
    • Example: The wind, leaves, and sky all spoke of God.
  • We use the em dash with no spaces before or after (use the insert special character function or type two hyphens right next to each other).
    • Example: Moses began herding sheep—a second career after being a prince—in his forties. (Or Moses began herding sheep–a second career after being a prince–in his forties.)
  • Do not use two spaces after a period (or anywhere else).
  • Quoted material must be reproduced exactly as it appears in the original—spelling, capitalization, punctuation, etc. (Certain permissible changes may be made at the discretion of the Truly editors.)
  • Research and quoted articles are cited by footnote. [1]
  • All deity pronouns are in lowercase, following the recommendations of The Christian Writer’s Manual of Style and The Chicago Manual of Style.
    • Example: God himself, the King who reigns on high, will rescue me. I can’t see him, but I trust he’s there with healing in his wings.
    • EXCEPTION: When quoting a different source, follow the capitalization used in the quote.
  • In general, lowercase gospel unless in reference to one of the first four books of the New Testament.
    • Gospel of Luke, the four Gospels, John’s Gospel
    • gospel truth, live out the gospel, spread the gospel

Scripture: Translations and Citations

  • While there are many worthy and useful translations of Scripture, for the sake of simplicity (and not maintaining copyright information on an endless number of translations), we ask that quoted Scripture be from one of these versions:
    • Amplified Bible (AMP)
    • (Holman) Christian Standard Bible (HCSB, CSB)
    • English Standard Version (ESV)
    • King James Version (KJV)
    • The Message (MSG)
    • New American Standard Bible (NASB)
    • New International Version (NIV)
    • New King James Version (NKJV)
    • New Living Translation (NLT)
    • New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)
  • Avoid using more than two translations in your article.
  • When using Scripture from a translation other than NIV, please list the translation with the reference.
  • We use in-text parenthetical citations for Scripture when the passage quoted is not listed within the flow of the sentence.
    • Example: Paul goes on to say, “In Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith” (Galatians 3:26).
  • If you add emphasis to quoted Scripture, let the reader know. Use emphasis sparingly.
    • Example: Psalm 23:4 says, “Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me” (ESV, emphasis added).
  • If paraphrasing a theme or referencing a story from Scripture, but not quoting directly, include the Scripture reference preceded by the word see in parentheses. We want our readers to know the truth we proclaim has a foundation.
    • Example: We’re chosen, holy, and precious for a reason: to praise God who brought us into his light (1 Peter 2:9)!
  • Do not quote Scripture from memory. If copying and pasting a Scripture passage, please use a reputable online source such as, YouVersion, or, and be sure to delete all internal verse numbers (usually superscript).


General Principles for Tone

  • Promote hope and encouragement.
  • People connect with honesty and grace-filled vulnerability.
  • Every word you write costs someone time to read it. Write beautifully, but with economy.
  • Grace and truth can be fully present at the same time (see John 1:14).
  • In general, we would rather create and point to light than yell at the darkness.
  • Avoid pat answers, acknowledge nuance, and offer readers a way forward.

[1] Where appropriate, hyperlinks will be used in lieu of footnotes.