These guidelines have been developed through the experience of OA members and the Board of Trustees, who have contributed to their creation. They reflect OA Traditions and Concepts of Service as reflected in our OA Conference-approved literature. These guidelines are strong suggestions based on the experience of those who have gone before. The guidelines do not replace the group conscience of local OA members, but we encourage OA groups and service bodies to consider carefully before acting contrary to these suggestions.
Overeaters Anonymous supports the development of literature where current OA literature doesn’t fill a need. Locally produced literature may include stories of personal recovery unique to specific geographic areas, languages, or cultural groups. While the Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions are the common ground of all OA members throughout the world, stories that demonstrate our diversity can help individuals achieve recovery.
Locally produced literature may also include material for public information or professional outreach efforts in a specific area, or OA recovery-oriented literature. OA newsletters have their own specific guidelines, Guidelines for OA Newsletters, available at oa.org/document-library under “Guidelines.”
In the spirit of unity, the following guidelines are offered to assist in the development of locally produced literature.
- Locally produced literature should be developed, reviewed, and approved by a service body beyond the group level, except for newsletters, meeting lists, flyers, posters, letterhead, and business cards.
- The OA logo may be used only with written permission. Submit the “Permission to Use the OA Logo” form, available on the Copy Requests page at oa.org, to the World Service Office to start the process. The group or service body name must appear under the logo.
- If developed for sale, the literature may be sold only within the Fellowship.
- Check the copyright procedures and guidelines on the Copy Requests page at oa.org for an explanation of what literature requires written permission to reprint and what does not. To reprint excerpts from literature not listed as available to registered groups and service bodies for reprinting without written permission, submit the “Reprint Permission” form to the World Service Office (WSO).
- Include the following disclaimer on the cover page of each piece of literature: “This literature has been locally produced by [service body name here]. The content reflects the experience, strength, and hope of our local members. It is not OA Conference- or Board-approved and does not represent OA as a whole.”
- We recommend that the The Responsibility Pledge be included in all published locally produced literature, social media, newsletters, and bulletins.
- Upon completion of the literature’s development, prior to publication, send one copy to the region liaison and one copy to the WSO. If your service body has not received permission to use the OA logo yet, this copy should be sent with a “Permission to Use the OA Logo” form for permission to publish the literature with the logo.
- When publishing either local OA history or the history of OA as a whole, ensure that the information is accurately presented. Guidelines to support the development of local OA history, Suggested Guidelines for Writing the History of Your Local OA Area, are available at oa.org/document-library under “Guidelines.”
- Literature should not judge programs in other areas or compare them with the local program.
- Review literature carefully to ensure it upholds our Traditions.
- If the literature includes personal stories of recovery, it is recommended that diverse stories by multiple authors be included.
- We recommend the sponsoring service body create a committee of three to four currently abstinent members to oversee the literature development or review process. This committee should bring their recommendations to the sponsoring service body for approval.
- “Local literature should be considered temporary and discontinued when OA literature approved for general use is available to cover the topic” (Statement on Approved Literature adopted at the 2010 World Service Business Conference, amended 2012). To read the full Statement, see the OA-Approved Literature List at oa.org/document-library under “Guidelines.”
OA Responsibility Pledge
Always to extend the hand and heart of OA to all who share my compulsion; for this I am responsible.
©1998, 2000, 2009, 2018, 2019 Overeaters Anonymous, Inc. Rev 5/2023. All rights reserved.