What does [email protected] publish?
Full-length blog posts: We publish full-length posts, typically between 800 and 1,200 words, on topics about issues in the field of public history. Take a look our 2018 year-in-review to get a sense of the range of topics our readers found most compelling last year.
For big projects or discussions, we sometimes break-up the posts in series. For example, we recently published a six-part Q&A about the exhibition The Mere Distinction of Colourat Montpelier. A few years ago, we published a series of posts responding to Hamilton: An American Musical. Both of these examples related directly to content published in NCPH’s journal The Public Historian and were commissioned by TPHand NCPH staff and volunteers.
Project Showcase blog posts: Project Showcase posts are mainly descriptive and tend to be between 250 and 500 words. For examples, see some of our previous posts in this category.
Prospective post topics (full-length or Project Showcase posts) include but are not limited to:
- new exhibitions, digital projects, preservation efforts, collaborative programs, collections, and other forms of public history
- the politics of competing memories and uses of the past
- hybrid projects and questions (for example, aspects of public history as seen in environmentalism, the arts, and popular or consumer culture)
- professional training, development, and concerns
Other: We also publish specially-commissioned posts by regular [email protected]contributors, NCPH staff, volunteers, members, editorial and other special contributions related to or printed in The Public Historian, and others. These posts range from reflections about our working groups to Q&As that complement museum exhibition reviews published in our journal The Public Historian to how-to’s about programming we run.
How can I submit a blog post for consideration?
You can email us either a blog post pitch, or a short email proposing a topic for a blog post. Or, you are welcome to submit a post you have already written. Send queries about publishing to the editorial team: [email protected].
Do you publish everything you receive?
We do not publish everything we receive and reserve the right to refuse publication at any point during the editorial process. If we think your post would be better suited to another venue, we will make that suggestion so we can help you get your work out there.
Do you publish posts that have been published elsewhere?
No, we only publish original posts. We do not publish posts that have been published elsewhere.
What guidelines should I keep in mind as I write my draft?
Style: All posts should be:
- written in accessible, jargon free language for a general audience in a way that embraces complexity and critical and intellectual rigor. We accept posts written in a variety of voices ranging from the journalistic or scholarly to the provocative, wonky, or reflective.
- clear, well-reasoned, and supported by evidence as needed to make your point. We prefer citations be integrated into the text or hyperlinked.
- accessible to a general educated audience with an interest in doing history in public.
- informed by some sense of the practice and politics of public culture. For example, a post about a controversy over a public memorial or museum exhibit should reflect some awareness that this is not a first-time or unique occurrence.
Images: We publish at least one image with each blog post, preferably one for every 250-300 words. Images should at least be 300 dpi. Images should be referenced in the text. Authors should provide captions and credit lines. It is the author’s responsibility to secure permission to publish online in perpetuity.
Accessibility: Posts and media should conform to standard guidelines for accessible web content, many of which are outlined here. For example, authors should provide appropriate alternative text that [email protected] editors can include in the metadata of the image(s) you would like us to publish. In addition, all supplementary text material should be offered as a Word Document as well as a PDF. We will help you with this as needed.
I want to write a post that is longer than 1,200 words. Will you publish that?
Alternative publication venues: If you have a longer piece you’d like to publish, we suggest you consider submitting a manuscript to NCPH’s peer-reviewed journal The Public Historian (TPH), published by the University of California Press. If you want to workshop ideas before writing a draft, email TPH co-editor Nicole Belolan. Learn more about what TPH publishes here.
Do you accept posts written by more than one person?
If I start the editorial process, what can I expect?
The process varies on a case-by-case basis. But here is a list of steps most writers can anticipate completing after the [email protected] editors express interest in considering your draft:
- We’ll email you comments and suggestions for edits from the Lead and Affiliate editors who have been assigned to your post.
- After taking a look at those comments and suggestions for edits, you will email us your edited draft back. Sometimes we’ll go back and forth with this a few times, always providing you with clear deadlines for drafts. Please keep “track changes” on throughout the editorial process.
- There are many factors that affect how long it takes us to edit your draft. Sometimes it takes a few days, and sometimes it takes a few weeks! Regardless, we’ll keep you updated on its status so you know where you stand.
- Once everyone is happy with the content (including any images you want to publish) and we add the post to the web template, our copyeditor fixes any errors we haven’t caught such as typos and repeated words. Occasionally the copyeditor hyperlinks text to direct our readers to additional, relevant information on your topic. If the copy editor has any content questions, we will bounce those back to you.
- For logistical reasons, we don’t typically run this final, pre-publication draft by writers unless you make a special request to do that. We will, of course, immediately correct any errors or make reasonable clarifications after publication should the author request those changes be made.
- Most of what we publish gets posted within a month after you first get in touch with us. That said, when we publish your posts varies based on what else we have in the pipeline. Immediately before and after the NCPH annual meeting in March or April is usually our busiest time of year. Blog posts submitted and edited in the spring, therefore, may mean the post will go through a longer publication timeframe. No matter what, we’ll let you know along the way what we can anticipate in terms of timing.
What other digital content does NCPH publish? Can I submit contributions to any of them?
NCPH publishes a variety of free digital content, available on its web site, ranging from best practices documents to e-publications inspired by issues of The Public Historianto back issues of Public History News. NCPH’s journal The Public Historian is available to members and others with subscription access. You can access many of those publications from here.
[email protected] regularly includes an “Around the Field” post with items of possible interest to public historians. These items, along with additional NCPH-specific news, are also included in the weekly Public History News Update which is distributed via email to NCPH members. To submit an item for possible inclusion in these listings, fill out the form at http://ncph.org/around-the-field-form/.