Our archive aims to bring historical stories to a general readership. This will involve writing in a more journalistic style than you may be used to. Our guidelines will help you to adapt to a narrative way of writing.
Our archive aims to bring historical stories to a general readership. This will involve writing in a more journalistic style than you may be used to. The attached PDF will help you to adapt to our narrative way of writing.
We also suggest you take a look at The Smithsonian and The Economist, especially the features in the Christmas edition.
We’re looking for stories from all around the world and from all periods. They could be about people, places, things, events, or ideas. Ideally, you will be suggesting stories we’ve never heard of, or know little about.
The most important thing at this point is whether you can construct a coherent, narrative story, with a beginning, middle, and end. Make sure there is enough material to work from. Start thinking about pictures.
A good test for whether a story will work for us is to imagine you’re having dinner with a selection of non-historian friends and family. Do you think you can hold their interest with this tale for 15 to 30 minutes?
Start by writing a pitch. This should be a short (<150 word) synopsis of your story. It should tell us who the main characters are, and what happens to them. It should contain a ‘hook’, something unusual or unexpected to get us (and the readers) interested. This is crucial. At the top, put the one-word name that the story will be known by throughout the editing process. This is called the Slug. Include the estimated word count you’ll need and a deadline by which you could deliver it.
We also need to know your academic qualifications, though not your full CV.
Once you've written your pitch, send it to us at firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line reading: 'Pitch for' and list your slugs. For example 'Pitch for Hawaii, Hank8, and LivingstoneChair'.