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Submission Guidelines

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Article Submissions

Turn your passion for genealogy into articles that will inspire, instruct, and engage others! We are accepting submissions for various types of articles – please continue reading below for information on how to submit your article, or download a printable copy here:  Submission Guidelines 

Submission Guidelines for Kentucky Ancestors Online

About Kentucky Ancestors:

The online portal known as Kentucky Ancestors Online (a publication of the Kentucky Historical Society) seeks to provide a venue for rich historical and genealogical content relating to those with Kentucky ancestors. As a free online resource, Kentucky Ancestors Online features a wide range of article topics and is designed to appeal to family historians of all levels. Content is accepted for various categories, including: Feature Articles, ‘How-To’ Articles, Case Studies, BookNotes, Editorials/Commentary, and History Mysteries.

Our primary focus is centered on content related to Kentucky families, locations, stories, resources, and migration. However, general genealogy-related subjects are also welcome. Some examples of general subject matter might include: methodology, technology, DNA, resources, and genealogy issues.

Submissions are welcome from both experienced authors and beginning writers. Compensation is not available for published submissions.

Submission requirements:

  • Word Count for Feature and “How-To” Articles should run in the neighborhood of 750-1500.
  • Word Count for Book Notes, Stories or short subjects should run in the neighborhood of 100-500.
  • All word count restrictions are subject to a case-by-case review for category placement. Some larger Feature Article submissions may be accepted if a segmented series is possible.
  • While citations are encouraged for all submissions, research based articles will not be considered unless well documented with citations. For documenting sources and constructing endnotes, please follow Chicago Manual of Style.

Article submissions to avoid:

  • Articles consisting solely of transcribed primary or secondary sources
  • Articles that have been previously published elsewhere (Bloggers are permitted to submit previously published material from their own blog as long as the piece was originally published over a year prior to submission to KAO – additional content or updates to previously published pieces are encouraged to keep the material fresh)
  • Articles that focus on other living individuals
  • Pedigree charts
  • Articles with no citations (unless submission is a commentary/editorial or story based article)

Articles or proposals can be submitted as Word documents via e-mail: khsrefdesk@ky.gov

Publication Process:

  • Once submitted, articles will be reviewed by our editorial staff. If accepted, articles will be edited for content, clarity and conformity to our online format.
  • Authors will be required to sign a letter of agreement in which KHS is granted a perpetual non-exclusive right to publish. Copyright is retained by the author, but any future publication is restricted until one year has passed from the date of publication in Kentucky Ancestors Online.
  • At least one photograph will need to accompany every article chosen for publication. Multiple photos are encouraged.
  • All photographs will need to be accompanied by a signed release that gives KHS permission to publish the photograph, and ensures copyright holder has given consent.
  • Author bio and photograph will be required for inclusion in the final publication.
  • Final version of the article will be submitted to the author for review prior to publication date.

BookNotes Submissions

Read a book recently that got you thinking? Share your thoughts with others in the genealogical and local history community. Please continue reading below for information on how to submit your article, or download a printable copy here: Book Review Submission Guidelines

Book Review Submission Guidelines

Kentucky Ancestors Online (KAO) welcomes reader submitted book reviews to be published in the BookNotes section. Please limit all reviews to 500 words or less. All book reviews submitted to KAO will be reviewed by the editorial staff with priority given to recently published book titles, or insightful/engaging reviews. If selected for publication, each author will be required to sign a letter of agreement in which KAO/KHS is granted a perpetual non-exclusive right to publish.

An ideal book review includes the following information:

  • Book title, author, publisher, date of publication, format, length, and price.
  • Brief explanation or summary of subject covered.
  • Author background/qualifications.
  • Scope of material: What range of information is included in the book? What type of audience is the book meant for – beginner, hobbyist, professional, academic?
  • Is the book well sourced: citations – and what type (primary, secondary or both)?
  • Does it include an index?
  • Your analysis/opinion of the book which may include the following: strengths/weaknesses, organization of material, purpose of the book and how well it accomplishes its purpose, readability/flow, appropriateness for intended audience.
  • Final review/summary or closing thoughts.
  • Professional courtesy/tone of review.

Note: The above guidelines are just that – guidelines. Not every book review will require all of the above information. KAO welcomes thought provoking articles and engaging opinions/dialogue. However, all reviews should respect the views of others and maintain a professional tone.

Kentucky Ancestors Online is a free publication of the Kentucky Historical Society. Please submit book reviews or book review proposals to Kentucky Ancestors Online at: khsrefdesk@ky.gov

History Mysteries

Use the power of crowd-sourcing to solve those pesky mysteries we all have in our family history. Submissions are welcome for photographic, artifact and brief manuscript-based mysteries. Please continue reading below for information on how to submit your History Mystery, or download a printable copy here:

History Mysteries Submission Guidelines

Kentucky Ancestors Online (KAO) welcomes reader submitted photographs and manuscript segments to be published in the History Mysteries section. Typical History Mysteries might include photographs, letter/manuscript portions for transcription assistance, ephemera, or artifacts/heirlooms. Please limit all accompanying introductions/text to 500 words or less. All History Mysteries submitted to KAO will be reviewed by the editorial staff with priority given to interesting/engaging items with accompanying information to present the mystery. If selected for publication, each author will be required to sign a letter of agreement in which KAO/KHS is granted a perpetual non-exclusive right to publish. All photographs submitted will also require a similar signed agreement from the owner/copyright holder.

Some examples of typical History Mysteries:

  • Photograph with unidentified individuals – Please provide as much context or accompanying story as possible – Unidentified folks with no background/provenance do not make for a very engaging mystery.
  • Photograph with identified individuals, but in an unknown location, or involving unknown circumstances.
  • Handwritten letter or document with script that is difficult to decipher, or with terms/subjects that are unusual.
  • A family heirloom or artifact that is a mystery or needs context added to its journey.
  • Piece of ephemera with unknown purpose or origination.

Note: Due to the brief nature of the History Mysteries section, please do not submit genealogy brick walls, or lengthy family mysteries. However, History Mysteries can come in many forms. KAO welcomes thought provoking pieces and engaging opinions/dialogue.

Kentucky Ancestors Online is a free publication of the Kentucky Historical Society. Please submit History Mysteries to Kentucky Ancestors Online at: khsrefdesk@ky.gov

Stories/Commentary

Kentucky Ancestors Online welcomes short stories and commentary related to family/local history or general genealogy issues. Want to share a special family story? Have an issue you want to discuss? Submit those entries via the guidelines below. Please continue reading below for information on how to submit your article, or download a printable copy here: Submission Guidelines

Submission Guidelines for Kentucky Ancestors Online

About Kentucky Ancestors:

The online portal known as Kentucky Ancestors Online (a publication of the Kentucky Historical Society) seeks to provide a venue for rich historical and genealogical content relating to those with Kentucky ancestors. As a free online resource, Kentucky Ancestors Online features a wide range of article topics and is designed to appeal to family historians of all levels. Content is accepted for various categories, including: Feature Articles, ‘How-To’ Articles, Case Studies, BookNotes, Editorials/Commentary, and History Mysteries.

Our primary focus is centered on content related to Kentucky families, locations, stories, resources, and migration. However, general genealogy-related subjects are also welcome. Some examples of general subject matter might include: methodology, technology, DNA, resources, and genealogy issues.

Submissions are welcome from both experienced authors and beginning writers. Compensation is not available for published submissions.

Submission requirements:

  • Word Count for Feature and “How-To” Articles should run in the neighborhood of 750-1500.
  • Word Count for Book Notes, Stories/Commentary or short subjects should run in the neighborhood of 100-500.
  • All word count restrictions are subject to a case-by-case review for category placement. Some larger Feature Article submissions may be accepted if a segmented series is possible.
  • While citations are encouraged for all submissions, research based articles will not be considered unless well documented with citations. For documenting sources and constructing endnotes, please follow AP format.

Article submissions to avoid:

  • Articles consisting solely of transcribed primary or secondary sources
  • Articles that have been previously published elsewhere (Bloggers are permitted to submit previously published material from their own blog as long as the piece was originally published over a year prior to submission to KAO – additional content or updates to previously published pieces are encouraged to keep the material fresh)
  • Articles that focus on other living individuals
  • Pedigree charts
  • Articles with no citations (unless submission is a commentary/editorial or story based article)

Articles or proposals can be submitted as Word documents via e-mail: khsrefdesk@ky.gov

Publication Process:

  • Once submitted, articles will be reviewed by our editorial staff. If accepted, articles will be edited for content, clarity and conformity to our online format.
  • Authors will be required to sign a letter of agreement in which KHS is granted a perpetual non-exclusive right to publish. Copyright is retained by the author, but any future publication is restricted until one year has passed from the date of publication in Kentucky Ancestors Online.
  • At least one photograph will need to accompany every article chosen for publication. Multiple photos are encouraged.
  • All photographs will need to be accompanied by a signed release that gives KHS permission to publish the photograph, and ensures copyright holder has given consent.
  • Author bio and photograph will be required for inclusion in the final publication.
  • Final version of the article will be submitted to the author for review prior to publication date.
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