Home > Our Services > Books + Publications > Author Guidelines > Author Guidelines for Traces Magazine > Site Search Results

Author Guidelines for Traces Magazine

The editors of Traces seek nonfiction articles that are solidly researched, attractively written and amenable to illustration, and they encourage scholars, journalists and freelance writers to contribute to the magazine. Accepted articles usually are a good mix of academic writing and magazine journalism.

IHS Press issues a standard contract on acceptance of an article. IHS Press will hold a royalty-free exclusive license to publish the article in Traces –which converts to a royalty-free nonexclusive license six months after publication – and the right to permit Indiana newspapers to reprint the article. IHS Press owns the copyright in Traces, but the author owns the copyright in the article and is free to reprint the article after it is published in Traces. IHS Press is free to reprint the article at a future time.

Manuscript Guidelines

Traces seeks articles and essays on topics such as – but not limited to – biography, personal narrative, immigration, family, cultural heritage, women, literature, folklore, music, the visual arts, politics, economics, industry, transportation, sports, geography, and military, medical, archaeological, architectural and agricultural history. In addition, the magazine seeks essays from historians discussing their personal interest in the field of Indiana history.

In general, articles should be narrative in structure, have strong introductions and conclusions, and weave analysis into the larger framework. Essays should have a history component, preferably one that helps explain present practices, incidents and behaviors. The editors give priority to submissions that meet standards of research and presentation and also display a direct Indiana connection. Prospective authors should be familiar with the magazine before they submit articles or proposals.

Feature articles and essays should be 2,000 to 4,000 words in length. The editors primarily seek newly written material, although they will consider material that has been previously published. The editors will also respond to proposals submitted with writing samples and an indication of the means and costs of illustration.

Articles and essays should be written in clear and appealing prose that is free of jargon and undefined technical terms. Authors should avoid passive voice, lengthy quotations and one-sentence paragraphs. They should follow the guidelines of The Elements of Style by William Strunk Jr. and E.B. White and consult the latest editions of the Chicago Manual of Style and Merriam Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary.

Authors should submit two copies of each article or essay on standard 8½-by-11 inch paper, double-spaced throughout, with the author’s name on the title page only. They should provide brief suggestions “For Further Reading” at the end of articles and document in endnotes the sources on which articles are based. The editors will decide the form and extent of published documentation. The editors accept approved manuscripts via e-mail.

Authors are responsible for providing illustrative material – in black and white or color – and captions that do not duplicate information in the text. IHS Press will provide staff assistance in locating – and will assume the cost of reproducing - photographs, maps and documents in the IHS collections. The quality and cost of potential illustration are major criteria by which the editors evaluate articles.

The editors initially review manuscripts submitted for publication, then send suitable ones to appropriate outside readers for evaluation. The editors make the final decision for or against publishing articles. Authors should allow 90 days or more for the evaluation process.

The editors reserve the right to copyedit accepted manuscripts to conform with the style and usage of Traces. The editorial staff checks the sources of articles to ensure accuracy of facts and citations. After editing an article, the editors will issue a contract and pay a negotiated honorarium to the author.

At the end of each volume year, the editorial board grants the Jacob Piatt Dunn Jr. Award, which includes a $500 prize, to the author whose article has best fulfilled the magazine's mission.

Manuscripts will be returned to authors if they are accompanied by a self-addressed envelope stamped with sufficient postage.

Address all correspondence to:

Ray Boomhower
Senior Editor, Traces of Indiana and Midwestern History
Indiana Historical Society Press
Eugene and Marilyn Glick Indiana History Center
450 West Ohio Street
Indianapolis, IN 46202-3269
(317) 232-1877


Read Guidelines for All IHS Press Publications