Monday, May 17, 2010

Want to Contribute to Cleveland Area History?

Cleveland Area History ( is a blog dedicated to engaging readers with those people, places, and events that tell the story of Cleveland and Northeast Ohio. With emphasis on the word “engaging." We believe that local history is the next natural offshoot of the locavore movement. In other words, eat local, buy local, know local!

What we’re looking for:

We’re looking for short (approximately 500 word), thought-provoking pieces on the following topics in Cleveland history:

  • Fine arts and pop culture, including: TV; comic strips; amusement parks; music, from the Cleveland Orchestra down to the indie rock bands of the 1980s and 1990s and everything in between; film and theater, historic movie houses, drive-ins, film festivals, etc.; history of various local cultural institutions, both well-known and lesser-known
  • Historic neighborhoods and suburbs
  • Local folklore, folklife, regional tales and legends
  • Food culture and memories
  • History of various ethnic groups in Cleveland (Eastern European, Irish, African American, Jewish, etc.)
  • Sports, recreation, parks
  • Politics and civic organizations
  • Industry - steel, auto manufacturing, etc.
  • Transportation
  • Historic figures (both well known and lesser known), and their contribution to shaping Cleveland area history
  • How-to articles about doing your own local history research (including profiles of various local history organizations)
  • Profiles of local history organizations and people doing interesting things with local history
  • Other topics will also be considered

Ideal posts will make Clevelanders think deeply and reflectively about their city, region, and heritage. Readers might say, “Hmm. I never knew that. Cleveland is a more interesting place than I thought!” It is also important that our contributors don't limit themselves to writing only about the "positive" aspects of Cleveland history. We believe that our city and region need to explore the less savory parts of our past, such as racial tensions and white flight, in order to move forward. For all intents and purposes, we define the "Cleveland area" as Cuyahoga County, with occasional exceptions made for neighboring counties that were part of the historic Western Reserve. In general, for our purposes, anything prior to 1995 can be considered historical.

What we’re NOT looking for:

We’re not looking for marketing-speak or blatant civic boosterism; occasional opinion pieces are generally fine, but they should demonstrate knowledge of themes in local history, not just trumpet the virtues of Cleveland and environs. We’re also not looking for a lot of nostalgia or personal memories without historical research or historical perspective attached, although the occasional oral history is acceptable.

Who we’re looking for:

You don’t have to be an academic, but you should be an excellent writer who knows the ins and outs of local history research, and the importance of citing your sources. You should be someone who is fascinated with what makes a place unique. You should also be familiar with the basics of blogging, and should be able to express your point succinctly. (Again, ideal post length is 500 words or less.) We like pithy, witty, and punchy (when appropriate); we want to be hooked by your writing, not put to sleep by it. We encourage you to use high-quality original images when possible. We also highly encourage the creative use of YouTube, Flickr, Google Maps, etc.

We especially want to provide an opportunity for librarians, archivists, and library school students to show off their research prowess.

If you are interested, copy and paste the following within the body of your email: (no attachments, please!)

  • A brief (no more than 2-page) resume or CV; OR a short paragraph summarizing your background and qualifications,
  • A writing sample (no more than 500 words),
  • A brief statement (100 words or less) about why you want to write for us and what topics you are interested in writing about
Proposals and questions should be sent to:

Christine Borne
Managing Editor, Cleveland Area History

Please include “Call for Contributors” in the subject line of your email.

We regret that we cannot offer payment.

1 comment:

  1. This is what I love about what you do for our fair cirty: