You are Invited to Write for Us
Thanks for your interest in writing for the Bluegrass Roots blog. We are always seeking new and interesting posts about family stories, research techniques, or resource tips featuring Kentucky. We have over 5,000 readers and it continues to grow.
We will share almost any story sent to us that is Kentucky or genealogy focused. Keep in mind that we are an all-volunteer staff, so we prioritize articles that need the least amount of re-work.
Please read this guide before submitting an article. It explains the articles we crave, article standards, and submission guidelines.
What We Are Seeking
Our mission is to promote Kentucky and demonstrate the value of sharing ideas within our research community. Each week, we share a post in our newsletters and on our social media accounts.
Our readers love posts that explain how to be better researchers or articles about other’s research. Examples include how to break through brick walls, little known places to find an ancestor, or even just a quick software tutorial.
Here are some example stories that are popular on our blog:
- Kentucky History: How the Kentucky Counties Formed
- Kentucky Resources: Seven Free Sources for Kentucky Researchers
- Kentucky Families: Harlan County: Working in the Coal Mines
- Genealogical Resources: Researching Kentuckians at the New England Historic Library
- Tip or Tutorial: Researching Laurel County in Historic Newspapers
Submission Rules and Guidelines
We try to keep everything simple, but there are still some rules that you must follow to make the process easier for everyone.
Preparing Your Article for Submission
Your article must meet the minimum guidelines to be considered for publication.
- Content: The article must be about Kentucky history, contain a Kentuckian, or explain a genealogical technique.
- Length: All articles must be 400 and 1,000 words and contain a heading.
- Artwork: Each article must include at least two pieces of artwork that are credited.
Artwork can include photographs or screen captures of a map, document, or a letter. We can help you find artwork if you are stuck or unsure.
- Style: Your article must not contain any spelling or grammatical errors. We suggest using a free online tool, such as Grammarly or ProWritingAid, to make it easier on all.
- Sources: Cite your sources using the Chicago Manual of Style. If you are unsure, just be consistent in the way it is presented. As an alternative, supply a link to the source and cite the page.
- Re–Publishing: If your post has been published elsewhere on the Internet or in a magazine, please provide the information to us. We consider these articles on a case-by-case basis.
- Plagiarism: All submissions must be free of plagiarism. Before publishing an article, we use a plagiarism checker. Anyone who violates this policy will not be considered for future submissions.
- Author Bio: Include an author bio that is two-four sentences long. Authors typically share how long they have researched their family history, where they live, or where their ancestor lived. You may include a link to your blog or online profile.
Submitting Your Article
Once you’re ready to submit a draft, use the Permission to Publish form.
As you can tell by the name, this form gives KYGS permission to publish your work to our audiences. It outlines some other details to ensure there are no misunderstandings.
The following guidelines make it easier to move the post through our process. Any articles not following these guidelines may be returned.
- Submit your article as a DOC, DOCX or RTF. Your article should be free of formatting, such as indents, fancy layouts, and excessive spacing.
- Submit your artwork as PNG, JPG, or TIF files.
- Ensure the files are clearly named. Use names like “art01-letter-to-ann.jpg” or “artwork-lincoln-co-map”.
- Avoid names like “TX-IMG9302.JPG”, where the editor must guess the content.
- In your article, show where the artwork is inserted and include the artwork filename.
- If you are referring to an online source, then provide the link to the source.
- And for heaven’s sake, don’t forget to include your bio!
Here is an example story that is ready for submission. This example is in PDF format to ensure all can view it.
Our Editing Process
Reviewing the Articles
As volunteers, we work the articles in batches usually once every six – eight weeks. We want to collect several articles to work on at once. You may not hear from us immediately. Please be patient.
When you submit the post through the website, we receive an email. We receive the article to ensure the topic fits our mission statement. We check for any plagiarism issues or if the post recently appeared elsewhere.
We will contact you if there are questions or if we cannot accept the article.
Our Basic Workflow
Once we decide to act on an article, the workflow is quick. We only publish content once a week, so we have a backlog quickly.
- The article is copied into a Google Doc template.
- We determine where the article fits in our blog and choose the keywords.
- The post is edited for clarity, grammar, and style. We follow the Chicago Manual of Style.
The headlines, subheadings, and first paragraph are re-worded for search engine optimization.
- We review the images for potential copyright issues. Sometimes we add images that better illustrate your ideas.
- We check the links and ensure sources are valid.
- The post is sent to the editing team for a line edit and link check.
- We send you a link to the post in Google Docs where you can provide feedback.
- The post and artwork are moved into the blog. Only very minor changes can be made after this post reaches this stage.
- You are provided with a link to the final post.
Note: We reserve the right to edit submissions for content, spelling, grammar, and formatting. However, we will never change the overall message of an article. If there are questions, we will consult with you.
If you have any questions about this process, use the Contact us form above.