We’re seeking individual pieces of historical writing in poetry, fiction, nonfiction, or hybrid that give an author’s intimate or emotional take on historical places, people, events, or ideas. Pieces must noticeably fit a historical theme. We especially want to hear from marginalized and underrepresented writers, and we are an LGBTQUIA+ safe-space.
Winner of the Charter Oak Award receives $100, our Charter Oak Award digital medallion, a certificate, and publication in our annual journal Footnote: A Literary Journal of History and online at The Coil. All accepted pieces, semifinalists, and finalists receive publication in Footnote, as well, among other prizes. See website for details.
Submissions open (issue #9): March 1, 2022
Submissions close (issue #9): February 28, 2023
Winner announced: March 2023
Publication (issue #9): July 2023
- This category is only for INDIVIDUAL pieces (not book-length manuscripts) with themes of history. Submissions can be poetry, fiction, hybrid, creative nonfiction, or straight nonfiction, but must noticeably fit a historical theme. Other than the blanket term “history,” there is no set theme per issue.
- All genres, styles, and subjects within the theme considered. A soft upper limit of 10,000 words is suggested, and preference may be given to shorter works.
- You may submit up to 5 pieces in a single document file.
- Submissions are read incognito. DO NOT PUT YOUR NAME OR ANY IDENTIFYING MARKS INSIDE THE FILE, including headers, footers, cover pages, acknowledgments, and file names. If you do leave your identifying marks inside the file, the submission will be read as-is, but the reader may disqualify the submission if he knows you on any personal level.
- All work must be in English and must be the author’s own. Single work by multiple authors considered. We will also consider reliable side-by-side (English and a second language) translations for this category.
- If you need to adjust a submission, please use the Request to Edit option through Submittable. Please don’t request to edit for minor flaws, however—all accepted work will go through an editing process and will have the chance to be updated before publication, and your work will not be disqualified for a missing comma.
- All authors must be at least 18 to submit.
- Simultaneous submissions allowed. You do not have to withdraw a piece that is accepted elsewhere, as long as you still own the reprint rights after first publication.
- Previously published pieces are considered, as long as you still own the reprint rights. Don’t include acknowledgments in the file.
- ACP and The Coil staff may submit work for publication consideration, but they are ineligible to win prizes while on our staff (including volunteers).
- Submit via Submittable only. We do not accept email submissions.
- Straight or scholarly nonfiction should have references cited.
- This is a free form that is unique to you and shouldn't be shared with others. There is a $4.99 fee for each submission submitted for anyone able to pay.
- Each paid submission comes with a digital copy of our latest issue of Footnote, currently #4 ($7.99 value).
- It is highly recommended that you read our past Charter Oak finalists and winners.
- We will send a response and notification of the winners to every submission by the end of March. Form response only, unless we are interested in publishing your book. We are regretfully unable to provide feedback.
- Historical pieces can be submitted for free during Black History Month (February), Women’s History Month (March), and Native American Heritage Month (November). We close our free submissions when we reach our monthly Submittable submissions cap, so submit early in the month, and please only submit to free categories once per month, to give everyone a chance to submit before submissions are capped. When free submissions are open, the portal link will be active here.
- We accept approximately 40 pieces per issue. We do not give out complimentary print editions, except to the first-, second-, and third-place winners of the Charter Oak Award whose work is therein contained.