Minnesota History Magazine

Author Guidelines

Minnesota History welcomes submissions of articles and edited documents dealing with the social, economic, political, intellectual, and cultural history of the state and surrounding region. New and timely topics and new approaches to older subjects are welcome.

Articles should be written for an intelligent but non-specialist audience and contain minimal, if any, jargon. Articles should contain a thesis statement and a strong storyline that develops the thesis and carries readers along to a conclusion. Previously published articles and manuscripts being considered for publication elsewhere will not be accepted.

Footnotes for direct quotations and for facts, figures, and dates from primary and secondary sources are essential.

Articles range from 1,500 words to 5,000 words in length. Copies or a descriptive list of interesting photographs and other possible illustrations should be submitted with the manuscript. Please do not send originals. The magazine’s style guide is the most recent Chicago Manual of Style (with house style exceptions).

For additional guidance, please consult recent back issues of the magazine.

Review Process

Minnesota History is a peer-reviewed journal. After determining if a submission has the potential for publication, the editor sends the work to one or more reviewers who are specialists in their fields for evaluation and comment. The process is “double-blind”--neither the reviewer nor the author knows the other’s identity. The work is then either accepted for publication, returned with suggestions for revision and resubmission, or rejected.

Please allow three to six months for review.


Authors may consult with the editor prior to writing or submitting an article.

Send double-spaced text files (manuscript and descriptive list of suggested photographs and illustrations) as attachments to an email.

Do not place your name on the manuscript. Instead, please include a cover page that contains

  • Name, mailing address, and phone number
  • Paragraph-long abstract (summary) of your article
  • Word count
  • Three- to four-sentence biography

Do not send PDFs of the text or format the manuscript with embedded art; instead include a list of possibilities or a folder of low-resolution scans.

Contact Information

Please send queries and manuscripts by email to Pam McClanahan, Editor, at pamela.mcclanahan@mnhs.org


Readers selected to evaluate manuscripts submitted to Minnesota History receive the guidelines below. Authors may find the criteria helpful in guiding their work.

Does this manuscript . . .

  • Contain innovative information? Does it make a significant contribution to the literature, or does it mostly repeat information already published elsewhere? Does it present innovative or creative insights, opinions, or syntheses? New factual or survey data?
  • Show responsible scholarship? To what extent has the author explored and assimilated the published information relevant to the topic? Is the thesis explained or justified; is it well thought out; does it recognize and deal with opposing viewpoints or counter-arguments; is it based on, or does it include, misinterpretations or misstatements? In other words, does the article merit the attention and respect of those who may not agree with it?
  • Evidence familiarity with the subject? Does the author appear to know what s/he is talking about? Do incompleteness, lack of clarity, and misunderstandings mar the presentation? Is the author in command of the topic and the level at which it is being addressed?
  • Have a pertinent subject? Is the topic likely to be interesting or meaningful to a significant proportion of Minnesota History’s diverse readership, which includes professional historians, dedicated amateurs, and general readers of varied levels of expertise? Although it has a Minnesota or Midwest focus, will it also be of interest to readers outside the area?
  • Have good organization, structure, and style? Is the article either too elementary or too esoteric? Too sweeping or generalized or superficial? Too narrowly focused? Is the presentation logical, well organized, easy to follow, grammatical, literate? Are there places where it is hard to be sure of what the author is trying to say? Is the writing style either too casual for a formal publication or too complex to be pleasant to read? Might the article be more clear or useful if given a different structure: e.g., chronological, topical?