Submission Guidelines

The Appendix seeks compelling writing and art about neglected histories. We publish essays and articles based on archival research; reported non-fiction about memory and the past; book reviews; historical fiction, poetry and comics; image portfolios; and interviews with practitioners or subjects of history. The Appendix is particularly fascinated by sources – a forgotten photo, a dead-end manifesto, an unread letter – that shed light on forgotten worlds. We like to publish these sources whole.

We want contributors who share this empathetic and exploring sensibility. Although The Appendix’s editors are trained as academic historians, a training that some of its contributors share, we seek collaborators with backgrounds in local history, genealogy, graphic arts, narrative history and creative non-fiction – people who believe that a story doesn’t need to be divorced from history to be compelling and that history doesn’t need to be dry.

There are limits to what The Appendix will publish, but they might not be what you think: for example, it would have to be a very unusual take on George Washington or Robert E. Lee to fit within our pages. We’re far more inclined to run stories about cross-dressers in 19th century New York, Chinese inventors and spies, or the ancestral mummies that indigenous Andeans called ‘the beautiful grandparents.’ We also think that pets, plants, junkyards, and old toys have interesting histories.

The Appendix is published four times a year. Submission reviews are ongoing, but our editorial process resembles that of a magazine more than it does a traditional academic journal. We want to discuss your idea with you before you submit your first draft.

As mentioned above, The Appendix’s interests are broad, but we do have categories to guide your writing. We are always looking for interesting Letters to the Editor from past publications. Each issue we have an Open Source, where we highlight an original document or object. We also run Field Notes, first-person accounts of encounters in the archives. The body of our issue is made up by articles and essays on wide-ranging interests. We run original and excerpted fiction, and original and excerpted comics on a historical theme. We review new works of history and fiction, and feature local histories of far-off and not-so-far-off places. Lastly, we close each issue with The Appendix, Appendixed, where we showcase the odder directions history takes us. We encourage you to explore our site and familiarize yourself with the journal before submitting.

We also accept rolling submissions for our blog, where notes on archival discoveries, commentary on current debates, timely dispatches, and other forms of short non-fiction are always welcome. Our most popular blog posts include a description of a rare sex manual from 1680, an exploration of two women's lives in the colonial West Indies, a short history of drunkenness in early America, and a Bosnian historian reflecting on his discovery of fifteenth-century cat pawprints in a book from the Republic of Ragusa.

Drop us a line at editors@theappendix.net. We can't wait to hear from you.