• Footnote: A Literary Journal of History •

About Footnote: A Literary Journal of History

Footnote is our annual literary publication dedicated to historical and contemporary views on history. It contains poetry, maps and historical photographs, fiction, essays, articles, and nonfiction by various authors, both contemporary and historical, about any topic of history. History is our passion here at Alternating Current, and we are excited by pieces that give an author’s intimate or emotional take on historical places, people, events, or ideas. Within our pages, you will find contemporary outlooks on history right alongside little-known public domain works that feel as fresh and vibrant as if they were written today. Here, the old meets the new in an explosive way that has never before seen the page, and we welcome you to discover fascinating history from a personal, non-scholarly literary approach. From our history, we learn our future, and there are few things more rewarding.

We are looking for pieces that have heart, curiosity, purpose, and bravery. We want to be moved, and we want to learn. From our accepted submissions for each year, we take each piece and find its place in the whole, creating a conceptual feel from cover to cover that digs deeper than just chronological order. We couple those submissions with public domain pieces that comment on the same topics, so readers get to see modern perspectives on what is old, juxtaposed with old perspectives on what was then considered modern. Alongside that, we feature photographs, maps, illustrations, and interactive QR codes, so you can learn more about each topic.

There is no set theme per issue. We collect and compile a conceptual arc based on the pieces we receive and the topics they cover. This means that each issue is completely fresh, has a different feel and atmosphere from start to finish, and could cover any topic of history in the known world. We’re not just here to entertain; we’re here to educate. It is our hope that you will learn and get curious and go do some research ... but rest assured that if you’re just here for the good writing, our highly selective submission and editing process will give you that, too.

Submit to Footnote: A Literary Journal of History


Charter Oak Award for Best Historical
The Charter Oak Award for Best Historical is chosen from all of our accepted history-themed pieces for the year. There is no separate submission process.

About Footnote and History Themes
We are dedicated to historical and contemporary views on any topic of history. We are excited by pieces that give an author’s intimate or emotional take on historical places, people, events, ideas, or whatever history means to each author. We give a home to archaic historical rhymes, essays and opinions of the long-since dead, and contemporary voices commenting on historical ideas, people, or events that have touched the authors. Read past Charter Oak finalists and winners here.

Eligibility
Individual pieces of poetry, prose, or hybrid work with themes of history (whatever that means to you). Pieces must noticeably fit the abovementioned theme. All genres, styles, lengths (within reason), and subjects within the theme considered. Work may be previously published; do not list acknowledgments unless/until accepted. We will consider reliable translations for this category, within reason.

Guidelines
•Submissions can be poetry, fiction, hybrid, creative nonfiction, or straight nonfiction.
•Submit up to 6 pieces in a single document.
DO NOT PUT YOUR NAME OR ANY IDENTIFYING MARKS INSIDE THE FILE OR IN THE FILE NAME.
•No cover pages with identifying information or previous acknowledgments listed within the file.
•Pieces must have a noticeable history theme.
•Please limit your prose pieces to a soft guideline of 4,000 words.
•Straight nonfiction must cite at least two sources. Sources must be acknowledged somewhere in the submitted file and will be printed with the final printed work.
Please read our General Guidelines section here.

Fees
There is a $2.99 fee for each submission (up to 6 pieces in one submission) submitted during non-free reading periods. Each submission comes with a copy of our latest issue of Footnote.

Free-Submission Periods
Pieces can be submitted for free during Black History Month (February), Women’s History Month (March), and during our Submit Anything! Open-Reading Period in October and November of each year. YOU MAY ONLY SUBMIT ONCE PER MONTH DURING FREE MONTHS, AND ONLY ONCE PER MONTH TO ANY FREE CATEGORY TOTAL. Marginalized writers may submit during other months for free.

Payment
All pieces selected are guaranteed publication in Footnote. There is a $100 bar allotment for each issue of Footnote. All authors published in the issue receive an even division of that amount upon publication in an opt-in system, complimentary digital copies of the issue, and at-cost print discounts (without obligation). The Top 12 Charter Oak Award Finalists receive publication on The Coil, as well. The Charter Oak Award winner receives a $50 honorarium, publication on Alternating Current Press’ website, publication on The Coil, a printed certificate, and our virtual medallion imprint for use on the author’s websites and published books. Second and third place winners will receive a unique gift each from a sponsor, publication on Alternating Current Press’ website, and printed certificates.

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Sneak Peek at Footnote #1 (Scroll inside box if blank.)

About the Charter Oak Award for Best Historical

Aligned with each issue, we feature the annual Charter Oak Award for Best Historical. Of all the pieces submitted each year, an external judge selects a winner and top finalists. The Charter Oak Award winner receives a $50 honorarium, publication on Alternating Current Press’ website, publication on The Coil, a printed certificate, and our virtual medallion imprint for use on the author’s websites and published books. Second and third place winners receive a unique gift each from a sponsor, publication on Alternating Current Press’ website, and printed certificates. The Top 12 winners and finalists all receive publication on The Coil, as well. Read past Charter Oak finalists and winners here.

2016 Charter Oak Award Winners for Best Historical

1st Place: “Sugar Beet Harvest, 1944” by Mary Buchinger
2nd Place: “Your Bonnet” by Raymond Luczak
3rd Place: “Salt” by Holly M. Wendt
4th Place: “The Search for John Doe No. 2” by Rodney Wilhite
5th Place: “The Death & Birth of Jesse James on April 3, 1882” by GennaRose Nethercott
Finalist: “I Meet Geronimo” by Charles Bane, Jr.
Finalist: “Lodger in the Ripper’s Room” by John Paul Davies
Finalist: “Hugh Casey and Ernest Hemingway, the Artist and the Ballplayer” by Alan Catlin
Finalist: “That the true owner may have it again” by Holly M. Wendt
Finalist: “Out of the dust, light and power” by Yasmin Khan Murgai
Finalist: “Queen of the Mist” by Cynthia Anderson
Finalist: “Emerald Beauties” by Jon Sindell

2015 Charter Oak Award Winners for Best Historical

1st Place: “My Father Tells Us about Leaving Vilnius” by Lyn Lifshin
2nd Place: “The Romanov Family Portrait” by Christina Elaine Collins
3rd Place: “Eva” by Elizabeth Laura Woollett
4th Place: “Titanic” by Sean Brendan-Brown
5th Place: “Lynchable Offenses in Alabama, 1889–1920” by Jesseca Cornelson
Finalist: “The Dictionary” by Claudia Serea
Finalist: “The Diabolical Voodoo Experiments of Harry Smith, Folk Music Anthologist” by Ed Hamilton
Finalist: “Gorsas’ Guillotine: A Nonfiction Narrative of Wordsworth and Carlyle” by James O’Brien
Finalist: “The Ballad of Augustin Lefavre” by R. Joseph Capet
Finalist: “No Pasarán!” by Luther Jett
Finalist: “Ode to the Couches of the 1950s” Brian Le Lay
Finalist: “Strathcona Park” by Pearl Pirie