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Writing for Us

The Literary and Cultural Heritage Maps of Pennsylvania is a digital humanities project developed and maintained by the Pennsylvania Center for the Book (PACFTB), a state affiliate of the Library of Congress Center for the Book. We welcome scholars, practitioners, students, interns, and members of the public to revise existing biographies, revise existing feature articles, and propose and write new content.

To get started, any prospective author may contact the project’s Administrator, Bernadette A. Lear, either through e-mail or through the Biography/Feature Article Suggestion Form, to discuss how you would like to get involved. See also our “About” page to learn more about the project’s purpose, scope, and evolution.

If you are a course instructor who would like to develop a writing assignment for your students, or you are a prospective intern or independent study student, please contact PACFTB at least one full semester ahead of time so we can consider our capacity to mentor everyone and prepare their work for publication.

To support writers, we offer the following documentation and resources. The Instructions for Authors and the Submissions Templates are essential, but don’t let all the information intimidate you! We share it especially for those who prefer detail and transparency. If you have questions, feel free to contact the project’s Administrator, Bernadette A. Lear.

Please note, PACFTB does not have the capacity to publish on every topic or coach every author. Since 2022, all proposed topics and submitted biographies/feature articles are reviewed by at least 2 members of the Editorial Board and may be rejected due to project guidelines, staffing capacity, or other reasons. While all proposed topics are considered for inclusion, our highest priorities currently are:

  • Revising/rewriting existing biographies for Pittsburgh and Western Pennsylvania: see this spreadsheet, last updated July 2023, for a list of biographies that have not been updated since 2018.
  • Revising/rewriting existing feature articles: see this spreadsheet, last updated July 2023, for a list of the 50 most heavily-used articles that haven’t been updated since 2018.
  • New biographies and feature articles pertaining to women, Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC), LGBTQ+ persons, people with disabilities, and other underrepresented groups.
  • New biographies and feature articles for the Revolutionary War period (in preparation for the 250th Anniversary of the Revolutionary War in 2026).
  • New biographies and feature articles relevant to Pennsylvania’s rural counties, especially the “Alleghenies,” “Dutch Country,” “Pennsylvania Wilds,” “Pocono Mountains,” “Susquehanna Valley,” and “Upstate PA,” regions.

As part of the peer review and copyediting process, you may be asked to revise your work and/or accept edits proposed by the Administrator. Also, as a condition of publishing your work, you must agree to license it under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License (CC BY 4.0). This license allows anyone to copy and redistribute the material in any format and to adapt the material for any purpose, even commercially, so long as they provide attribution to the Pennsylvania Center for the Book (PACFTB) and the author(s). You also agree that PACFTB will have the right to update your work and/or remove your work from the site if PACFTB employees determine that it is no longer current or no longer meets the project's inclusion criteria. Due to the investment PACFTB makes in mentoring authors and preparing manuscripts for publication, authors may not withdraw biographies and feature articles from the project after they have been published on the Literary and Cultural Heritage Maps site. 

There is no compensation for publication.

If you have further questions, please contact Bernadette A. Lear, the project administrator.