MNHS Press Submission Guidelines

What to submit

The Minnesota Historical Society Press seeks proposals for nonfiction book manuscripts relating to the history and culture of Minnesota and the Upper Midwest. We are especially interested in excellent works of history and in well-researched and well-written manuscripts that use the best tools of narrative journalism to tell history for general audiences. Successful manuscripts will address themes or issues that are important to understanding life in this region and will reveal a strong sense of place. Preferred topics include Native American studies, Scandinavian studies, nature and environment, women’s history, popular culture, food, adventure and travel, true crime, war and conflict, and the histories of Minnesota’s diverse peoples.

How to submit a proposal

We invite authors who wish to submit their work for consideration first to send us a proposal that includes the following information.

  • Working Title: Indicate the tentative title of the book, with subtitle, and, if desired, possible alternative titles.
  • Description of the Book: In about 250 words, describe the book that you are proposing. What is the nature, focus, purpose, or argument of the book? (Imagine that you are writing the description for the publisher's catalog.)
  • Audience/Readership: For what audience, specifically, is the book written? What would attract a potential reader to buy this particular book? Does the book have potential for classroom use? If so, in what courses?
  • Market/Competition: List recent books in this same genre and subject, including publisher name and retail price. What does your book offer that these books do not? How will your book be superior to or different from them?
  • Manuscript Length: What is the estimated length (word count) of the proposed manuscript? List the number of planned photos, illustrations, and maps.
  • Schedule: Indicate when you expect to complete the manuscript.
  • Author Information/Vitae: Name, mailing address, phone number, e-mail address. Include a current vitae with information on your present position, educational background, and previous publications. Please state why you are qualified to write the book that you are proposing.
  • Table of Contents/Outline: Give a tentative table of contents by chapter. Beneath each chapter title give a brief outline or summary of the chapter.
  • Sample Pages: Include 15 to 25 pages of the manuscript that illustrate your writing style. Provide a sample that is typical of the book as a whole, especially critical to your argument, potentially controversial, or a good overview of the book. Materials should be set in a 12-point font and double spaced; if printed, use one side of each sheet.

Editorial specialties and e-mail addresses are listed on our About the MNHS Press page. Submissions may be made by mail or e-mail; e-mail is preferred.  

Minnesota Historical Society Press  
345 Kellogg Blvd. West  
Saint Paul, MN 55102-1906  

Please let us know if you are submitting the proposal to other presses and call us immediately if it is accepted elsewhere. Do not send original materials. If you would like your proposal returned, include a self-addressed envelope and sufficient postage. We usually respond in six to eight weeks.

Submission Guidelines for Minnesota History magazine

Instructions for authors preparing a manuscript for publication

After a manuscript has been accepted for publication, we ask that authors format the final draft as described below.


Prepare the digital file in MS Word using the Chicago Manual of Style, 17th ed. preferred. Discuss any questions about variations in format and style with your editor. The manuscript should be submitted as a single digital file, double spaced with 1-inch margins. Include page numbers in the upper right-hand corner; number pages consecutively throughout the manuscript. Type all text in 12-point Times Roman, using bold face and underlining only when necessary to differentiate headings. Do not type any text in all capital letters unless it is within a quote. Set up indents for paragraphs and extracts with your word processor's indent function, rather than using tabs. Use a single hard return at the end of each paragraph (not an extra line). Double-space all text, including footnotes and extracts. Do not justify text, center text, or use automatic hyphenation.

Confer with your editor on how to obtain permissions to use copyrighted materials and how to hire an indexer.


Instructions are provided in Digital Art Requirements for Submission (PDF), a set of guidelines used by the Association of American University Presses.