Writer Submissions

Write for The Crawford Messenger

Our Mission

The mission of The Crawford Messenger is to promote a sense of pride and community within Crawford County (PA) through historical narratives that highlight the area’s rich, but often, unknown past.

General Focus

The Crawford Messenger is the official blog of the Crawford County Historical Society, and its name was selected in tribute to one of the community’s earliest and most influential newspapers. It is our goal to fascinate readers with stories and information about the county’s past that they might otherwise had never heard before now. In doing so, we strive to tell the history of all of Crawford County, from Springboro to Hydetown, Spartansburg to Hartstown and everything in between. No one town makes up the county, and every town has a story.

Our style is confident, authoritative yet conversational. We strive to prove narratives similar in tone to works by David McCullough and the documentaries of Ken Burns that put history into context and make it enjoyable for all readers to enjoy. At a minimum we currently post articles at least once per week on Sundays with a maximum of four times during the same period.

Our Readership

Our readers include men and women of all ages with an interest in local history, but specifically the local history of Crawford County, Pennsylvania. Our readership is international and includes subscribers with varied motivations for following The Crawford Messenger. These include college professors, school teachers, society members, authors, former residents, re-enactors, history enthusiasts, students, local residents, and the just plain curious.

How to Submit

While the many years of local history have provided an endless supply of content topics, we are in constant need of writers and welcome open submissions. If you’ve never written before but have always wanted to tell a story, this is your chance, although it’s not a guarantee your work will be published. If the story is there, though, we will work with you to tell it.

Note: Currently we are unable to pay for submissions; however, there are other means of limited compensation offered in exchange for published works.

  • Properly formatted submissions can be uploaded online or emailed directly to rmattocks@crawfordhistorical.org using the subject line “Crawford Messenger Submission.”
  • Writers will be notified with 48 hours as to if their submission has been accepted and will be again notified as to the planned date of publication.

Submission Guidelines

Please ensure to review the following requirement prior to submitting your work:

  • Each submission must include your name, address, daytime telephone number and email address.
  • Word count is not restrictive if the submission is engaging; however, as a planning factor 500 to 1500 words generally works best with our audience.
  • Accepted articles must be submitted in electronic form, in text-only or Microsoft Word (NO PDF’s).
  • Please provide a brief personal bio and if possible a profile photo to be included at the end or your article upon publication. You may also include up to 2 links to personal sites such as a webpage or social media profile.
  • Because articles are historical in nature, we expect writers to thoroughly check all facts in their stories and to submit documentation to support the information included in their stories if needed. Submissions are not required to have endnotes, but a list of sources for material cited in the article is.
  • Photos and images related to your submission are not required but are welcome. These images they must be free of copy right restrictions. Please submit in either a JPEG or PNG format with your article. Images from your private family collections will still remain your property, but authorization to publish is implied if submitted. All images require a photo credit.
  • If you do not have images for your article, ones will be included by The Crawford Messenger. You are also welcome to contact the Crawford County Historical Society to obtain photos directly. Fees may apply.
  • Written submissions must be submitted using proper grammar and free from spelling errors. The writing staff reserves the right to edit submissions for clarity purposes or to ensure the overall quality of the copy.
  • Previously published articles and book excerpts are okay, but must include the name of the publication where the article was first published.
  • Writers shall retain the rights to all of their published posts.

Payment and General Terms

Currently there is no monetary compensation for article submissions; however, we realize your effort is valuable. With that in mind the following perks are available for contributors:

  • Upon prior coordination, writers who submit article ideas ahead of the written work are allowed, free on-site access to the Crawford County Historical Society’s archive for research purposes directly related to their proposed article submission.
  • 1 year society membership for 3 or more articles published on The Crawford Messenger within a 6-month period. Additional articles may open other membership opportunities. 
(We know it ain't much, but it ain't nothing either.)

What to Pitch

We advise reading through several of the article published on The Crawford Messenger before selecting a topic and pitching your submission. Review the topic tags in found in the right-hand column as well. If you are not sure about what to write, please ask us as we have a list of topics we can provide.

Generally, topics that go over best with our readers are:

  • Factual accounts of local events that had a national impact or had ties to national figures.
  • Family histories that relate to local or national events.
  • Spotlights on local historical figures.
  • Town histories and origin stories.
  • Little known facts and stories that beg the question, “What might have been if?”

Teachers and Students

Please ask about our special writing opportunities for students and teachers. We can provide lesson plans, sponsor essay contests, and offer research materials for educational projects.

Intern opportunities and work studies with writing-related components are available year-round. Contact Josh Sherretts for the details.


For general questions concerning writing for The Crawford Messenger, please contact the Crawford County Historical Society at 814.724.6080 or by email via archive@crawfordhistorical.org