Announcing The Metropole + Urban History Association’s Fourth Annual Graduate Student Blogging Contest

The Metropole/Urban History Association Graduate Student Blogging Contest exists to encourage and train graduate students to blog about history—as a way to teach beyond the classroom, market their scholarship, and promote the enduring value of the humanities.

This summer’s blogging contest theme is “Stretch.” Write about a moment in urban history when the inflexible was asked to bend. We want to read about how metropolitan citizens have stayed physically fit, the lengths to which urban leaders have gone to tackle a difficult problem, or how a historian’s research challenge required an innovative approach. We are interested in stretches at every scale, from home workouts to global efforts to transcend borders. Bring to life the resistance that your subjects (or you) stretched against, even if the result was not triumphant flexibility.

All submissions that meet the guidelines outlined below will be accepted. The Metropole’s editors will work with contest contributors to refine their submissions and prepare them for publication.

In addition to getting great practice writing for the web and experience working with editors, the winner will receive a certificate and a $100 prize!

The contest will open on July 1 and will close on August 15.* Entries must be submitted to Posts will run on the blog in August and September, and we will announce the winners in October. Finalists will have their entries reviewed by three award-winning historians. The winning blog post will receive $100.

*Recognizing that archival research is currently a challenge, we invite entrants to email us if they need additional time.

Contest Guidelines

  1. Contest entrants must be enrolled in a graduate program.
  2. Contest entrants must be members of the UHA. A one-year membership for graduate students costs $25 and includes free online access to the Journal of Urban History.
  3. Contest submissions must be original posts not published elsewhere on the web.
  4. Contest submissions must be in the form of an essay related to the theme: “stretch.” Essays can be about current research, historiography (but not book reviews), or methodology.
  5. We encourage contest entrants to read Lessons Learned from Three Years of the Blogging Contest. Essays that stick to the following criteria will be most successful:
    1. Write for a non-academic audience and assume no prior knowledge.
    2. Don’t try to do too much: focus on one argument, intervention, or event.
    3. Spend more time showing than telling.
  6. Posts must be received by the editors ( by August 15, 2020 at 11:59 PM EST to be eligible for the contest.
  7. Posts should be at least 700 words, but not exceed 2000 words.
  8. Links or footnotes must be used to properly attribute others’ scholarship and reporting. The Metropole follows the Chicago Manual of Style for citation formatting.

    Featured Image: Currier & Ives, Coming from the Trot: Sports on the Home Stretch, 1869. Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division.

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