Announcing the Fifth Annual UHA/The Metropole 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 year’s theme is embrace. We’re looking for blog posts about a moment in urban history when individuals, groups, or cities attempted to unite or to try a new idea—even if they didn’t succeed. Whether it’s tender intimacy or a pragmatic union, a couple or a community, one city or a global movement, we want to see togetherness after this long pandemic of being apart.  

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 26 (we’ve extended the original August 15 deadline!!). 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: our returning judges are UHA President Heather Ann Thompson, Richard Harris of McMaster University, and Tom Sugrue of NYU. The winning blog post will receive $100.

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: “embrace.” 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.
    4. Include images and illustrations that help the reader visualize the people, places, or sources you write about.
  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 (at top): “Hair Dressing Contest, Japan,” Bain News Service, ca. 1920-25, Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress.

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