Grand Traverse Journal

Grand Traverse Journal is a monthly magazine published by the Traverse Area District Library featuring regional history and nature. The articles and images in GTJ come from local persons who want to share something that they know or have recently discovered.

GTJ seeks readers, writers and photographers who are familiar with or inquisitive about the history and natural history of the Grand Traverse area, focusing on Antrim, Benzie, Charlevoix, Grand Traverse, Kalkaska and Leelanau counties.  

It is an odd union, history and natural history—our human past and the natural world—but the two topics are joined by our common residence in this beautiful part of the world, our love of the stories that were first told here, and our passion for omnipresent Nature: the mushrooms, fish, birds, plants, rocks, mushrooms, and creepy-crawlies of every size and shape.  

We seek out those who share our interests, providing an outlet for writers and photographers, whether young or old, experienced or not, educated in school or in the business of living.  Unlike other magazines focused on Northwestern Michigan, we do not encourage or permit promotion of individual businesses—though we do allow writers to include references in their biographies to works they have written previously.  If we cannot pay authors a fair amount for the tribulations of writing, at least we can do that much.

Online publishing provides us with a myriad of opportunities; digital creation is easier to share and store, and the primary cost is time. In addition to online access, physical copies of Grand Traverse Journal are circulated in the periodicals at all Traverse Area District Library member and branch libraries. If individuals wish to keep copies for themselves, they may do so upon payment of printing costs.  

We, the editors of the Journal—Richard Fidler and Amy Barritt--wish to hear from you. We are constantly looking for new ways to enlarge our audience, reaching out to the young, the elderly, and to those who usually don’t read magazines like ours.  Please help us make this publication wonderful!


Grand Traverse Journal
c/o Traverse Area District Library
610 Woodmere Ave
Traverse City, MI 49686

Submissions to Grand Traverse Journal 


Please consider the audience you are writing for: persons with an interest in history or nature who live in the Grand Traverse area. Articles reading like an encyclopedia cannot be accepted.  Personal accounts are always welcome: the pronoun “I” is not forbidden.  With regard to history, oral histories, personal accounts, old letters, observations of historical artifacts and buildings, short biographies of local figures, interviews, commentaries on old photographs—even videos—will be considered for publication.  It does not matter if manuscripts contain errors—editors will fix them.  For those interested in nature: personal accounts of encounters with interesting creatures, observations of things you have seen, visits to habitats special to the area, thoughts and reflections about the interactions between humans and the natural world, and interviews with persons especially knowledgeable about Nature are all fair game.

Submission Guidelines

Submissions should be in digital form so they can be easily transferred to the Journal’s template for articles.  Email is preferred, although we will also accept submissions dropped off at any Traverse Area District Library on a flash drive.

The editors maintain the right to edit for length and style, and will remove any other formatting imposed on article submissions. Notification of acceptance may take as long as 30 days and publication may not occur for some months after submission.

All submissions must contain the creator's first and last name (or alias) and email address at the top of the email body. Agreement to the Contributor Copyright Agreement must accompany each submission.

Articles may be submitted in either the body of an email or as an attachment. Article length should be at least 600 words but no more than 2000 words.  Exceptions will be made on either end if the work demands less or more space.

Author or photographer biography
A one paragraph biography of the author or photographer is encouraged.

Sources and links
If appropriate, the author should supply sources for photographs (author photograph if applicable), reading materials appropriate to the topic discussed in the article and references to materials used in researching the article.

Photographs enhance any magazine article, or can be used as stand-alone images. Please send JPG or TIFF images to the editors as email attachments; keep the image size under 2MB, or about 500x500 pixels.

Any person submitting an original work for publication will be asked to sign the Contributor Copyright Agreement, in which Grand Traverse Journal receives permission for publication. Previously published work can appear in the Journal if the copyright holder gives permission. All other rights are reserved to and by the author or photographer for their use.

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