Julie's Genealogy & History Hub

Julie's Genealogy & History Hub -

Western Michigan Genealogical Society 2018 Writing Contest

The Western Michigan Genealogical Society 2018 Writing Contest kicked off on January 1, 2018 and will run through March 15, 2018.  You do not have to be a WMGS member to enter and there is no entry fee.  Entries must be 1,500 to 3,000 words, unpublished, and relate to the theme “Family Tradition.”

Winning entries will be published in Michigana.  Winning authors will be awarded a monetary prize as follows:

  • 1st place – $100 and an annual WMGS membership
  • 2nd place – $75 and an annual WMGS membership
  • 3rd place – $50
  • 4th place – $25

Winners will be announce in May.

Full details on the contest can be found here (opens a PDF).


Need some convincing to write about your genealogy research?  See my post 4 Reasons to Convert Your Genealogy Research Into Writing.

2017 Achievements / 2018 Goals

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It’s been another rough year, but I did manage to achieve my 2017 goals, or at least make some progress.

First, I did continue to make my own research a priority, focusing mainly on getting my ducks in a row for the components of my Board for Certification of Genealogists (BCG) portfolio. In fact, I have all three generations of the narrative started—the intros and child lists are complete. All I have to do is write the narratives for the focus person! I also have a good start on my case study. I said at the end of 2016 that I was hoping to make some headway and maybe be “on the clock” in 2018—I’m on target for this!

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ISFHWE Now Accepting Entries for 2018 Excellence-in-Writing Competition

Entries for the 2018 International Society of Family History Writers and Editors (ISFHWE) Excellence-in-Writing Competition are now being accepted.  Submissions are due by June 15, 2018 (a discounted entry fee is offered for entries submitted by March 15, 2018). 

Both ISFHWE members and non-members are allowed to enter the competition. 

Here are the categories for this year:

  • Category I – Published Columns.  This is for columns of original content published on a regular basis, in any medium, published in 2017. Each entry must consist of 2,000 words or less. These are entries from the author’s regular column, not features.
  • Category II – Published Articles.  These one-time articles (not part of the author’s column) must have been published in 2017 in a journal, magazine, newsletter, blog, or website. Entries cannot exceed 5,000 words.
  • Category III – Genealogy Newsletters.  This category is for society or family association newsletters published in 2017. Entries should consist of two issues, each submitted as a single file in PDF format. The judging will be based on originality, content, visual appeal, writing and editing quality, and accuracy. The award is to the editor of the publication.
  • Category IV – Unpublished Material by Unpublished Authors.  Entrants in this category aspire to be published writers or columnists in the field of genealogy, family or local history. The submissions in this category are original and unpublished, between 500 and 2,000 words.
  • Category V – Unpublished Material by Published Authors.  This category is for original unpublished genealogy-related articles by previously published authors. Entries should be between 500 and 3,000 words.
  • Category VI – Poetry and Music Lyrics.  This category is for original content (published in 2017 or unpublished) that is related to family history.  Entries should be no longer than 1,000 words and have a title.

Cash prizes will be awarded to the winners of each category.  Winners will be announced in the fall of 2018. 

Complete details, including rules, judging criteria, entry fees, and the entry form, can be found here.


Need some convincing to write about your genealogy research?  See my post 4 Reasons to Convert Your Genealogy Research Into Writing.

Reminder – Entries for the NGS Family History Writing Contest are Due 12/31/17

Don’t forget, entries for this year’s National Genealogical Society’s Family History Writing Contest are due by December 31, 2017.  This annual contest is open to NGS members.

The winner receives a trip to the next NGS conference and their manuscript may be published in the NGS Quarterly.

This competition is a BIG DEAL so don’t delay!

All the details can be found here.

FamilySearch: Digitized Records Hiding Out in the Catalog

If you’re like me, you anxiously await the weekly email from FamilySearch that lists all the new historical records added to their online collection. When FamilySearch recently announced the discontinuation of lending microfilms to Family History Centers, I caught mention that all films that had been lent in the past few years were now digitized. Now, I know I’ve rented my share of films and I swear I haven’t seen any of those records come through in the weekly email. I even went out and checked the Historical Record Collections—nope, not there. What gives?

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2017 ISFHWE Excellence-In-Writing Competition Winners Announced

The International Society of Family History Writers and Editors is proud to announce the winners of the Excellence-in-Writing Competition. All entries were exceptional this year.

Category 1 – Columns

  • 1st Place – Elaine Thomas: “For the Love of Dinah”
  • 2nd Place – Carolyn Schott: “Welcome Back to Osthofen”
  • 3rd Place – Maureen Wlodarczyk: “More Than (Immediately) Meets the Eye”
  • HM – Valerie LaRobardier: “Do You Have an ‘Indian Princess’?”

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Following Specific Posts on Facebook + A Bonus Tip

If you’re a genealogist on Facebook, you probably encounter lots of posts from genealogy friends or groups that you want to keep tabs on. Say someone asks a question about resources in an area of interest. You may not have an answer, but you’d love to hear what others might say. What are you to do? Check back every few days (assuming you can even find the post again)? There must be a better way!

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