Kentucky Folklife Magazine: Vol. 3 Call for Proposals

The Kentucky Folklife Program is excited to announce its second call for proposals for the Kentucky Folklife, a multimedia digital publication that explores the diversity of expressive cultures within Kentucky.  From the regional Mexican foods served in Lexington’s taquerías, the vibrant drag show culture in Bowling Green, and Monroe County’s marble makers, to step-dancing traditions within Kentucky’s historically black fraternities & sororities and the thumbpicking guitar traditions of Muhlenberg County, the Kentucky Folklife features original work focused on the Commonwealth’s present-day people, folk arts, cultural heritages, and histories.

We are currently seeking proposals for our third volume of publication.  We are accepting proposals for articles, photo essays, documentary film & audio, interviews & oral histories, and performances that explore and document Kentucky’s folklife.  Please see below for the guidelines for the proposal submission process.

If you would like to see some things we have published, please check out our first volume now!

Have an idea for the Kentucky Folklife Magazine?  Send your proposal and work sample to with the subject heading “Kentucky Folklife Magazine Proposal.”  Proposals should be around 200-400 words in length (about a paragraph or two).  See below for a proposal example. 

In addition to your proposal, we strongly suggest you also send a sample of your work respective to the proposal. If you’re proposing a photo essay, please send us a sample of your portfolio. Writing a classic essay style? Please include a writing sample. This helps us know your strengths and if you’re a good fit for this particular volume.

All published features are supported with a contributor’s honorarium of $200.  

Once you submit your proposal, Kentucky Folklife Magazine staff and partners will review it and be in touch about whether it has been accepted for this round of publication.  If your proposal is accepted, magazine staff and partners will work with you to determine a deadline for the final piece, and to go over the guidelines for submitting your final piece.

Not sure about your idea?  Get in touch! We really do want to hear from you.  Email or call 270-745-4133 with your questions, and we’d be happy to hash out any ideas you may have but aren’t sure about.
Really, give us a call!

Deadline for Vol. 3 proposal submissions is March 19, 2021.

“Since 1982, folks from Knott County and the surrounding area have flocked to downtown Hindman on the weekend after Labor Day for the annual Knott County Gingerbread Festival.  The festival is an ode to the days when gingerbread was used by local politicians to win the support of voters. While gingerbread isn’t used for “vote buying” today, it still is an important food tradition for people living in Knott County.  At the annual Gingerbread Festival, people and organizations set-up booths, selling homemade gingerbread to raise money for various causes. Many of the people selling gingerbread use family recipes, and even those who don’t make gingerbread often have childhood memories of family members who made the dessert to share with others.  And while gingerbread is beloved by so many in Knott County, there are differing views on how it should actually taste. For instance, people have different opinions about how dry or moist it should be, on whether or not it should have a glaze, and on the amount of ginger that should actually go into a batch.

This past summer, I attended the Gingerbread Festival to document some of Knott County’s gingerbread makers.  I photographed the various booths, and I recorded interviews with individuals selling the sweetly-spiced dessert.  I would like to submit to the Kentucky Folklife Magazine an article that incorporates photos from this past festival, along with interview excerpts to share about Knott Countians’ connections to gingerbread–their memories of it, their stories of learning to make it, and their preferences for how it should taste.”