Submission Policy

Updated for August 2013 and after: 

Thanks for your interest in my submissions policy. Reading the Past is closed to unsolicited review and interview queries, and new requests are not being accepted.

Guest posts:

I'm open to the possibility of guest essays from historical novelists (or others in the field) about the writing or research process, a novel's historical backdrop, or other topics of interest to historical fiction readers and writers.  Some guidelines:  Posts should be original (I don't post material that can be found elsewhere on the web) and should present more than a book synopsis.  Readers will get the most out of a guest post if it offers them something new and isn't strictly promotional.  Posts should be in the range of 500-1200 words though can extend a little longer if illustrations are included.  Any contributed illustrations must be your own or licensed for republication. 

Email me first with potential ideas.  The following information must be included as well: book title, author, publisher, and publication date, since I prefer to feature posts about new releases. Please note, however, that I'm very selective and accept only posts related to novels that are likely to appeal to me personally.  I'll consider guest essays about self-published historical novels only if I've already read the book, or other work by the same author, at the time of your request and can confidently recommend it to other readers.  Guest authors retain the copyright to their contributions.  See examples of previously published guest posts.

Regarding scheduling, I'm currently considering guest essays for January 2015 and after.

Other notes:

Requests to post promotional mentions (including but not limited to publisher blurbs, buy links, giveaways, cover art, and book trailers) are not being accepted, unless provided as part of a guest essay. 


More about my interests:

Reading the Past covers historical fiction exclusively. This includes commercial and literary novels, sagas, mysteries, epics, and fantasy novels with historical settings (1960s and earlier). My reading tastes are wide-ranging and tend not to follow trends.  Please browse through my site to get a better idea of my preferences.

Favorite topics and subgenres:
- Sagas
- Early American settings
- Medieval England and Europe
- Historical mysteries
- Novels with intriguing female characters
- Less familiar historical settings or subjects
- International titles
- Novels in translation

I do not review:
- Military or "big battle" fiction. Although I know they're popular, I don't typically review male adventure novels, either.
- Alternate history
- Contemporary novels about the past
- Historical nonfiction, historical films, or audiobooks

Sample reviews for books I especially enjoyed:

Sally Gunning, The Rebellion of Jane Clarke
Jude Morgan, The Taste of Sorrow
Diana Norman, Fitzempress' Law

Contact me

I can be reached at sarah (at) readingthepast (dot) com. Please feel free to contact me with any questions or comments, but please note that this site is closed to new review and interview queries.

My mailing address:  Sarah Johnson, Booth Library, Eastern Illinois University, 600 Lincoln Ave., Charleston, IL, 61920, USA.


Copyright © 2006-14 by Sarah L. Johnson. Please do not copy reviews, posts, or other material from this site without my express permission. Authors contributing guest posts retain copyright to their contributions.