Covers of issues of Colorado Heritage

The Emerging Historians Award

Are you a college student? Would you like to see your essay published in Colorado Heritage? Would you like to win $1,000? Then check out the Emerging Historians Award!

The winning essay will be published in the Winter 2020/2021 issue of Colorado Heritage and on this website, and the author will receive a $1,000 cash prize. We’ll publish the other top two essays—one by an undergraduate, one by a graduate student—on this website. Each of those authors receives a $500 cash prize.

What We’re Looking For

Colorado Heritage is a magazine for readers with a broad interest in Colorado history. We’re looking for annotated, illustrated essays of 4,000 words or less, written with the general reader in mind and on any topic related to Colorado’s recent or distant past—preferably tying the past to the present.

See past issues of Colorado Heritage and our Author’s Guide right here.

The deadline to submit your essay is June 1, 2020.

To submit your essay, send it to

Questions? Email


The Fine Print

  • The contest is open to undergraduate and graduate students enrolled in a Colorado college or university at the time of submission.

  • Winners will be selected in the fall of 2020 by the State Historian’s Council of History Colorado.

  • Each winning author will receive our standard Copyright Transfer Agreement for one-time publication by History Colorado. The authors retain all rights to publish their work again in the future, in any form.

  • Essays will be copyedited to conform with the style of Colorado Heritage and the Chicago Manual of Style, with each author having full review and approval of the edited text.

  • The Best Overall Essay will be published in the Winter 2020/2021 issue of Colorado Heritage magazine (published December 2020/January 2021). That essay, a Best Graduate Essay, and a Best Undergraduate Essay will all be published on this website on an Emerging Historians Award page.

  • The author of the Best Overall Essay receives a $1,000 cash prize. The authors of the Best Graduate Essay and Best Undergraduate Essay each receive a $500 cash prize.


The State Historian’s Council of History Colorado

  • Dr. William Wei, University of Colorado Boulder, State Historian

  • Dr. Nicki Gonzales, Regis University

  • Dr. Tom Noel, University of Colorado Denver 

  • Dr. Jared Orsi, Colorado State University

  • Dr. Duane Vandenbusche, Western State Colorado University

The Emerging Historians Award is a program of the State Historian’s Council of History Colorado.