Seeking Editor—Contract Position

Chad Roberts
November 19, 2018

Position Posting—Contract Editor
Ramsey County Historical Society
November 18, 2018


Ramsey County Historical Society seeks a talented Editor for its award-winning Ramsey County History magazine. In addition to excellent technical skills, the ideal candidate will have experience inspiring authors to research and write high-quality non-fiction manuscripts on a variety of topics. The successful candidate will maintain the high standards for which Ramsey County History is known while continuously recruiting authors and supporting the development of articles on local history topics of interest to RCHS readers. Considered one of the best local history magazines in the country, Ramsey County History is published quarterly and distributed to an audience of approximately 1,000 subscribers and members.

This is a contract position estimated to require approximately 20 hours per week with highly flexible hours. The initial contract term will run six months and includes the publishing of two issues of the magazine. This contract may be renewable or result in the establishment of a permanent staff role based on performance, at the discretion of RCHS.  Total contract value shall not exceed $14,500.

About Ramsey County History Magazine (see our website for past issues)

Ramsey County History magazine debuted in 1964 and has been continuously published since that time. This quarterly magazine sets the standard for local history magazines in Minnesota with a national reputation for excellence. As such, it is one of the Society’s key programs and is beloved by RCHS stakeholders.

The magazine was re-designed in 2018 and is now full-color throughout its 36 pages (including cover) and uses a two-column format. All articles include citations and end notes, quality research and accuracy being absolutely required for anything published by RCHS. Content is intended for a general audience and one of the challenges for the editor is ensuring final manuscripts are written to be accessible to a broad audience regardless of the topic.

Ramsey County History magazine is primarily a print publication and is not currently produced for either of the primary e-book formats. All articles published in the magazine are now available for download as .pdf files and this will continue with each new issue of the magazine. While developing a digital version of the magazine to supplement the print version is a long-term goal of RCHS, Ramsey County History will continue to be a printed product.

Authors that contribute articles to Ramsey County History that are selected for publishing may receive honoraria from $200-$500 depending on the article. The Editor makes recommendations to the President with regards to payment levels for authors.


Experience and Characteristics Desired

The ideal candidate will demonstrate both technical expertise in editing and production as well as in working with authors to develop high quality manuscripts. English language fluency is required. Experience working with designers and print shops is desired (RCHS uses several high-quality vendors for pre-production, production, and mailing). The ability to manage in parallel the development of multiple articles from concept to final editing to production is essential.  

Developing and maintaining relationships with historians, authors, and others is essential for this role. Ideal candidates will have experience working with the regional history and/or publishing community. Successful candidates will convey how they connect and work with networks of authors and prospective authors.

RCHS is developing more digital content, including digital distribution of articles and other print publications. In the context of this editorial role, this is currently limited to preparing article summaries and social media (Facebook) posts for the promotion of RCHS published materials. As RCHS increases its work in developing digital assets, an expanded role for an Editor with experience developing e-books and other digital media is expected.

How to Apply

  • Please submit the following:
    • Resume or CV
    • Cover Letter (1 page) that summarizes your qualifications and capacity to be successful in this role.
    • Writing Sample (1 page) – share a story about how you worked with an author or prospective writer to achieve a shared goal; relate how you identified the most significant challenge and how you addressed it.
    • Portfolio – send 3-5 work samples; it is acceptable to list links that lead directly to the sample documents.
    • References – include 3-5 professional references with complete contact information.
  • Send all materials via email to:
  • Please send all materials formatted as .pdf files.
  • Incomplete applications will not be accepted.
  • Deadline and process notes.
    • This position will be open until filled, however, our goal is to conclude the hiring process by December 21, 2018.
    • Review of applications begins December 3, 2018.
    • Notification of possible interviews begins December 4.
    • First round interviews will begin December 10.
    • We hope to conclude the selection process by December 21.
    • We strive to communicate with all applicants in a timely manner. You should expect to hear from RCHS within two weeks of your application submission.

Position Description – Editor
Ramsey County Historical Society
Updated November 17, 2018

Title:                                    Editor
Classification:                   Contract – 6 month term
Position Summary:          The Editor manages the publishing program of the Ramsey County Historical Society, with primary responsibility for publishing of the quarterly magazine Ramsey County History. The Editor also serves as the staff liaison and advisor to the Editorial Board and provides counsel to RCHS regarding the production of print, video, audio, and digital history content.
Reports To:                         President
Time/Schedule:               This position is expected to require approximately 20 hours per week to complete. The Editor is free to work at any location and maintain flexible hours as necessary to complete responsibilities.
Contract Rate:                   Not to exceed $14,500 (estimated 520 hours)

Specific Responsibilities:

  1. Manage Publishing of Ramsey County History magazine (90%)
    1. Identify, recruit, and steward authors and other content contributors
    2. Provide complete editorial service for all authors, guiding them from concept to final publication in the magazine
    3. Manage vendors to complete layout, design, printing, and distribution of the magazine
    4. Coordinate all other requirements for publication of the magazine, including but not limited to: image selection, securing rights to images/graphics, copyright filing, etc.
    5. In consultation with the Membership Manager, Development Officer, and President, determine what, if any, supplemental (insert) material will be added to each issue
    6. Maintain a 12-month (four issue) editorial forecast of anticipated articles for publication in the magazine; review monthly with President
  1. Liaison to Editorial Board (5%)
    1. Create agendas for monthly Editorial Board meetings  with input from committee  chair and President
    2. Take meeting minutes and prepare them for circulation
    3. Transmit all committee correspondence to committee
    4. Assist the committee chair in conducting monthly Editorial Board meetings
    5. Advise the President as to the composition of the Editorial Board so that the President can so advise the Chair of the Board in the making of appointments to the Editorial Board
    6. Steward positive relationships with all members of the Editorial Board
  1. Manage Digital Content (5%)
    1. Identify opportunities to promote RCHS and its publications via the adaption of existing print materials for digital distribution.
    2. Draft social media (Facebook) promotional posts for each article to be published (3-4 per issue) and provide to Membership Manager for inclusion in RCHS social media.
    3. Draft monthly social media promotional post for a previously published article that relates to the monthly social media theme and provide to Membership Manager. 
  1. Other Publishing Projects (<1%)
    1. As brought to the Editors attention by members of the community, authors, or others, document proposed projects or project ideas and pass on to RCHS President for consideration.
  1. Publishing Program Administration (<1%)
    1. Coordinate with other staff, including particularly the Development Officer and President, regarding possible sponsorship opportunities
    2. Maintain records of volunteer names, hours, and services provided related to publishing and provide these periodically to the Development Officer and President
    3. Request complimentary memberships or copies of publications from the Member Manager for authors or volunteers as necessary or appropriate
    4. Advise the President of any deviations from the publishing budget in a timely manner
    5. Maintain all working and content files on the RCHS cloud drive (N: drive) system to ensure all work is securely backed up and accessible to senior staff

Contract Deliverables:

  1. Successful and on-time completion of two Issues of Ramsey County History magazine.
  2. Secure a minimum of six new article manuscripts appropriate for publishing in future issues of Ramsey County History.
  3. Monthly status report on publishing forecast, articles in development, activities, etc.
  4. Prepare agendas for six Editorial Board meetings.
  5. Take and prepare minutes for six Editorial Board meetings.
  6. Upload of all publishing working files created to RCHS cloud drive.
  7. Monthly record of publishing inquiries as well as contacts with volunteers, authors, and others, including complete contact information, time committed, purpose, and outcomes.
  8. One paragraph summaries of each article published January-June 2019. (est. 6)
  9. 6 Facebook posts related to previously published articles related to monthly social media themes.
  10. 6 Facebook posts related to new article published January-June 2019.