Story Submission Guidlines

As of 7/27/23

Thank you for your interest in our award-winning Stories Project!

We are still accepting stories until further notice for online publishing.


  • Our stories are true stories about people or specific individuals with a connection to Gloucester. You may write about yourself, someone in your family, someone who inspires you in the community, someone from history, etc. 
  • Written stories may be up to 2500 words long which is about five pages of single-spaced writing, on 8.5 x 11 paper. We welcome shorter stories as well, some of our best stories are stories focusing on one impactful memory. 
  • We prefer original stories, stories that allow ALL people in our community (past and present) to be heard. 
  • You do not need to be a professional writer; we welcome first time writers and those learning to write English as a second language. We have writing coaches and workshop opportunities available at no cost to the writer. 
  • Keep your story focused. Tell the story of 1-2 people in one story and consider separate stories for other persons. Some people simply submit excerpts from longer stories. 
  • Most of our stories are personal in nature and require no footnoting. But, if your story required significant research, or is making historical claims, please footnote your story, noting all of your sources. 


  • You may submit up to ten photos with your story. We may not use all the photos, depending on photo quality and space constraints. Photos are optional but we strongly suggest you include ONE photo that is the primary photo for your story. It must be of a person. 
  • Once you have chosen your photos, submit a separate sheet with the captions for the photos. Captions should include 
    • A one sentence general description of the photo, 
    • year or approximate year the photo was taken, 
    • name the people from left to right if you can
    • a photo credit if you know who took the photo, 
    • and if you don’t own the photo, tell us where you got it from
  • Most people submit family-owned photos, but if you found photos on the internet, in books, magazines or newspapers, you must tell us what the source is, and you must obtain permission from the owner/original publisher before using the photo in a story. We cannot reprint photos with unknown origins and ownership.


  • Submit your photos and captions sheet with the first draft of your story.


  • Please follow us on Facebook for the latest stories, story events and other exciting news from the Gloucester400+ Stories Project!


Review the F.A.Qs below or email us at

We are aiming to have the book published in time for the holidays.

If you submitted your story before the deadline of March 17, 2023, you are being considered for inclusion in the book. You will be contacted in the coming weeks if your story, an excerpt from your story, or poem is selected. We wish we could include everyone in the book, but due to the sheer volume of submissions we cannot. We are choosing a cross selection of voices, timeframes, experiences, and backgrounds.

Even if you are not in the book, bear in mind that your story will still be published online and included in our historic collection. Our collection spans across endorsed books, videos, and audios. Plans are in the works to make our collection accessible for years to come.

Please immediately forward your initial email or confirmation of your initial submission to This email address and/or entering your submission via our website remain the only two ways to submit your initial story, unless you have made advanced arrangements to submit in another manner.

All stories (even stories still in development) that came in before our deadline are being considered for the book.

No one could have ever predicted the immense popularity of this project or the volume of stories we would receive. It is truly amazing. That said, we have a very limited staff and volunteers who are attempting to give every story the attention it needs. Thank you for understanding.

We have NO other official commemorative books. We do however have a wonderful selection of endorsed books that are part of our historic collection.

You will find a variety of stories, excerpts from stories, and poems. It is NOT a history book in the traditional sense; it is very much a personal and community driven book. Most of our authors came forward and simply wanted to share their stories with us. In a sense, the community wrote and shaped this book. These are the stories of ‘ordinary’ and not-so-ordinary people who make Gloucester unique, who are a part of our history.

We will have a few in-person opportunities throughout the Summer and early Fall for assisting folks to order copies of the book. Keep a look out for the announcement with dates and locations!

Ordering through the website with a credit card is the preferred payment method. However, cash or check will be accepted at the in-person events to order books.

At the moment we are selecting and processing stories, excerpts from stories, and poems for the book, BUT we are still publishing stories on Facebook and our website, just at a slower pace. After the book reaches the printer, our tiny but mighty staff and volunteers will turn their full attention to stories which came in after the deadline.