The Ocean County Compendium of  History
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Become a Writer for the OCCH!

The Ocean County Compendium of History is always looking for writers to add their work to our ever-growing archives.  The OCCH is a collective project that assembles multitudes of articles and images into one place, allowing its readers to freely use it like an encyclopedia for their own enjoyment, and as a way of preserving the history of Ocean County and its residents.  You do not need to be a professional historian or writer to write for the OCCH.

What's the Process?

Once you decide what subject you would like to write about (either one of your own choosing, or one chosen from a list of needed articles), we will sit down with you and discuss the project.  Article choices should be relatively small in size, focus, and scope, unless you are a professional historian or have some experience in researching and writing.  Don't try to take on too much because you can easily become overwhelmed and may want to quit!  There is plenty to write about, and you can always take on another project when your current one is finished.

Since you will be writing specifically for the OCCH and using our resources and source archives, you will be asked to sign a release agreement prior to the start of work that will establish copyright ownership as described below.  Because the OCCH is free to our readers, it is understood that you will never be paid for your work, but nor will you be obligated in anyway to pay for the use of our resources at any time during the course of the project whether you finish it or not.

You are not bound to finish an article should you want to quit a project, but you will be prohibited from publishing any similar works on your own or with another publisher or website once you have used our archive and other resources.  Should you decide not to finish a project, you must give us written notice by mail.  The OCCH also reserves the right to drop a project, reassign it to another writer, or to have another author rewrite your work as needed.

Getting Started On Your Project

Once you have come aboard, you will be given a list of sources pertaining to your research.  Some of those sources will be found in our archive, while others may need to be sought out in libraries, the Internet, or through interviews.  You will likely have to seek out your own resources as well depending on the project.

The next step is to outline the project, which we will help you with.  Doing so will keep you on task and the project focused.

Once your research is complete and organized, you will then move into the writing process following your outline.  We will again help you as much as we can within reason.

As your work develops, you will be
asked periodically to give an update on your progress by submitting portions of your article via email to help keep you on task.  While there is no rush to finish your article, you will be expected to complete your project, depending on its size and scope, in three (3) months or less.  Writers will get more time to complete larger projects.

Once your article is finished, it will go through a rigorous editing process that will check your source citations, prose, spelling, and grammar, after which it will be returned to you for rewrites.  Once approved, your article will then be published on the OCCH website for everyone to read.

All historic articles must contain verifiable sources, and must be properly cited using the Chicago Manual of Style format commonly used for historic works.  You will be guided through this process as well.

Controversial Subjects

Often there are subjects in history that are considered controversial, and although the OCCH reserves the right to reject any given topic without reason, we believe that history should not be hidden away because it is considered a blue subject, or because politicians or special interest groups and the like would rather that you didn't write about them.

Freedom of speech has been an important part of America's foundation since its inception, and if it wasn't for the mudrakers of the world, important subjects such as workplace safety, health standards in the food industry, and the Watergate scandal, would never have seen the light of day.  So, by all means write about what is in your heart, but just understand the difference between reporting the truth and slander and defamation of character.

So, What's the Deal with Copyright Ownership?

In terms of copyright, all articles accepted for publication become
in perpetuity the sole property of the Ocean County Compendium of History, and will remain so until those articles become the subject of public domain laws.  The OCCH may then use all or parts of those submissions in any format, including web content or print.

Two (2) years from the initial publication date of an article on the OCCH website, the original author or authors are automatically given
permission to use their work as they wish.  The OCCH, however, maintains ownership of copyright and may continue to use the work as it sees fit.  If more than one author is involved with a project, the OCCH gives each of those authors equal use permissions and will not be party to and agreements between those authors.

Exceptions to Copyright Ownership

If you wish to submit a previously written work of which you legally own copyright, you will retain that copyright, but will allow the OCCH to use it in whole or in part in perpetuity in any format, including web content or print.
  Authors may also donate the copyright of their previously written work to the OCCH if they so choose.  Other special agreements may be made as well between the author and the OCCH.

Why Write for the OCCH?

So, why write for the OCCH for free when you could do it yourself and publish it on your own website or with a newspaper?  Several reasons come to mind:
  • Getting started as a writer is difficult and the competition fierce, which makes it very hard to publish your work.
  • You will be given help throughout the research and writing process.
  • You will have access to our archives to help you with your research.
  • Becoming an author for the OCCH gives those without writing experience a place to cut their teeth.
  • If you are already a writer, the OCCH provides a place for you to publish your work.
  • The OCCH will provide you with a built-in readership that will have access to your work.  Depending on your popularity as a writer, you will likely develop a readership, and people will look forward to new articles.
  • By writing for the OCCH, you will become a part of a project that will help to preserve the history of Ocean County.
Interested?  If you would like to write for the OCCH on a particular subject, or if you would like to submit a previously written work, please contact us at:

Please note that the information on this webpage is subject to change.

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