Skip to main content

Back Cover Photo Contest

Michigan History is looking for the perfect photo to publish on the magazine’s back cover. Enter the Back Cover Photo Contest today for your chance to be featured!

Capture our state's unique beauty

Example from past photo contest.

The 2023 Back Cover Photo Contest

From buildings to monuments, landscapes to living history, the 2023 Back Cover Photo Contest is the perfect way to highlight the beauty and grandeur of the Great Lakes State.

Winners will receive cash prizes and publication on the back cover of Michigan History. Entries must meet requirements below to be considered for inclusion. To enter your photo(s) submit them today to info@hsmichigan.org

Who is eligible?

The contest is open to all photographers, including amateurs and professionals. Michigan History and HSM staff and board members and their immediate families are not eligible to enter.

What are the image requirements?

  • Photos must be the work of the entrant and have been taken in Michigan (within land and lake boundaries).
  • Photos must be in color (no black and white) and may be minimally adjusted for contrast, sharpness, or removal of dust spots but should not be otherwise manipulated to create an image that did not occur in reality.
  • Photos must represent something historical in Michigan.
  • Only photos in portrait orientation will be considered.
  • Images must be formatted as JPEGs, 300 dpi or higher.
  • Each image must be at least 9 inches wide by 12 inches high.
  • Photos that were submitted for previous contests (that did not win) and/or photos that have not been featured on the back cover may resubmit to this contest.
  • Images should have been taken within the last five years.
  • Photos that do not meet the above requirements will be disqualified.

How will judging work?

Judging will be based on overall clarity and technical quality with attention to composition, color, and creativity. Judges reserve the right to disqualify any entries deemed unsuitable.

What are the prizes?

The first-place winning photo will be published on the back cover of the January/February 2024 issue of Michigan History. Second- and third-place winners will be published in subsequent issues. Photo submissions that did not win may still be eligible to be featured on the back of the magazine. HSM staff will evaluate and contact photographers on a case-by-case basis.

  • 1st Place: $200 plus 5 complimentary copies of the magazine and a one-year subscription to Michigan History.
  • 2nd Place: $150 plus 5 complimentary copies of the magazine and a one-year subscription to Michigan History.
  • 3rd Place: $100 plus 5 complimentary copies of the magazine and a one-year subscription to Michigan History.
  • Honorable Mentions: $75 plus 5 complimentary copies of the magazine and a one-year subscription to Michigan History.
  • Other Features: $25 plus 5 complimentary copies of the magazine.

How do I enter?

  • Up to 3 entries may be submitted per photographer.
  • Include your last name in the file name for each photo.
  • Entries must be submitted electronically by emailing individual images to info@hsmichigan.org. Paper mailed entries will not be considered.
  • Please send one image per email with a subject line of “2023 MHM Photo Contest,” your name, and submission number (for example: 2023 MHM Photo Contest, Jane Doe, image 1 of 3).
  • Within the email, please include:
    1. Your full name
    2. Address
    3. Phone number
    4. Email
    5. Image title
    6. Location where the image was taken
    7. Small write-up about how the photo was obtained (50-word max)

A confirmation will be sent for images that meet all eligibility criteria. Those images that do not meet the criteria will be rejected upon receipt (resubmission will be allowed if missing requirements are corrected).

What is the deadline?

All entries must be received by 11:59 p.m. on Friday, September 15, 2023.
Winners will be notified via email on or before September 29, 2023.

What are the policies on copyright?

By entering the contest, you automatically convey to Michigan History and its publisher, the Historical Society of Michigan, unlimited (by media), nonexclusive publishing rights to each image submitted. Any uses of these images beyond the photo contest and its promotion will be contingent upon your approval and will be fully credited. You retain the copyrights to each image. Images with recognizable human subjects should have permission from those in the photo, available to Michigan History upon request.

I have more questions. Who do I contact?

Please email HSM Publications at info@hsmichigan.org.

Example from past photo contest. Example from past photo contest. Example from past photo contest. Example from past photo contest.

Explore Michigan History

Established in 1917, our magazine has highlighted the unique and everlasting history of our state for more than 100 years. Michigan History is an award-winning, popular history magazine tailored to casual history buffs and historians alike. Learn more about our magazine today and how you can get involved as a subscriber, contributor, and more at the link below. 

Michigan History Magazine - Two past issue covers.

Questions? 

We'd love to help! Reach out to our team today at hsm@hsmichigan.org or by calling (517) 324-1828.