Writing for The Kodai Chronicle
A guide to writing for this dispatch from the Western Ghats. This document will introduce you to:
We invite you to find your own space/s within The Kodai Chronicle, in one of the following sections. As of August 2023, our stories will be published digitally (one a month, for now) and focus on India’s Western Ghats region.
Environment and Wildlife: Flora and fauna native to the Western Ghats—stories about wildlife, and environmental concerns such as dwindling sholas and pollution. In addition to covering local concerns, we aim to build environmental journalism from a biodiversity hotspot as a pivotal part of what we do.
Community: Profiles of and interviews with local/ regional personalities and places, as well as features on offbeat parts of town. Reportage, perspective, and commentary around ongoing concerns; stories from locals and former residents.
Food: Local recipes and ingredients, and matters of cultivation, both personal and commercial, and guidance for growers.
Culture: Books, art, film, and music connected to the mountains, through interviews, book extracts, reviews, essays and profiles. Also, elements of subculture related to the mountains.
Do read through our stories (archived here) to get a sense of what we are looking for. Please note: we welcome submissions from both specialists and lay people who have knowledge of, or have spent time with, these subjects. Most of the authors of our reported stories have considerable lived experience with this landscape.
Note: while experience as a long-term resident is ideal, contributors don’t have to be living in the place they are reporting from, but experience of the place is vital to reporting a TKC story. Also, while experience as a writer is a plus, we have published first-time writers and are open to writers of all backgrounds.
Terms & Conditions
Articles typically run from 1200-1500 words, off a clear, assigned brief, following a discussion with our editorial team. We commission a few long-form pieces (2000 – 3000 words). We are open to short/ long pieces as is feasible and apt. We plan for 4-8 images (1 MB minimum high resolution) for each piece, and source them if you do not access to images.
Please write to email@example.com with your 100-word pitch, a brief bio with a few lines about yourself and links to any published work. We will be in touch if there is interest in taking this story forward.
Along with a few lines about you and your experience with the subject or with writing, please send a clear – and specific! – pitch of a few lines, outlining exactly what you want to cover and how; if there is a particular peg connecting this story to the mountains at a particular time/ season/ date, please identify this clearly.
Pitch: I am an occasional visitor to mountains who will explore conservation efforts in the Western Ghats, by researching online.
Verdict: Too broad a pitch, and no sense that the story is (or will be) informed by lived experience or observation.
Pitch: I would like to pitch a story on the conservation efforts carried out in the Palani Hills by Solaikuruvi, a group of volunteers who regularly clean the sholas, in a focussed reported piece of 1500 words. I will be observing them and accompanying them on a clean-up, as well as speaking to volunteers who are involved and residents.
As a resident of five years, I will also be speaking to my own experience with conservation efforts. I have reported on similar conservation efforts for XX and YY and will be referring to expert opinion and testimony while putting this story together.
Verdict: Ticks all boxes: clear, focussed and informed by lived and local experience and reportage.
The editor will usually get back to you within 4-6 weeks, depending on where we are at with our production schedule (this is still a small team driven by volunteers, and we are currently working chiefly on Fridays).
Expect your article to be edited at several levels (initial structural edit, copy edit), as part of a collaborative process.
We pay for original work at the following rates: Rs 10,000 for 1500-word (on average) pieces.
We pay Rs 500 per photograph that is used.
The Kodai Chronicle was created and published by residents and friends of Kodaikanal and neighbouring areas, launching digitally in June with a pilot issue.
Our print publication (May 2022-23) is discontinued. We are in the process of re-launching digitally, one story every month – our relaunch will be announced later this year
We are administered by The Kodai Chronicle Trust, a not-for-profit organization established by Kodai residents.
Updated September 15th, 2023