Chakra Editorial Guidelines with Example Articles
Posted April 21, 2003

Do you have news, suggestions, ads or opinion pieces you'd like the community of Vaishnavas to know about? Please submit your article to chakraletters@gmail.com. We cannot be responsible for submissions sent to any address other than chakraletters@gmail.com To improve the odds of having your article published, please follow our simple checklist:

  1. Polish your submission to reduce duplication and make your point as briefly as possible. We realize that some submissions need to be longer than 2,000 words, but this will be the exception, rather than the rule; you should be aware that longer articles are less likely to be read. We reserve the right to choose which articles *need* to be longer, but generally we will not publish essays longer than 2000 words, or letters over 300 words. News items should generally be less than 700 words. We reserve the right to edit for brevity. Shorter submissions have an increased chance of being published.

  2. Provide a descriptive title. "Massive Ghee Spill in Temple Room" is much superior to "article for submission". It provides a clue about the most important topic in the story, helps us index the article for possible later reference, and helps devotees who may be searching for a particular article. When sending us the article, please use your descriptive title as the header of the email as well.

  3. Provide the author's name. Chakra will generally not publish anonymous material and, if we need to contact you for more information, we do not wish to be guessing as to who might have submitted the article. We will on occasion keep the author's name confidential ("author's name withheld on request"), but Chakra still needs to know who is the author. Please contact webmaster@chakra.org if you need to protect your identity from publication.

  4. Divide your article into short paragraphs. Leave a blank line between each paragraph.

  5. Ensure that your article does not contain obvious spelling and grammar mistakes. (Modern word processors come with spell-checkers, if spelling is not your strong suit.) Use regular capitalization and punctuation, too, please. Avoid putting words or sentences in ALL CAPITALS, as they are hard to read. (You may wish to consult reference books like Elements of Styleor the Harbrace College Handbook for more guidance, if you are rusty.)

  6. Kindly keep spellings of Sanskrit words uniform -- if you start your article with "Krsna", don't switch to "Krishna" half-way through. We reserve the right to edit for spelling and grammar or to conform to our style without permission; any editing that may change content will be sent to the author first for approval.

  7. If appropriate, pictures to illustrate news events are welcome. Candid photographs are generally more interesting than posed ones.

Questions or correspondence with Chakra staff should be sent to webmaster@chakra.org

What we do want What we don't want
[descriptive title]
Massive Ghee Spill in Temple Room: Makhana-Cora Suspected
[author's name] by Maharani dasi

JANMASTAMI, 2003 -- Today, devotees entering Sri-Sri Radha-Makhana-cora's temple room at New Go-Raksya Dhama were stunned at the sight of gallons of golden ghee spilled over the floor. The ghee spill was discovered by Haribhajan das Goswami, a visiting sannyasi from Butterfield, Minnesota. "I slipped on the ghee and temporarily lost my equilibrium," said Maharaj, "but fortunately I did not fall down."

The puddle of clarified butter, from the supply intended for use in the feast preparation, stretched over twelve square feet, and splatters of tossed ghee were visible on the walls and floor.

[short paragraphs, space between each paragraph]

Devotees were outraged that someone would frivolously spoil ghee intended for Lord Makhana-cora's birthday feast, and investigated the scene with an eye toward catching the culprit. "We'll make him or her do all of the washing up after the feast," declared Temple President Parama-karuna prabhu, nodding resolutely, shortly before the first clues were discovered.

[Both male and female devotees are "prabhu" on first reference, "das" or "dasi" thereafter]

Dhamanidhara prabhu called attention to some small footprints in the edge of the ghee puddle, apparently left by the ghee-thief. Left in the ghee were clearly visible impressions of chakras, conchshells, lotus flowers and waterpots, as well as other marks.

While some devotees tried to examine each other's feet for telltale markings, to expose the vandal, Stokakrsna prabhu noticed that the strangely-marked footprints led straight to the altar, and continued behind the doors.

Head pujari Ambika prabhu discovered that the buttery footprints ascended the steps of the altar and stopped at the base of the Deity pedestal. Sri Makhana-cora's lotus hands appeared greasy, His smile had a distinctly mischievous, ghee-smeared appearance, and His flower garland was speckled with a few stray drops of some yellow substance. Finally Dhamanidhara dasi discovered a betraying Tulasi leaf from Lord Makhana-cora's lotus feet, almost entirely obscured by ghee.

"It appears we've found our butter thief," laughingly acknowledged Parama-karuna das, "but we can't very well ask Him to wash the pots!"

In the evening, Haribhajan Goswami happily scrubbed the pots, since Kumbha das, the regular pot-washer, was busy cleaning up the ghee spill.

Despite Lord Makhana-cora's escapades, the devotees had sufficient ghee stored to be able to prepare Sri Makhana-cora and Srimati Radharani a sumptuous Janmastami feast. However, Ambika dasi says, "It may take a good deal of time and labor to remove the ghee stains from the knees of Lord Makhana-cora's new Janmastami dhoti."

[non-descriptive title]
article for submission
[no author's name] haribol77@hotmail.com

[no paragraphs, superfluous punctuation and use of all-caps, erratic capitalization]

JANMASTAMI, 2003-- today, devoties entering Sri-Sri Radha-Makhana-cora's temple rheum at New Go-Raksya Dhama were STUNNED at the site of GALLONS of golden GHEE spilled over the FLOOR!!!!!!!! The ghee spill was discovered by Haribhajan das Goswami a visiting Sannyasi from Butterfield, Minnesota. "I slipped on the ghee and temporarily LOST my equilibrium," said Maharaj, "but fortunatly I did not fall down." the pudle of Clarified Butter, form the supply intended for use in the FEAST preperation, streched over TWELVE square FEET, and splaters of TOSSED GHEE were visible on the walls and floor!!!!!!!!!! Devoties were OUTRAGED that someone would FRIVOLOUSLY spoil ghee intended for Lord Makhanchor's birthday feast, and investigated the scene with an eye toward catching the culprit. "We'll make him or her do all of the Washing up after the feast," declared Temnple President Parama-karuna Prabhu, nodding reso lutely, Shortly before the first clues were discovered. Mother Dhamanidhara was the first person to call attention too some small FOOTPRINTS in the edge of the ghee puddle, ap parently left by the GHEE-THIEF!!!!!! Left in the ghee were clearly visible impressions of chakras, Conchshells, lotus flowers, and Waterpots, as well as other marks. While some devotees tryed to examine each other's feet for tell-tale markings, two EXPOSE the vandal, Stokakrsna Prabhu noticed that the strangely-marked footprints lead strait to the ALTER, and continued behind the doors!!!!! Head pujari Mother Ambika discovered that the Buttery foot prints ascended up the steps of the alter, and STOPPED at the base of the Diety pedestel. She noticed that Sri Makhana-cora's lotus HANDS apepared to bee GREASY, His SMILE had a distinctly mischievious, GHEE- SMEARED appearance and his flower garland was speckled with a few stray drops of some yellow substance!!!!!! Finally M. Dhamanidhara discovered a betraying Tulasi LEAF from Lord Makhanchor's lotus FEET, almost entirely obscured buy GEE!!!!!!!!!! "It appears we've found our BUTTER THIEF," laughingly acknowleged Parama-karuna Prabhu, "but we can't very well ask Him to Wash the POTS!!!!!" In the evening, Haribhajana Goswami happily scrubbed the pots, since Kumbha dasa, the regular pot-washer, was busy cleaning up the ghee spill. De spite Lord Makhanachor's escapades, the Devotees had suficient GHEE stored to be Able to PREPARE Sri Makhana-cora and Srimati Radharani a SUMPTIOUS Janmastami FEAST, in SPITE of Lord Makhana-cora's Escapades. HOWEVER, M. AMBIKA SPECULATES THAT, "IT MAY TAKE A GOOD DEAL OF TIME AND LABOR TO REMOVE THE GHEE STAINS FROM THE KNEES OF LORD MAKHANA-CORA'S NEW JANMASTAMI DHOTI !!!!!!!!!!!"