Chakra Editorial Guidelines
- Chakra Posting Policy
- Where to send my stuff?
- Submission Checklist
- Responding to another article
- Events Submissions
- An Ilustrative Example
Chakra Posting Policy
Posted July 12, 2003
Revised March 8, 2005
Please read this before submitting to Chakra:
Chakra welcomes news articles, notifications of festivals and special programs, philosophical articles and opinion pieces, and advertisements from devotee businesses with products of potential interest to devotees.
As we have only a small volunteer staff, we would appreciate it if you would kindly take the trouble to send your submissions to the most relevant address, as indicated further below (to help avoid misdirection and delay), and always provide a descriptive title in the Subject field of your email to us.
Take the time to read over your email before sending it in, ensure that your spellings are plausible and your sentences understandable; then pick the main idea as the Subject. We have been receiving dozens of messages with such uninformative title "please post" or "article for posting". We simply cannot easily tell one such submission from another; future submissions with these or similar titles may well be rejected unread.
If selected, it will likely take several days before your article appears on the site, as we post only a few new articles each time we update. New articles are placed in a queue. The delay before posting depends on the length of the queue, and to some degree also on whether we have received other submissions we judge to be particularly urgent (appeals for help to the tsunami victims are an example).
Some popular topics generate more responses from our readers than we can post without neglecting other topics. In these cases we post a representative selection of submissions received, striving for balance and prioritizing articles which conform to our Editorial Guidelines.
We regret we do not have sufficient staff to keep each writer informed about the current status of his or her submission. If your article is still not up a week later and you are wondering what has happened to it, you are welcome to contact us at email@example.com
Where to send my stuff?
News articles or opinion pieces (less than 2000 words) should be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org
Tell us about an upcoming festival or other special program (generally 500 words or less) at email@example.com
Do you have a new CD, book, computer program, poster, or service business you would like to let the devotee community know about? Tell us in 300 words or less at firstname.lastname@example.org
Sending a message to any of the above addresses constitutes permission to use your message in part or in total. Chakra editors may edit such messages as we see fit, usually for grammar, spelling and brevity. Please indicate which, if any, of the following information we may not include:
- Your civil and/or devotee name, as it appears in your message body
- Your title and affiliation (if applicable)
- Your e-mail address
Not for publication
Messages intended for the editors only -- i.e., not for publication -- should go to: email@example.com These messages will not be posted.
Bugs / Technical Issues
If you want to draw our attention to a technical issue, such as a broken link, please write firstname.lastname@example.org
You can also find these links under the "About Us" header on Chakra's front page. We'd like to hear from you!
Chakra generally will not publish . . .
- Anonymous material.
We will on occasion keep the author's name confidential ("author's name withheld on request"), but a Chakra editor will still need to know who you are. Please contact email@example.com if you need to protect your identity from publication.
- Newsletters, for space reasons.
We will, however, gladly post an ad for a newsletter with a link to a webpage where it can be read.
- Articles not intended specifically for Chakra or submitted by persons other than their authors.
We generally will not post texts without the author's consent. If you have received a text you would like to share, please contact the authors and suggest they write something specifically for Chakra. As an exception, we do sometimes post newspaper or magazine articles under an "In the News" header, with proper credit to the original author and publication.
- Articles, Q&A's and other writings by gurus, sent by disciples.
Make sure your guru has approved of your sending the text to Chakra. Rather than reposting the transcription of questions and answers, we prefer an article written specifically for Chakra.
- Responses to articles posted on other websites.
It is hard for our readers to follow a discussion if they do not know how it started.
- Chakra will not publish any ads involving multi-level marketing or pyramid schemes.
We realize that some of these may be legit, but we do not have the necessary resources to investigate each opportunity.
- Chakra will not publish ads for medical treatments, marriage, or astrological services.
Again, we lack the resources to investigate whether the offers are legitimate or fraudulent.
To improve the odds of having your article published, please follow our simple checklist:
Polish your submission to 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.
- 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.
- Author's name.
If we need to contact you for more information, we do not wish to be guessing as to who might have submitted the article.
Responding to another article posted by Chakra
Some elementary points to keep in mind:
Make it clear which article you are responding to. Provide the headline, author name and date of publication. We will often set up a hyperlink from your article to the article you are commenting upon, in order to provide context.
- Use the third person.
Do not address the writer directly: ("You say . . ."), as if you are writing a letter. Use the grammatical third person instead: ("Rukmini prabhu argues . . .", followed by a paraphrase or direct quote.) Chakra does not have discussion threads, as some other forums do. Every submission must, therefore, be readable on its own — especially as the article you are comenting upon may well have been pushed down the page by more recent submisssions.
- Mutual respect.
It is perfectly OK to disagree with another writer, put please couch your article in civil, respectful terms and stick to the issue under discussion. Do not turn your argument against another person's opinion into a personal attack; do not speculate about the motives of that author in writing his or her article. We are not interested in articles which call into question that writer's character or personal conduct. Many otherwise valuable submissions were delayed or discarded because they included inappropriate personal attacks or condemnatory prose. Communicating with the author requesting him or her to edit a submission both increases our workload and delays posting. Please also see our Mission Statement.
Promoting festivals or programs
Please keep the following points in mind:
- Provide enough lead time.
Decide how long before an event you need to have your ad on Chakra, and send it to us at least one week before that date. We have received some advertisements for temple festivals as little as two days before the event! Regretfully, we can do nothing to help promote an event for which we receive insufficient notice.
- Be informative, but not effusive.
Chakra tries to keep from exalting any one devotee over any others, as per our mission statement, as well as to provide a sober and reliable news-source. Therefore, when advertising speakers, such as visiting lecturers, musicians, etc., or describing the events at which such personalities appeared, we would ask that you refrain from using excessive honorifics, making claims of extraordinary spiritual powers on the part of the guest speaker, or guaranteeing spiritual advancement to attendees of the event. A brief, relevant résumé of the speaker's qualifications, however, is acceptable and welcome.
Govinda prabhu will be giving a talk entitled "Varnasrama-dharma and gulab-jamuns" at New Goloka Temple on December 25th at 11:00 a.m. Govinda prabhu has had fifteen years of experience in ox-training, and has travelled around the world teaching courses in Indian cuisine, in addition to spending four years as pujari of Chota-Radha-Makhanacora. Her lecture will be followed by kirtan and prasad, including gulab-jamuns. All are welcome to attend.
Divide your article into short paragraphs. Leave a blank line between each paragraph.
- Spelling, Grammar and Style.
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 Style or the Harbrace College Handbook for more guidance, if you are rusty.) Also, kindly keep spellings of Sanskrit words uniform -- if you start your article with "Krsna", don't switch to "Krishna" halfway through. We reserve the right to edit for spelling and grammar or to conform to our style without notice; editing that may change content significantly will be sent to the author for approval.
- Photographs and artwork,
If appropriate, pictures to illustrate news events are welcome. Candid photographs are generally more interesting than posed ones, and are much more likely to be used on our website. Photographs that tell a story are great. We are happy to post drawings and paintings as well. To accommodate our readers with slow Internet connections, we avoid posting very large pictures. We'd be grateful if you could shrink very large pictures for us, to a width of 600 pixels or less, but we certainly understand that not everyone has the capacity to do this. JPEG files saved at a medium or low quality are best, and need not be compressed into ZIP archives, as the JPEG format already compresses images well. Also, please do not import and embed the photos into Microsoft Word or Adobe PDF documents. Just send plain text articles accompanied by JPEGs sent as attachments.
Questions or correspondence with Chakra staff should be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org
Finally, an illustrative example . . .
Posted December 26, 2003
What we do 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."
What we don't want[non-descriptive title]
article for submission
[no author's name] email@example.com
[misspellings, superfluous punctuation and use of all-caps, erratic capitalization and no paragraphs]
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 !!!!!!!!!!!"