Style Guide & Submission Guidelines

The minute you leave your doorstep you are travelling, and will have a story to tell,tips to share, and just maybe an article to write for us! Here are the guidelines to ensure the style is in keeping with our vision for this magazine. We might add/modify as we go along.

No plagiarism. We need original, unpublished content. Google, copy and paste are three steps we do not like.

No sms lingo, etc. We want to be casual and trendy, but not sloppy. No slang unless it’s really important to the story, and if so, then please do explain the same. No smileys, emoticons in your text. Abbreviations only for obvious ones like NGO, else please give the full-form the first time and then use the abbreviation the second time it appears in the text.

Leave behind adjectives and cliches. Gorgeous food? Nah! Snow-capped mountains? Please find another way to describe it and let the reader reach his conclusion. Or else use adjectives in interesting ways. Harsha Bhogle recently called a cricketing shot ‘delicious’ during his commentary—we like that!

Keep it simple and brief. Use short paragraphs, different sentences. Keep the reader engaged—people on the web have the shortest attention spans—it has been likened to toddlers.

Use different tools to engage. Use dialogue to infuse energy into the narration. Use analogies, juxtapose two opposites, yoke them together and relive the moment on the page. You know those things called Figures of Speech, yes, what you learnt in school, they are handy too. 

Play with form. Write the piece in tight prose. Throw in a verse in the middle. Send us a piece with a link to a video. End by quoting from a song. Create a visual treat with words on the pictures. Be creative.

Bring it alive with apt visuals. Words can only take you that far. A picture or two can add a layer to the story. Use appropriate pictures.

Make the reader feel. Transport her to the place of your story… And let her linger there in that moment.

Write to one reader. Don’t confuse by trying to write for your niece and your aged neighbour. It won’t work. Find one main reader and write the piece for him/her.

Work on the title. The online world thrives on titles. It is what people react to and what draws them in.

  • Keep the title crisp
  • Try to be witty/funny if needed
  • Questions attract instead of bland statements
  • Use SEO friendly keywords

Edit furiously. And then re-edit before you press send.

Be true to yourself. Write the way you see it. Remember, we want your voice. And be positive.

Some miscellaneous points:

  • Active voice makes for a better read.
  • Spell out those numbers. Word form for numbers between zero and ten. Above ten express it as digits e.g. 11
  • Place the currency before the amount e.g. Rs. 500.
  • Don’t capitalise words because you want to draw emphasis to it. 
  • Avoid Italics. 
  • UK English please! Set that style on word and ensure the spellcheck is in place.
  • End on a high-note with a punch-line that sums up your article but also keeps the conversation on. Let the article linger on in the reader’s mind. 

 

Submission Guidelines:
If you have an idea, please do send an email to notbhavani @ gmail dot com. The email should consist of two samples of written work/photographs depending on the kind of articles you wish to submit, a short bio and a link to your work if anything is available online. Do send in an idea along with a short synopsis; we wouldn’t want to waste your time and vice versa!

 

Republishing:
Authors: You are allowed to republish the content on your website or blog 15 days after it has been published here. It should have a  line attributing first publishing credit to Happy Tripping with the url to the article on the website, for e.g. This article was first published at (url). If another website chooses to pick up your article, the same rules apply.
Other interested parties: Please get in touch with us at ashpi @ happy-tripping dot com

 

What are you waiting for? Send in your articles and let’s take everyone on a ride. Once your article is up share it on your social networks, talk about it, that’s how both you and me will get more people to read the stories we put out.

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