The Curious Reader is an online literary magazine, the first of its kind in India. We publish intelligent, thought-provoking and well-written original articles related to books, literature, and writing, as well as original fiction and poetry.

We are a platform for readers and writers to discover each other. We believe that within every reader lies a writer and we want to give the writer within you an opportunity to discuss and write about the books you’ve read, the literature that has influenced you or the authors you have fallen in love with. Tell us why you read, how it affects your life, and what you think we should read. Share an original story or poem with our readers- that one you wrote in a journal or a lost Word document, or the one that you’ve been wanting to write. Your work can find a home with us.

We believe that writers should be paid for their work and pay all our writers on a per-word basis for essays and features, and a flat fee for fiction and poetry. So, yes, not only is your work published in a literary magazine, but you also get paid for it.

If this excites you, we are looking for writers to contribute to The Curious Reader.

Table Of Contents

How it works

Pitch

Send us your pitch and wait for us to approve it.

j

Write

Submit the first draft.

l

Edit

The article is edited and finalised.

h

Publish

Congratulations! Your article is live!

Get Paid

Cha-ching!

Pitch: Essays And Features

What we want to see

We are looking for all sorts of literary content- tell us about something unique you’ve noticed in your favourite book or discuss your preferred genre. We want to hear your viewpoint(s) on your favourite authors and literary characters. That’s not all- we love stories about how books have impacted your journey or why it is important to read about certain subjects to your child. You’ve got the goods on a new movement in the literary world? We’d love to know more about it! Or you can share tips which will help readers or teach them something new about the literary world. Being an Indian magazine, we always veer towards pieces that are about India and Indian authors, and will prioritise those over others.

Before you pitch, visit our website and see the kind of pieces we have commissioned to get an idea of what we like. This also gives you an idea of what not to pitch to us as we aren’t looking to repeat specific themes we’ve published within the past 6 months. So, yes, feel free to pitch to us about Sherlock Holmes, but not about the dichotomy between Doyle and Holmes.

Make sure that your pitch is well thought-out, researched, and above all, original.

Your pitch must follow these guidelines to be considered. We will summarily reject any pitch which does not do so.

  1. A 50 word summary of what you want to write about and why our readers will be interested in it.
  2. 3 proposed titles for the piece.
  3. Is it an:
    • essay (800- 1000 words) – Essays are usually personal in nature. You could write about your experiences with reading, how certain books made you feel, the emotions that a genre evoked or even the excitement you felt when you discovered a new genre or way to read. For a better understanding, take a look at our essays.
    • feature (1000-1500 words) – These are typically articles which require some research and are analytical. They could focus on an author or critique literary traditions, events and awards, talk about developments in a genre or dive deep into a book. Take a look at our features to find out more.
  4. Send us 3 writing samples of previously published work. In case you have not previously published a piece, you can send us unpublished samples as well. Include links to the published pieces or upload the documents to Google Drive and share the link with us. Do not send us Word Docs.
  5. Tell us a little bit about you. We don’t want your resume. We want to know who you are as a person.
  6. Send all this information in a Word doc file.

Send your pitch to writing@thecuriousreader.in

Pitch: Fiction And Poetry

What we want to see

We believe that fiction and poetry are very personal and we don’t dictate what you write about. All we expect is good writing. An intriguing plot, well-developed characters, and a well-rounded story are important to us. For poetry, while we don’t expect you to follow the iambic meter, we do expect it to invoke emotion in us.

Feel free to experiment with styles and form. A great example of this is Voices, which is written in the epistolary format and experiments with language, grammar and punctuation to show you the inner workings of a schizophrenic’s mind.

Your pitch must follow these guidelines to be considered. We will summarily reject any pitch which does not do so.

  1. Send us the entire short story/poem or the first 500-words.
  2. Tell us a little about the short story/ poem.
  3. The number of words you expect the short story/ poem to be.
  4. 3 proposed titles for the short story/ poem.
  5. If you have, send us 1 writing sample of your fiction or poetry, if it has been published, even better. You can include the link or upload the document to Google Drive and share the link. Do not send us Word Docs.
  6. Tell us a little bit about you. We don’t want your resume. We want to know who you are as a person.
  7. Send all this information in a Word file.

Send your pitch to writing@thecuriousreader.in

Pitch: Book Rack And Collections

What we want to see

A lot of our readers come to us looking for recommendations on new and interesting books. The lists in our Book Rack section are not just simple lists but carefully curated and nuanced lists. Each list is treated according to the subject, for example, if the list is about books which Roald Dahl lovers would enjoy, you are expected to explain why each book fits in and not just provide a summary of the plot. Similarly, instead of doing a random list on from books aspiring writers should read, we’ve grouped it by subject and created a pathway of sorts for writers. The ‘Why ‘ of each book must always be answered. So, before you pitch, go through our section and make sure you are not covering anything we’ve already written about or find an interesting alternative angle for it.

Similarly, in our Collections section, you will find bookish lists that don’t recommend any particular book but focus on providing other interesting information related to the literary world. From recommendations on literary podcasts to theatre-related words that have their origins in Greek, and from the times when Batman wasn’t Bruce Wayne to misunderstood villains in literature, we cover a wide variety of topics.

Do check out our Book Rack and Collections sections for a better idea of what kind of lists we like to publish.

Your pitch must follow these guidelines to be considered. We will summarily reject any pitch which does not do so.

  1. Send us the topic you want to cover.
  2. Tell us if your list will fall under our Book Rack or Collections section.
  3. Why you are an ‘authority’ on the subject, or why you have chosen to curate the list you are pitching.
  4. Why our audience would be interested in such a list.
  5. A title for your list.
  6. Send us 3 writing samples of your previously published work, preferably lists you have written and curated. In case you have not previously published a piece, you can send us unpublished samples as well. You can include the link or upload the document to Google Drive and share the link. Do not send us Word Docs.
  7. Tell us a little bit about you. We don’t want your resume. We want to know who you are as a person.
  8. Send all this information in a Word file.

Send your pitch to writing@thecuriousreader.in

Submission

 

We may take up to one month to get back and if you don’t hear from us in that time, it means that we will not be commissioning the piece. We may also ask you to treat the piece differently or make some changes to the concept.

Once the pitch is approved, we expect you to submit the first draft of the article/fiction/poetry as per the deadline discussed with the editor. Please note that since we are a magazine, editorial deadlines are strict and we do not accept any work submitted after the deadline. When submitting the first draft, make sure you do the following:

  1. Send the final article as a Word document (.doc or .docx)
  2. Make sure the article adheres to the word count prescribed and mention the number of words. An overage of 10% is acceptable but anything beyond that will be sent back for a rewrite.
  3. The article must follow the guidelines laid out in The Curious Reader Style Guide.
  4. If you have mentioned research or analysis taken from another source, please provide a link to that source. Please note that we are particular about plagiarism and attribution. If you are unable to provide a source, we will not be able to publish the piece.
  5. Please link relevant stories on The Curious Reader website as required.
  6. Send us a brief bio- 2 lines to help readers get to know you better. You can also send us 1 link to your social media profile or website. Do not send us a corporate bio.
  7. Send us an 800px x 800px, hi-resolution headshot of yourself, which we will feature with your article. Please make sure that it is appropriate.
  8. Send us any images you feel should be included with your article. Make sure they are not copyrighted and, if they are taken from elsewhere, let us know who to give credit for the photo.
  9. For features/essays- send us a blurb summarising your piece in 150 characters.

 Keep in mind:

  1. We believe editorial feedback is important and it is a critical part of our process. We will work with you to make sure the article/short story/ poem meets our standards and reserve the right to edit the piece as we see fit and expect you to re-write the article, if required, based on our comments.
  2. If the article does not adhere to the pitch as approved, we reserve the right to not publish it. Similarly, if the article is poorly written and requires a lot of editing, we may choose not to publish the article.
  3. After a piece is published, we own all the rights and you can not republish the article anywhere without our permission. We urge you to take a look at the full terms and conditions here (link to contract).
  4. Do a thorough fact check before you send us the piece.

What we will not accept:

  1. Any work that is offensive to any group, religion, or community. Do not have any content that is offensive, racist, misogynist, homophobic or anti any particular religion.
  2. Any work that is libellous or violates copyright.
  3. Adverts/promotional pieces disguised within the piece – feel free to reference products, but not brands.

Send the article to writing@thecuriousreader.in

After Publication

 

The piece will be published according to the timeline discussed at the time of commissioning the piece. However, we do reserve the right to publish it at a later date if we feel that is a better fit. We will inform you of any changes to the proposed date. Make sure that you are:

  1. Available to respond to comments for the first 48 hours after the piece goes live.
  2. Respectful in your comments and engage in a stimulating or intellectual discussion.
  3. Ignore trolls. If you feel strong action is required, bring it to our attention and we will handle it.
  4. Not everyone will like your piece or agree with your viewpoint. We suggest you keep that in mind when you respond to comments.
  5. Send us your invoice and you will be paid 21 days after the piece is published. Payment will be based on the number of words as published on the website.
  6. Feel free to share the link with your network. We would love to have you promote your writing.

Check your inbox to confirm your subscription