Submission Guidelines

The door is open at Himal Southasian. We do not have staff writers: our magazine is comprised of contributions from journalists, scholars, writers, researchers and other thinkers from all over Southasia and the world – many of whom approach us directly. We are always interested in hearing from new writers. Write to us at: editorial@himalmag.com.

WHAT WE PUBLISH 

Himal Southasian is not a news or features magazine. We publish rigorous and reflective journalism, including long-form reportage, political analysis, essays and opinion, interviews, photo essays and reviews that relate to Southasia. We also publish fiction.  Take a look at our site to get a sense of the sorts of stories we have covered and how we cover them, on subjects from agriculture to pop culture. We are interested in stories we do not yet know – and in new ways of looking at old stories – as long as they are explored thoughtfully and in depth. Himal is not defined by corporate interests or limited by ‘national interests’ in the range of subjects it can address. Our intention is that our coverage should be as varied as the Southasian region itself.

We seek articles that are regional or cross-border – that show the interconnectedness of the issues we face across Southasia. At the same time we remain interested in very localised stories told with a regional perspective and focus on issues with larger impact.  Our readership is extremely diverse and our articles should engage specialists, but also inform non-specialists and general-interest readers. The reader, we like to imagine, is curious, intelligent and could be anyone, based anywhere.

PITCHING

We invite writers to pitch ideas to editorial@himalmag.com. We discourage one-line pitches as they tell us only about the topic but not about the treatment. We want to know why we should be interested in the article you are proposing. Pitches should be 300-600 words and should introduce the proposed article, its arguments or narrative, and a tentative outline. The writer is encouraged to send links (no more than three) to their previously published articles or writing samples, especially any samples of long form writing. Writers submitting completed articles may additionally attach those.

Things to bear in mind in mind when pitching: 

  • We only publish original, unpublished pieces – without exception.
  • We don’t carry news or feature stories (stories that are found in newspapers or weekend supplements, for example). We also avoid publishing writing dense in academic jargon and clearly written for a niche audience of subject experts.
  • We do accept pieces that have been submitted simultaneously to other publications but writers must alert us to this while pitching. If a piece is accepted for publication by Himal (and the writer wishes to proceed with that offer of publication) then it must immediately be withdrawn from other publications.
  • We are a digital platform and able to absorb audio, video and other augmentation of stories but this must be discussed before submission.
  • We rarely publish articles that are shorter than 800 words. Most of the articles we publish range between about 2000 and 4000 words. We also publish shorter commentary pieces of between 800-1500 words. Occasionally, we publish articles that exceed the 4000-word mark, only if the content justifies the length.

PROCESS  

All pitches and submissions made to Himal are considered by the editorial team, and are read by more than one editor. We may also ask for a brief clarification or extension of a pitch so that we may consider it further.

If a pitch is accepted, this sometimes takes the form of a commission, or in other cases, we may make a decision only upon seeing it in draft form. (Please send your drafts as Word documents – not PDFs or Google Docs links.) Our editorial process is rigorous and it is not unusual for a piece to go through a few rounds of editing.  Editing most often takes the form of asking questions to strengthen argument, suggestions made for clarity of line and structure and discussion with the writer to make the piece as strong as possible. All substantive changes are referred back to the writer at each stage.  Every article is fact checked as a matter of rigour (not mistrust!) and proofed before publication to ensure consistency with the Himal in-house style guide. 

PUBLICATION AND PAYMENT

We are always working on multiple pieces of multiple natures – some timebound, some timeless – and consequently our publication schedule is intricately plotted.  So, we ask writers not to have definite expectations regarding publication dates.  But if a writer wishes their piece to be published within a specific timeframe, then we ask that the writer communicates this at the outset of correspondence. However, articles that are limited by news-related deadlines are probably not suitable for us.

On average Himal pays USD 100-150 for an article, subsequent to publication.

Occasionally, as with any publication, a piece does not make it all the way to publication – but this is rare, a decision never taken lightly and always in discussion with the writer themselves.  

COPYRIGHT

Copyright of the published article remains with Himal unless otherwise agreed.

PATIENCE

We are a small team with a large workload. We will respond – do please be patient if you do not hear back from us immediately.

FAQS

How does Himal define Southasia?

The stretch of land (and water) from Afghanistan to Myanmar, and from Tibet to the Maldives is Southasia for us. Namely, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Myanmar, the Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Tibet. We are also interested in stories and issues affecting the diaspora with origins in this region.

Can I write for Himal?

We welcome submissions and ideas from anyone. See our submission guidelines above.

Can I submit videos, films, photos, and other multimedia content to Himal?

We are open to including multimedia components such as graphics, photos, audio clips, or videos that augment a story – but check with us before you send it.

How soon will I hear back if I submit a pitch or article to Himal?

We make an effort to reply within two weeks – and you’re welcome to prompt us if you haven’t heard back within that timeframe.  But do read about our submissions process above and you’ll see why a small team with a large workload can’t always respond as soon as we’d like to.

Can I submit a piece I’ve published before?

We only accept original, unpublished submissions. Have a look at our submission guidelines above and see if you’d like to pitch us a story?

How do I withdraw an article I submitted to Himal?

Easy – just write to us at editorial@himalmag.com and tell us you’d like to withdraw your pitch or article.  Conversely, if we accept a story that you’ve pitched us, and you’ve agreed to proceed with us you must then withdraw it from any other publication to which you’ve submitted it.

I don’t hear back from Himal on my pitches or submissions anymore, why is that?

Is it possible you write to us a lot?  If you have submitted several ideas that are not relevant to Himal, you may find we stop replying. Our submission guidelines above should help to give you a sense of what we do and don’t publish. Also, please submit one pitch or draft at a time and wait for the decision on that before submitting another.

Why was my pitch or article rejected?

All pitches and articles are considered by more than one editor, to ensure the process is fair.  Due to the large volume of correspondence we receive we are unable to respond at length to each pitch/article.

When will my article be published?

We are always working on multiple pieces of multiple natures – some timebound, some timeless – and consequently our publication schedule is intricately plotted.  So we ask writers not to have definite expectations regarding publication dates.  But if a writer wishes their piece to be published within a specific timeframe, then we ask that the writer communicates this at the outset of correspondence. Keep in mind that we don’t plan our publishing dates by news deadlines.

Will I be paid for my article? And when?

Unless otherwise agreed, Himal pays USD 100-150 for an article.

We begin processing payments at the end of each Gregorian month. Expect us to contact you within the first ten days of the month following publication of your article. So – if your article is published on October 1, you will hear from us by November 10; If your article is published on October 31, you will also hear from us by November 10!

Please be patient as the rules governing Himal as a not-for-profit guarantee limited company, as well as laws governing foreign remittances, require some time for completion. If your article has been published in a given month and you haven’t heard from us by the 15th of the next month, please contact us at admin.colombo@himalmag.com.

If you have submitted all the relevant payment details to us but have not received the payment even after six weeks from the date of submission of paperwork, please alert us at admin.colombo@himalmag.com.