Open Call for Stories.

When the outbreak of the pandemic caught us unprepared, we found ourselves relying on the tenets of caring, connecting and community service. Despite distancing and isolation becoming the new norm, stories of samaritans who came forward to help the suffering, hurting and the destitute continued to emerge. These stories iterate the unparalleled efficacy of direct action and help us imagine a new normal where one must remember to self-sustain- not just as people, but as communities.


The Curator Mag is looking to document and publish select stories of individuals/groups/organisations who came forward to care for those in need during the Covid-19 crisis in India, in print and in digital.

The purpose is to engage people through accounts of common citizens and/or organisations whose role in the pandemic relief was extraordinary, and to highlight the varied efforts during the pandemic. In addition they will remain archived for future viewing and referencing on a dedicated microsite.


We are currently seeking to interview individuals, groups and organisations for such stories- human-interest stories that concern raising awareness, pooling and providing resources, addressing the various ill effects of the pandemic, tales of exceptional human achievement, acts of courage, innovative use of technology & resources, or any other form of intervention that impacted people’s lives positively.

While there may be many inspiring stories out there and multiple persuasive ways of telling them, listed under are a few parameters that can be relied upon while picking them. The list is purely suggestive and can be expanded upon.

1. The impacted group:
• their profile, region, challenges, etc.
• the number of people positively affected
• felt-need of the select group


2. The person/group making the intervention: At times the nature of the group/individual(s) at the other end of the line makes a compelling story to tell.
• Why did the people/group/organization providing help get involved?
• How did they hear about the problem?
• How were funds or volunteers arranged for the work?


3. The nature of the intervention
• If the intervention was innovative/problem solving/unique/large-scale
• Period during which relief work was carried out
• What was the intervention?
i. Monetary/Financial assistance
ii. Dry ration and other necessities
iii. Arranging RT-PCR tests and medicines
iv. Organizing oxygen support
v. Running community kitchens
vi. Helping students with their online studies (fee, data card, mobile phones or laptops)
vii. Providing cooked food to quarantined or home based COVID positive patients
viii. Helping women with contraceptives, sanitary pads and other medication
ix. Providing ambulance services
x. Helping in giving a decent burial/ cremation to those who succumbed to the disease
xi. Motivating people to go for vaccination through awareness/educative campaigns in their local communities.

There can be various permutation-combinations that can form a compelling story:

• Short term intervention touching large number of people
• A long-term intense engagement with a relatively small number/specific group of people.
• Long term intervention with many people
• Short term intervention with a select group

Once again, this is just to help the writers ensure that they select a rich variety that showcases the breadth of relief work and aid provided by citizens during the ongoing pandemic.






We are looking for stories with a word count of up to 1500 words(will be edited to approx. 1200 words) and/or visual stories with 12-20 photographs (8-10 photos will make the final selection) and a supporting written brief. Any supporting video snippets for these stories may be submitted as well, however videos may not be submitted individually. Those responding to this open call should be able to also connect us or themselves be connected, in person or telephonically, with the subject(s) of their submitted stories for editorial purposes and any further interviewing/photography required.

Stories (written or visual) shortlisted after review shall be duly compensated for with a sum of Rs 12,000/- each. All submissions are to be mailed to hello@thecuratormag.com with CC to anukriti@thecuratormag.com with following info-


• Written stories to be submitted as pdf files with name as follows: YOUR NAME_STORY LOCATION.

• By submitting these stories (written and/or visual) you affirm that you had/have consent of the person(s) or organization highlighted and that they are factually correct.

• All details for photography/visual story submissions are mentioned below under Guidelines for Visual Stories.



Guidelines for Visual Stories

We are looking for a set of 12-20 photographs for each story, of which 8-10 shall be shortlisted, that convey the efforts of those who stepped up in the pandemic to provide relief and aid. These photographs must have an underlying documentative essence while stringing together a cohesive and clear narrative.

Following are some points to remember and guidelines:

1. All photographs must be from a singular story about a singular person, group of people or organization.
2. All photographs submitted must be original work of the photographer and they should be the sole copyright owner.
3. By submitting these photographs, you affirm that you had/have consent of the person(s) or organization highlighted in the story. Do ensure that these photographs maintain the dignity of the people depicted in them.
4. Hi-res JPEG files to be submitted for review. Minimum length of short side to be 2000px. File size shouldn’t exceed 5MB each.
5. RAW files of photographs should be available with photographers. If your story is selected, both full size JPEGs and RAW files will need to be submitted for editorial purposes. If RAW files are not available for all or select photographs being submitted, please specify this at the time of submission.
6. No watermarks or logos should be on the photographs.
7. We would prefer seeing photographs in colour and then take an editorial decision on whether or not to process some or all in black and white. However, if you strongly feel certain images work better in black and white, then please submit both colourand black and white versions of those image(s) for review.
8. At least 2 photographs in the submitted pool should be portraits/environmental portraits of the person(s) highlighted in the story.
9. Attach a pdf file with a written brief about the story and with short descriptions of each photograph. Description to be written as follows-
IMAGE SEQUENCE NUMBER(starting from 01): <insert description>.
Name of the pdf file to be as follows:
10. Images should be named as follows- NAME OF PHOTOGRAPHER_IMAGE SEQUENCE NUMBER(starting from 01)_LOCATION (add ‘_BW’ if black and white).
11. The submitted photographs should not contain anything obscene, criminal, derogatory, defamatory or otherwise sensitive content/subject(s).


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