Shradha Narayanan writes in her article titled “Writing long with a different ink” in The Hindu about Fountain Ink, a Chennai based short magazine of long form journalism, which had a humble start and comes wrapped in a minimalist cover:
Fountain Ink a Chennai-based magazine, has gone big with essays and photo stories instead of fiction and poetry. When the team behind Fountain Ink, was faced with the choice of either going all out or staying low key, budget constraints made them choose the latter. The team behind this magazine, only eight issues old, has no complaints. Fountain Ink was founded to favour long-form writing with detailed reportage, essays and photo stories, giving journalism a fresh perspective and journalists their much loved space. All this content is wrapped in a minimalist cover and the magazine itself comes at a low price of Rs. 20. During the first three months of publication, the magazine was sold at just Rs. 5 in Chennai.
Fountain Ink refrains from being a literary magazine and has gone big with essays and photo stories instead of fiction and poetry. “Fountain Ink is a short magazine and so they can choose to concentrate on a few long pieces,” says Sreekumar Menon who teaches at the Asian College of Journalism, Chennai.
“The thought is to revive the culture of writing essays,” says Saurav Kumar, the magazine’s editor. The essays section, unlike reportage, carries contributions from non-journalists too. Topics are diverse and the expertise of the writer in the subject area shines through his/her writing, spruced up by illustrations. Issues that the Indian is familiar with are discussed here and leave the reader with narratives that increase his/her understanding of issues one may not otherwise feel connected to.
A Writer’s Road, an article on hardships faced by the regional language author in the magazine’s January issue is so absorbing that it gets the reader racking his/her brains for strategies to help promote the regional language author.
The ‘photo story’ section is also one to look out for. Whether it is a collection of Mario Miranda’s work or a glimpse into the unreleased work of Sudharak Olwe, the photos are introduced artfully.
‘Q and A’, the interview section, lets us have long conversations on subjects with the people concerned, which is a welcome change in the world of two-line commentary.
Read the full article in The Hindu: “Writing long with a different ink”