Bootcamp #1 - Oct 2016

Bootcamp #2, April 2017

Bootcamp #8, Oct 2018

Bootcamp #9, Feb 2019

Writing can be daunting. Writing a book can overwhelm. What should I write? How should I write it? Will I hook the reader – or will my writing drag? Will my readers judge me? What are the publishing options? Once published, how do I market?

It is like trying to eat an entire meal in one gulp. At the Bootcamp, we break the massive meal into small, digestible chunks, You get the answers, you write, and the big daunting meal turns into a feast. Or at least something you can tackle.

The Himalayan Writing Bootcamp is our most popular course. At the Bootcamp, we write a lot. We don’t learn by seeing & listening. We learn by doing. Nothing awakens the writer inside as much as writing. We dig into many writing related topics like plot, character, dialogue, voice (First person or third?) and much more. We learn the rather critical art of editing, and realize how much unnecessary, extra and pompous verbosity we habitually stuff into our writing. Okay, now lets edit that: We learn the rather critical art of editing, and realize how much unnecessary, extra and pompuous verbosity we habitually stuff into our writing. We learn tools: For editing, for writing better and for disciplining ourselves as writers.

We understand the writing landscape of India. We get to know the various players – writers, publishers, literary agents. We dissect the publishing industry and understand how technology is changing it. A detailed, day-wise break-up of the Bootcamp is shared below. We learn to notice unnecessary use of passive voice, like in the previous sentence. It could have been “We’ve shared a day-wise program below”. We learn how to clean up our writing.

Participants love this Bootcamp. They say nice things. And they write - three have signed book deals, and many more are in the works. To read participant reviews of the Himalayan Writing Retreat, click here.

When: Sep 7-11, 2019

Who: Chetan Mahajan & Vandita Dubey lead this workshop. Both are published authors. (For instructor profiles, click here or scroll down.)

Where: The Himalayan Writing Retreat, Satkhol Village. Uttarakhand - 263138 (India). Details here.

How much : INR 25,000 ( 3 days, 4 nights of learning, twin-sharing stay, food and taxes). Click here for our Cancellation Policy.

Note: Single occupancy is subject to availability at an additional cost of 8k. If this is a prerequisite (e.g. if you snore loudly or talk gibberish in your sleep) then we suggest you mention it clearly in the application. 

We only accept ten applicants on a first-come first-serve basis. To apply, please click the blue button below and fill out the application. If accepted, you can pay 50% to secure your spot and pay the balance two weeks before the event. 

Participants saying nice things

About the Instructors

Chetan Mahajan

Chetan Mahajan is the co-founder of the Himalayan Writing Retreat. A Penguin-published author, he quit the corporate world and moved to a village in the Himalayas to be a full-time author and blogger over three years ago. The Himalayan Writing Retreat is all about helping people with their writing. Chetan blogs about living in the mountains here.  His blog won the Indiblogger award for humour. He is also a writing coach with the London based the writing coach.

Vandita Dubey

Dr. Vandita Dubey, is a US licensed Clinical Psychologist, and the author of the book “ Parenting in the age of Sexposure”. She co-hosts the Himalayan Writing Retreat. She also hosts the "Writing For Self-growth" Workshop, You can learn more about her and read her blog here.

Detailed Program

The typical schedule starts with a day of travel for you to get here.

Day 0 (7th Sep)

Arrive. Walk. Chat. Mingle. See a starlight night sky.

We get to know each other that evening. We may also talk about the very basis of writing: Why do we write? What motivates us? Who do we write for? A fireside can be great for such a conversation.

Day 1

Aspects of good writing. Plot, Character, Point of view and much more.

We dig into the aspects of a good book, and spend time on Plot and Character in depth.

In Plot, we go over various frameworks of plot, and how they apply to some contemporary writings, such as Harry Potter. How a good plot leads to a strong narrative. In Character, we explore what characters are, their different types, how they are built, and so on.

Point of view is a big decision - will you write in first-person? Third ? Or will you write from Multiple points of view? We will do voice-writing exercises in pairs to help the writer get into someone else’s shoes and write.

Day 2

Description & Setting, Clean language, Editing, The project of writing.

We understand exactly what Description & Setting is. We do visioning and focusing activities to make our descriptions and settings more vivid.

We then discover some of the bad writing habits we pick up young, and the ways to unlearn them. We learn to omit needless words and write clean.

Editing cannot be over-emphasized. Good writers do it over and over again. We understand why, and explore some tools which can help.

Next, we dig into the project of writing: how to plan a book and write it. We learn new ways to do away with distractions and create focus. We close by looking at tools - both offline and tech - specific to writing.

We review the book writing plans of those keen on sharing. We tweak the plans where required and understand the committed milestones and dates.

Day 3

Writers block, Publishing options, Marketing your book.

We discuss strategies based on research on creativity from the field of psychology. We write more. From figuring out how to “think outside the box” to ways of dealing with the famous writer’s block, we put science to good use. We build on the authors’ toolkit.

We spend Day 3 doing a reality check. Publishing and marketing a book requires a very different set of skills from writing a book. We explore those. We understand the options for publishing available to a first-time author. For analyse the economics of traditional and self publishing, their pros and cons. We learn what a literary agent does, and if you should sign up with one.

We discuss what it takes to market a book. Does Social Media have a role? What are good - and bad - ways to get reviews?

We close with a case study of an idea and how it became a successful book.

Day 4 (11th Sep)

We cover any open items this morning. We click group pictures, start feeling prematurely nostalgic. A few people may cry. We close the retreat with all participants sharing feedback (not enough Nutella?).

We end by 10.30 AM so that people needing to board the Shatabdi can make it well on time.