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Creative Writing Course (Online)

November 6 November 20

Doubt is a writer’s enemy. What / when / how  should you write? How will you engage the reader – make sure your writing doesn’t bore? Once done, how will you publish? Should you listen to that self-publishing sales pitch? Will you be criticized? (Ans: yes). 

Working through these questions together is like trying to eat an unlimited South-Indian thali in one gulp. In this creative writing course, we break the massive meal into small, digestible chunks. We simplify it so that someone starting out can understand the process. Maybe even enjoy it.  You write a lot, get many answers, and the big daunting meal may turn into a feast.

This Creative Writing Course is one of India’s much loved writing courses. We’ve conducted it 50+ times. Ten or fewer people work together led by a professional coach. The reviews of our workshops seem to say it really works. 32 books have been published by our participants so far. 

In this creative writing course, you learn by doing. You write. You dig into aspects of a good book – plot, character, dialogue, voice (First person or third? Or second person like this paragraph?) and much more. You learn the rather critical art of editing, and realize how much unnecessary, extra and pompous verbosity you habitually stuff into your writing.

Okay, now lets edit that: You learn the rather critical art of editing, and realize how much unnecessary, extra and pompous verbosity you habitually stuff into your writing. You learn tools: For editing, for writing better and for disciplining yourself as a writer.

The Creative Writing Course is offered both online and in the Himalayas. The small group experience stays the same. The same learnings, the same writing exercises and workload.  The instructor conducts the online workshops on Zoom.

The online course is not one way communication. It is live. Interactive. Personal. Only the Himalayas are replaced by your bedroom window. But the teaching and the camaraderie remains unchanged. 

This workshop is divided between three weekends:

6th, 13th and 20th November – 9.30 – 5 PM IST each day

During these three days different aspects of creative writing. (Day-wise detailed program is shared in the section given below)

Participation in the Creative Writing Workshop is limited to 10 only and we enroll approved participants on a first-come first-served basis. Please apply by clicking on the button below. The form helps us get to know you better as a writer, and also as a fit for this workshop.

About the Instructor

CHETAN MAHAJAN

Hindi Writing

Chetan Mahajan leads this course. Chetan has spent two decades working in on-line learning, both in the US and India. He has taught on-line as far back as 2006 as a faculty member at the University of Phoenix online.

Chetan is a Penguin-published author and an award-winning blogger. Chetan and his wife Dr. Vandita Dubey (also a published author) moved to the Himalayas almost a decade ago. There they founded the Himalayan Writing Retreat. Chetan is now a full-time author and works as a  writing coach independently as well as with the London based the writing coach.  He also writes for The MintOutlook Magazine, HT BrunchReader’s Digest and Hindu Business Line.

Pre-work

Read the short stories we send you. Make a one-page outline of the project you want to work on. 

Day 1:  Aspects of good writing. Plot, Character and Point of view.

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, Pace, Language & Editing.

We understand exactly what Description & Setting is. We learn about the pace of a story. We practice writing  both activities to make our story better.

We examine our own writing for some of the bad writing habits we pick up, and 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, your writing plan.

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 the last day 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 analyze 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 all participants sharing feedback on the experience at the Creative Writing Course.

  1. Why should I choose HWR Workshops?   
  • Personal Attention: We don’t take more than 15 students in a class. You get a lot of personal attention and feedback. No classrooms of 20-30 people or one-way pre-recorded videos here.
  • Class Quality: For most courses, we filter our participants. You can’t just pay and sign up. We need to see a writing sample (in our application form) to ensure the class is of a uniform standard.
  • Cost per hour: Our courses are long and intense. As an example, the Creative Writing course is 18000 for 24 contact hours (3 days, 8 hours each day). The cost per hour = 750 / hour. That is comparable to many of the “cheaper” courses.
  • Quality of faculty: No lightweights here. Many of our faculty are award-winners. All are experts and great teachers. We don’t settle for average.
  • Feedback scores: Across courses, we are rated 4.5/5, or higher. You can read our reviews HERE.
  1. Do I get a certificate of participation?

Yes, certificates are available on request.

  1. Any discounts for students / other categories?

At the Himalayan Writing Retreat, we follow a strict No-Discount policy.

  1. Is the workshop fee refundable?

Our cancellation policy is as follows:

  • Online Writing Workshop: 100% refund if cancellation 2 weeks before the event start date, 50% if cancellation one week before the start date, 0% if less than one week before the start date.
  • Creative Writing Workshop at the Himalayas: 100% refund if cancellation 4 weeks before the event start date, 50% if cancellation two weeks before the start date, 0% if less than two weeks before the start date.
  1. Is the Himalayan Writing Retreat a business or an NGO?

The Himalayan Writing Retreat is a social enterprise. It works closely and actively with two local NGOs in its community work initiatives: Chirag and Alaap. In 2020, HWR raised INR 6.1 Lakhs to support the Chirag School.

Have more questions? Feel free to write to us at namrata@himalayanwritingretreat.com or connect with us at +91 73035 16665 (Call/ WA/Signal).

Event Summary

Details

Start:
November 6
End:
November 20
Cost:
₹18000
Event Category:

Our Cancellation Policy:

100% refund if cancellation 2 weeks before event start date, 50% if cancellation is done one week before start date, 0% if less than one week before start date.

Village Satkhol
District Nainital, Uttarakhand 263138 India
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+91 73035 16665