The Kids Writing Workshop
May 30 – June 3
So you’re a kid and you love writing? You love creating characters, imagining new worlds, and dreaming up stories? Explore the writer within in this workshop.
The Himalayan Writing Retreat is hosting a kids Writing Workshop from May 30 – June 3, 2023. The earlier ones were sold out and much enjoyed by parents and kids.
To participate, you should be between 9 – 12 years of age.
The workshop is custom built for kids. You learn the framework for writing a good story or novel. You work closely with a writing coach and get personalized attention. You write. You share. You get feedback. And you become a better writer.
Kids love Anupama Dalmia’s style of teaching creative writing. She been doing it for six years, and has helped over 5000 kids and teens get better at creative writing till date through her organization “Beyond the Box”.
She strongly believes that learning can be fun. Her teaching methods encourage children to express themselves without the fear of being judged. She has conducted events at various schools, communities and public places, and has also come up with numerous pioneering initiatives and projects for unleashing the creativity in children like BTB Talkies – the first audio book in the world by kids, for kids.
As a person she is driven and energetic, and her list of accomplishment could fill up a whole page. You can find further details about her in the ‘About the Instructor’ section.
Can a 3 – day workshop make me a writer?
Expecting a writing workshop to make you a great writer is like expecting a six-pack after your first workout at a gym.
Writing is a continuous process. You evolve every day. It needs a lot of patience, consistency, dedication, and practice.
This workshop introduces you to the craft of writing. You understand the various elements of the craft – basic skills, good practices & tools for writing and editing. Taking the metaphor of carpentry, you will learn to cut wood in straight lines, and hammer nails without bending them. But to make that perfect table will take a lot of hard work even after the workshop is done. In this workshop you will put together a few elements which will help you write a great story. But not the finished work – that table. That will need you to diligently work on after the workshop.
The Himalayan Workshop sessions are held in the open or in the book lounge. Some meals maybe served in the open too if the weather is good. The outdoors are a very inviting and inspiring here.
We only accept a total of six families in one workshop on a first-come first-served basis. To apply for this course, please click the blue button below and fill out the application. If accepted, you can pay the fees to secure your spot.
The price is INR 26,000 for each participant and INR 16,000 for each accompanying adult. These prices include your stay, meals and taxes.
About the Instructor
Anupama is a multiple award winning blogger, author, serial entrepreneur with three ventures, sociopreneur, digital content creator, creative writing mentor, choreographer and mother to a 8-year-old. She is a Karamveer Chakra (Silver) awardee which is a Global Civilian Honour presented by International Confederation of NGOs in association with the United Nations. She has been featured among the top bloggers and influencers of India on multiple leading platforms and her entrepreneurial journey has been covered by coveted media like Official Humans of Hyderabad, The Hindu, The New Indian Express, Business World, Femina, The Better India, Women’s Web, TOI Group, Influglue, Youth Ki Awaaz and YourStory to name a few. Last year, she was featured by Zee News and Tribune among the 100 Influential Indians of 2022.
Anupama is the Founder & Chief Mentor at Beyond the Box which is a literary platform that focuses on honing the creative writing skills of children with a holistic approach. She strongly believes that learning is fun when you make it fun, and employs unconventional strategies to enable children to express without the fear of being judged and bloom to their full potential. She has reached out to 5000+ kids across the globe till date through her classes and workshops at various schools, communities and public events, and has also come up with numerous pioneering initiatives and projects for unleashing the creativity in children like BTB Talkies – the first audio book in the world by kids, for kids. For her contribution in this space, she was awarded ‘Educationist of the Year’ award at IBM Awards 2020 and Dr. Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan Award 2020. Beyond the Box was declared the 1st Runner Up at Global Book Community Awards 2020 in the category of “Best community for Children and Young Adults” out of 1000+ participating communities from around the world. You can find further details about her here.
Detailed Program – Kids Writing Workshop
Arrive any time, settle in, enjoy the views, clean air and good weather
- 5 pm – Tea & snacks
- 6 pm – Walk to a natural fresh water spring
- 7 pm – Word Tambola for kids and family
- 8 pm – Dinner
- 8:30 am – Breakfast
- 9:30 am – Introductions/Fun Story-telling Session for Kids (Adults can also join if interested)
- 10 am – 1 pm : Basic elements of story writing for kids – Plot, Characters, Setting, Conflict & Climax. Adults can choose to relax or visit Mukteshwar/nearby areas during the first half
- 1 pm – Lunch
- 2 – 3 pm : Kids finish home-work from morning session
- 4 pm : Foraging Walk for adults and kids
- 5:30 pm – Tea/Juice & Snack back at the retreat
- 6:30 pm – Share your talent/Open mike (adults and kids)
- 8:00 pm – Dinner
- 9 – 10 am – Picnic Breakfast on the Ridge. We walk up to a nearby ridge and have a picnic breakfast under pine trees (weather permitting). Parents can continue their walk on the ridge and visit the village temple. They can then head back to the retreat.
- 10 am – 1 pm : Writing session for kids – Dialogues & Descriptions (Imagery, ‘Show, Don’t Tell’)
- 1 pm – Lunch
- You will be free after lunch in case you want to plan any local visits or sightseeing as a family
- 5 pm – Tea & Snacks
- 6 pm – Fun Story Chain Activity (adults & kids)
- 8:00 pm – Dinner
- 8:30 am – Breakfast
- 9:30 am – 10 am – Divergent Thinking activity for kids (parents can also attend)
- 10 am – 1 pm – Writing session for kids – Story Structure, Conflict and Climax. Writing a short story based on concepts learnt.
- 1 pm – Lunch
- 2 pm – 4 pm – Editing/Feedback – One-on-one sessions of about 30 minutes each with the kids
- 4:30 pm – Walk up to Navin’s chai shop for Tea, Samosas & optional shopping for hand made/locally made products at Kilmora (local NGO store).
- 6:30 pm – Sharing stories by the bonfire – all kids and adults have to be present. The kids will be reading aloud the stories that they have written. These stories will also be published in the Kids’ Corner section of Beyond the Box website.
- 8:00 pm – Dinner
- 8:30 am – Breakfast
- 9:30 am – Feedback forms
- 10 am onwards – Departures
Travel and Stay
The Himalayan Writing Retreat is built for writing and learning. We are rated 5-star on google and facebook.
Once here, you will be sharing a room with a fellow participant (unless we’ve confirmed a single). All essentials like food, hot water, towels etc. are provided. No hidden costs.
It can snow in winter. Weather can vary and the weather chart of Mukteshwar (12 km from the retreat) is here. A pair of sturdy walking shoes, some rain protection and an extra layer or two are always a good idea.
Our rooms are built to let nature in and inspire you. To see pictures of the rooms click here . To see pictures of the writing spaces click here
Depending upon where you travel in from, you can reach us by road, train or air. Even if flying or taking a train, the final stretch is a drive, and the last 150 metres is a walk.
The retreat is a 370 km/9 hours drive from Delhi. If driving, we recommend you leave early. Note that parking at the retreat is on the road – we do not have any private parking. We have limited driver accommodation, so please check in advance.
Overnight Volvo buses ply between Haldwani and Delhi, the more reliable of which are government operated. You con book those here. Private Volvos and Sleeper buses also ply between Delhi and Haldwani, which you can book on redbus. Make sure you pick a bus with a high (4+) rating.
There are three trains a day from Delhi to Kathgodam, the nearest train station. Some others also come in from Kolkata, Lucknow and Dehradun. From Delhi, Ranikhet Express is a convenient overnight train both ways, but finding tickets can be difficult.
Most people prefer to take the Kathgodam Shatabdi (Delhi dep: 6.20 AM, Kathgodam Arr: 11.40 AM). A cab from Kathgodam to Satkhol takes about 2.5 hrs / Rs. 2200 (more for a big car). Cabs are often shared by participants.
There are daily flights from Delhi to Pantnagar. A cab from Pantnagar to Satkhol takes about 3.5 hr / Approx INR 4K.
There are direct flights from Mumbai and Bangalore to Bareilly 3-4 days a week. Satkhol is a 5hr / INR 5.5k cab ride from Bareilly. (More for a big car). Cabs are often shared by participants.
Frequently Asked Questions
General Queries on Workshop
What can one expect from the Kids Writing course?
This workshop is a great entry point to learn the nuances of writing, with course content, examples and reading picked especially for young writers.
The workshop is custom-built for kids. You learn the framework for writing a good story or even a book. You work closely, in real-time with a writing coach. You write in a group with 9 other kids. You share. You get feedback. And then you write better.
I write in my mother tongue which is not English. Can I attend this workshop?
Yes, you can. We have had participants before who write in Bengali, Punjabi, and Tamil. However, the medium of instruction is English, as are the class readings, etc. So some proficiency in English is essential.
I have never written before. But I want to write a story. Can I attend this workshop?
Yes, you can attend this workshop. However, we do insist on a writing sample to be sent along your application. This is to help us understand you better and also as a fit for this workshop. The writing sample can be anything that you consider is your best piece of writing till date. A poem, an essay or an email – all of these can be your writing sample.
What should I do after I have applied for the workshop?
Look forward to an email from email@example.com on the status of your application. Do check your spam folders also. To avoid missing out on any important communication from us, please add this email to your safe senders’ list.
What is the process after applying for the workshop?
Once you are accepted into the workshop, you are requested to confirm your slot within a day by paying your fees. In the absence of the payment, your spot may be released to another applicant as we accept only a limited number of participants in the workshop.
Can I decide which sessions to attend and pay accordingly?
The workshop has a sequential structure. Each day builds on the previous one, and sessions are often connected. Ideally, you should attend the full workshop to get the most out of it. You cannot cherry-pick sessions you’re interested in or pay part of the fees.
What if I miss out on any of the sessions for personal reasons?
Our sessions are live and not recorded. Hence, in case you miss out on any of the sessions, there is no way you can attend it again except perhaps ask any of the other participants to brief you on those topics.
Is there any hand-holding or continued support from HWR after the workshop?
At HWR we believe in supporting and encouraging writers. After attending the kids writing workshop, the participant becomes a part of a group of kids interested in writing. They continue to stay connected over email and WA, and soften connect privately through other channels (email is for old people). They often work together in pairs or as a writing group. The close bond formed from the shared experience means you share, get feedback, become beta readers, critique each other’s works, and much more.
11. What should I do to get the most from the Kids Writing Workshop?
Firstly, participate diligently, and throw yourself into the process with an open mind.
If you can, try and keep a few days in hand to write after the course is done. Don’t jump right back into your daily grind after the workshop. A few participants who have attended the physical workshop at the retreat have locked themselves up for days after the workshop and focused 100% on their writing. They have reported massive progress. Try and implement a virtual equivalent of that. Staying focused on your writing immediately after the workshop helps you apply what you learn.
Does HWR help a participant get published?
Our workshops are about exploring the art of crafting great stories. We do discuss publishing and the various options available for writers in India. Our blog is a great resource for anyone who wants to explore the publishing process in India at length.
However, we do not provide any assistance in getting published for the participants.
Queries related to Accommodation and Facilities
1. Could you please share a bit more information about the accommodation provided to our family and the associated facilities?
You will all share a room as a unit with an attached bath. We are a full-service boutique hotel and are highly rated on google. Pictures of rooms and our lounge where we eat and hold sessions can be seen HERE.
2. While my child is in the workshop, what are the options available for the accompanying adults to utilize our time?
You can explore the local area, go for walks, read and chat with other parents. If you would like to explore, you can rent a car for 1-2 days and visit the attractions in the area like Mukteshwar (45 mins drive) to the Jageshwar temple complex (2.5 hours), etc.
3. While your website provides information on the travel and logistics to reach you, will you be able to help with some specifics of travel and logistics? We are not at all familiar with this part of India and have never visited not have any contacts and any help will be appreciated. For e.g. we may need help in arranging a trusted pickup from either Pantnagar airport or Kathgodam railway station.
Yes, we will help and guide you with all travel-related information. We will also help you coordinate with other people traveling for the same event.
4. What the expected weather conditions there during the workshop time?
Lows are around mid-teens and highs are in the mid-20s. we are at an altitude so the sun can be hot, but a shower can bring temperatures down. At that time there will be fruits on the trees that the kids (and you) can pluck and eat. The chart in the link below for Mukteshwar is the nearest published proxy (it is close by but 1000 ft higher) for our village, Satkhol. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mukteshwar#Climate
5. I have noticed the cancellation policies on your website. Due to the unpredictability and uncertainty of the pandemic situation, anything can happen and there can travel restrictions in either origin, destination, or transit during this time. So will you be considerate of that and flexible with the cancellation policies?
The Cancellation policy applies in ordinary circumstances. However, if the government bans travel/ does a lockdown / prevents interstate travel, etc. then we will hold your full credit and you can apply it for any future event or even a vacation. Furthermore, if travel is permitted but you decide not to travel, then the policy will apply.
All participants & parents are required to bring a negative RTPCR report, or proof they have had both shots. If the RTPCR test result is positive for anyone in your party, again, we will hold your credit for a future event.
Have more questions? Feel free to write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org or connect with us at +91 73035 16665 (Call/ WA/Signal).
Additional Guests, Single room and Cancellation Policy:
Additional Guests may stay with participants, subject to availability. Their stay is charged at a rate of INR 4000 per night including meals and taxes for a shared room.
Single rooms can be requested but are subject to availability. The additional cost for a single room is 3000 per night including meals and taxes.
100% refund if cancellation 4 weeks before event start date, 50% if cancellation is done two weeks before start date, 0% if less than two weeks before start date.
If participants test positive for Covid-19 before travel (RTPCR Report Required), full credit will be held for six months for any future event, subject to availability.I understand