Non-fiction Book Writing Course
August 24 – August 28
Do you think your expertise can help others? Have you toyed with the idea of writing a book? Then this non-fiction book writing course is for you.
Whether your goal is to promote your business, build your personal brand, or support a cause, publishing a book does a lot. A well-written book makes you look great. A badly written book does the exact opposite. So your goal can’t be to “write a book”. That is like saying you’ll “cook a meal”. To impress people, the meal you cook should be well planned and organized with the right ambience. It should be tasty, look great, and offer an amazing culinary experience.
Your non-fiction book should offer deep learning and insights in a relatable and easy to understand way. It is more than just checking the “write a book” box. It should be the best book you can write and should make your expertise jump out at the reader. If you think your book will take you to “the next level” – to start with, avoid tired clichés like that.
We see ads saying you can write a book in 21 days. That’s true. You can write a book in 21 days. Most likely, it will be terrible.
Anyone can write a book. But to write a great book takes hard work, diligence and tons of editing.
In this non-fiction book writing course you go deep into the craft of great writing over three intense days. We analyse how others have written great non-fiction. We start with the topic, craft an opening, and move into the main content. What you are trying how to make an argument for? How do you build such an argument? What all should be covered in the scope of your book? How do you research, and bring it into your book without making it sound like a tired rehash? How do you anticipate counter-arguments and refute them? In the end, the reader should understand your point very clearly. The reader should gain this insight as easily and effortlessly as possible.
The Non-fiction book writing course is led by Chetan Mahajan, a professional writing coach. Chetan is a Penguin-published author and has published columns in the Mint and Outlook magazine, amongst others. (Chetan’s detailed profile is shared below.) This Non-fiction book writing course is offered both online and in the Himalayas. You can choose your preferred format. The small group experience stays the same – the same learnings, the same writing exercises and workload. If you want to be free of distractions and learn in the Himalayan serenity, come to the Himalayan Writing Retreat.
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 ten applicants in one workshop on a first-come first-served basis. To apply for this non-fiction book writing course, please click the blue button below and fill out the application. If accepted, you can pay the fees to secure your spot.
About the Instructor
Chetan Mahajan leads this non-fiction book writing course. Chetan has spent two decades working in on-line learning, both in the US and India. He started teaching online in 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 six years ago. There they founded the Himalayan Writing Retreat.
Chetan Mahajan, Writing coach
Chetan is 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 Mint, Outlook Magazine, HT Brunch, Reader’s Digest and Hindu Business Line.
Detailed Program – Non-fiction Book Writing Course
Pre-work and pre-reading
- Three short pieces will be shared with all writers to understand and analyze
- You will be required to complete a detailed format about your book project (if you have one)
Book Topic and Structure
- Picking the right topic
- Framing your title
- Outlining your non-fiction book (Arguments and counter-arguments)
- Crafting a great opening
- The use of examples and narrative
- Research for your non-fiction book
- Bringing in other voices – the personal interview
- Data Vs emotions
- The body of the book – and making strong arguments
- The use of humour
- How to close your book
Language and Editing
- What is great language in a non-fiction book
- Terrible writing habits we form, and how to break them
- Why should we edit? The essence of any good book
- Can’t I just hire an editor?
Publishing your Non-fiction book
- Traditional v/s Self publishing – pros and cons of each
- Should I hire an editor
- Elements of a great cover
- How do authors make money? And lose it?
Marketing your Non-fiction book
- The Amazon bestseller tag – how to get one? And does it help sales?
- Title & sub-title of your book
- The role of Book cover design
- Book Reviews – Amazon / Flipkart / Goodreads
- Other elements of a great marketing campaign
Non-fiction Writers’ tool-kit
- Writer’s block – what it is, and how to block it
- Techniques and tech tools writers use
- Your personal writing plan, and the Himalayan First Draft Club.
Travel and Stay
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.
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
- What can one expect from the Non-Fiction Writing Workshop (Online/ At the Himalayas)?
You can expect to learn a lot about non-fiction writing.
You can also expect to be able to work on your (long-pending) book and see it published. Our participants win awards. They write short stories and have published over 25 books so far. Check them HERE.
To add further, this workshop will be beneficial for anyone interested in writing non-fiction. For e.g. books like Do Epic Shit, Atomic Habits, etc, or a book of essays on personal experiences. If you are planning to write a book of essays that are opinion-based, theoretical in nature, and backed by research and stats, then that is pure non-fiction. A book on management, how-tos, tips and tricks, guides, etc. are all non-fiction.
- Can I have recordings of all the sessions for Online Workshops if I miss them?
As a matter of policy, we do not record any of our sessions. The idea is to build on each others’ knowledge through interactions and feedback while working together throughout the workshop.
- 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. If you write in a language other than English, please share this in the form.
- I have never written a book but want to write one about my experience of working as an HR head for 25 years with a specific focus on analysing people before hiring them. Will this workshop be helpful for that?
Our Non-fiction Writing Course (both physical and in the Himalayas) is recommended for writers who want to write non-fiction. So yes, this workshop will help you write that book.
- What is the pre-work?
Pre-work for this Non-fiction Writing Course is both reading and writing. A set of excerpts are to be read by all participants. These are used as examples and context to discuss and understand various concepts in the workshop. Further, each participant has to prepare a one-page project outline which they will then build on during the Non-fiction Writing Course. The pre-work is shared a few days before the workshop to give you ample time to go through it.
- Is the pre-work mandatory?
Yes, it is mandatory.
- What is the daily schedule (different for online and offline)?
The schedule for the Himalayan workshop is shared below. For the Online Writing Workshop, it is the Day 1-3 schedule (9 AM – 5 PM over 3 days) without the Day 0 and Day 4 activities.
Day 0 ( a day before the workshop starts) reach Satkhol anytime.
- 8.15 am Breakfast in the lounge
- 9 am – 1 pm Attend the workshop with the rest of the participants
- 1 -2 pm Lunch Break
- 2-5 pm Attend the workshop with the rest of the participants
- After 6 pm Go on nature walks, watch the sunset and enjoy the beauty of the Himalayas.
- 8.15 am Breakfast in the lounge
- 10 am Checkout
- 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.
- What’s in store after the workshop is over?
We believe in creating a community for writers. After attending one of our courses, the participants stay connected and work as a writing group. The close bond formed from the shared experience means you share, get feedback, become beta readers, critique each others’ works, and much more.
We also host free events like the Himalayan First Draft Club and the Himalayan Book Club. You can also join our Facebook Group: Let’s Talk Writing, where, as the name suggests we just talk about writing and nothing else.
- What should I do to get the most from the Non-fiction 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 workshop at the retreat have locked themselves up for days after the workshop and focused 100% on their writing. They have reported massive progress. Not returning to your everyday life immediately after the workshop helps you apply what you learn.
The Non-fiction Writing Workshop will fill you with inspiration and ideas. Tapping into that energy and enthusiasm right after the workshop can be magical. So if you can, stay on for some time after the workshop – either with us or elsewhere. We offer a great deal for participants wanting to stay on.
If participating online, try and create some time after the Non-fiction Writing workshop to work on your writing.
12. Can I reach out to Chetan Mahajan after the workshop?
Working one-on-one is very time-intensive, and Chetan does very little one-on-one work.
He works as a writing coach with a few select authors. His coaching calendar is full right now. The details for it can be found here. You can go through this and reach out in case you wish to consider joining the waiting list to work with him as your Writing Coach.
Have more questions? Feel free to write to us at email@example.com or connect with us at +91 73035 16665 (Call/ WA/Signal).
** 29000 is the early bird price. Regular price of INR 32000 applicable after August 10, 2022.**
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