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Our Faculty

Arunava Sinha

Arunava Sinha translates classic, modern, and contemporary Bengali fiction and nonfiction into English. Seventy-one of his translations have been published so far. Twice the winner of the Crossword translation award, for Sankar’s Chowringhee (2007) and Anita Agnihotri’s Seventeen (2011), respectively, and the winner of the Muse India translation award (2013) for Buddhadeva Bose’s When The Time Is Right. He has also been shortlisted for The Independent Foreign Fiction prize (2009) for his translation of Chowringhee and for the Global Literature in Libraries Initiative Translated YA Book Prize for his translation of Md Zafar Iqbal’s Rasha, and longlisted for the Best Translated Book award, USA, 2018 for his translation of Bhaskar Chakravarti’s Things That Happen and Other Poems. Translation Masterclass

In 2021, his translation of Taslima Nasrin’s Shameless was shortlisted for the National Translation Award in the USA. Besides India, his translations have been published in the UK and the US in English, and in several European and Asian countries through further translation. He is an associate professor of practice in the Creative Writing department at Ashoka University, and Co-Director, of the Ashoka Centre of Translation.

Arundhathi Subramaniam

Award winning poet and Teacher

Described as 'one of the finest poets writing in India today', Arundhathi Subramaniam is an award-winning Indian poet. She is the author of twelve books, of which five are books of poetry. Widely translated and anthologised, her book, When God is a Traveller (2014) was the Season Choice of the Poetry Book Society, shortlisted for the T.S. Eliot Prize. Her new book of poems, Love Without a Story, published earlier this year with Westland Amazon, is already in its second reprint.

As editor, her most recent book is the acclaimed Penguin anthology of medieval Indian sacred poetry, Eating God. As prose writer, her books include The Book of Buddha; the bestselling biography of a contemporary mystic, Sadhguru: More Than a Life; and most recently, Adiyogi: The Source of Yoga (co-authored with Sadhguru).

She is the recipient of various Indian and international awards and fellowships, including the inaugural Khushwant Singh Prize, the Raza Award for Poetry, the Zee Women’s Award for Literature, the International Piero Bigongiari Prize in Italy, the Mystic Kalinga award, the Charles Wallace, Visiting Arts and Homi Bhabha Fellowships, among others.

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, blogger and teacher almost a decade ago. The Himalayan Writing Retreat is all about helping people with their writing. He is also a writing coach with the London based the writing coach.

Chetan blogs about life in a Himalayan village at www.uncity.blog. This blog won the Indiblogger award for Humour in 2017.

He is currently working on his first novel "Tara and Vishnu" and also co-authoring a non-fiction book with his co-founder, Vandita (details below). Chetan often writes columns for the Readers Digest, Mint, Outlook Magazine, Hindu Business Line and the Hindustan Times (Brunch). For more details, visit: www.chetanmahajan.com.

Chitra Iyer

Chitra has over two decades of professional experience, the first half of which was as a brand marketer for Tata Sky and P&G, and the second half has been as a business content creator writing about customer experience and consumer data, marketing technology, and digital transformation - for a range of clients around the world.

She has served as the editor-in-chief of a group of B2B publications: Martech Advisor, HRTechnologist, And ReadITQuik, which has since been acquired by NYSE-listed B2B media powerhouse Ziff Davis, under the Spiceworks brand. As the editor, she hired and trained more than two dozen writers, and has written and edited hundreds of articles, blogs, white papers, and eBooks across a wide spectrum of topics.

Currently, she is a freelance content creator with clients in Israel, the USA, England, France, and India. She also runs her own personal passion project PolymathParenting.com, with resources for parents who want to help their children be more effective learners.

You can see Chitra’s recently published work here

and her LinkedIn profile is here


Debarati Mukhopadhyay

Debarati Mukhopadhyay is presently one of the most popular authors of Bengali Literature. A young Government Officer by profession and awarded with several accolades like the New Indian Express Devi Award 2022, Tagore Samman, 2022, Literary Star of Bengal, etc, she published 20+ bestselling novels in West Bengal and created a buzz. She’s extremely popular in Bengal and has more than 5,00,000+ followers on Social media.

Her novel ‘Narach’, a period novel depicting Indentured Labourers of 19 th Century, is highly acclaimed among readers and has been published in English by Harper Collins India as 'Chronicles of the Lost Daughters'. Her Novel ‘Dasgupta Travels’, which is about the corporate world, Bengal entrepreneurs and Europe tourism has been shortlisted for ‘Sahitya Akademi Yuva Pursakar, 2021’.

Many of her novels like Narak Sanket, Ranr Kahini are already made into the silver screen. Her Novel ‘Shikhandi’ created history when it was acquired for the film within 24 hours of its publication. Besides this, she contributes to Bengal’s prominent literary magazines and journals regularly.

Both critical and commercial readers highly appraise her books. Each of her novels has knowledge enriched and the USP of her writing is unique, quirky content with a strong basis of immensely hard work and research, which has brought her this much popularity. She also has diversified work experiences from the IT sector to nationalized banks, which empower her to write in several genres.

A travel-freak, enthusiastic young woman, she is the mom of an infant. Debarati is also an excellent orator, who motivates people through her way of positive thinking and voluntarily guides aspirants for Government job preparation in leisure.

She’s a regular speaker in eminent institutions like Ramakrishna Mission and other educational seminars and is often considered a youth icon of Bengal.

For more details, please visit: www.authordebarati.com.

Dipika Mukherjee

Dipika Mukherjee is the author of the novels Shambala Junction and Ode to Broken Things, and the story collection, Rules of Desire. Her work is included in The Best Small Fictions 2019 and appears in World Literature Today, Asia Literary Review, Del Sol Review, and Chicago Quarterly Review, Newsweek, Los Angeles Review of Books, Hemispheres, Orion, Scroll, The Edge, and more.

Her third poetry collection, Dialect of Distant Harbors, is forthcoming from CavanKerry Press in October 2022 and a collection of travel essays, Writers Postcards, has been accepted for publication by Penguin Random House (SEA) for 2023. She is a Contributing Editor for Jaggery Lit and teaches at StoryStudio Chicago and at the Graham School at the University of Chicago. She holds a Ph.D. in English (Sociolinguistics) from Texas A&M University.

In 2015, she founded the D.K Dutt Award for Literary Excellence in Malaysia. She has edited five anthologies of Southeast Asian fiction and has taught creative writing in Chicago, Amsterdam, New Delhi, and Kuala Lumpur. In 2021, she received the Instructor of the Year Award from Stories Matter Foundation, which runs StoryStudio. She is the recipient of a 2022 Esteemed Artist Award (DCASE) from the City of Chicago.

To learn more about Dipika, please visit https://dipikamukherjee.com/.

Divya Prakash Dubey

Hindi Writing Faculty

Divya Prakash Dubey is a Hindi bestseller author, and songwriter and has a couple of short films too credited to his name. His three books, a couple of collections of stories in Hindi – Terms, and Conditions Apply and Masala Chai, and a short novel, Musafir cafe have changed the very fabric of modern Hindi writing.

He is the first Hindi author of this fusion style of writing, thereby making the popular fiction genre of Hindi Indian Literature appealing to a wide audience. His other groundbreaking efforts include the widely-read Sunday Wali Chitthi and StoryBaazi. Both are revolutionary and new ways of storytelling to the masses.

All his published books (Aako -Baako, Ibnebatuti, October junction, Musafir cafe, masala chai) have been bestsellers. More than 1.5 Lacs copies Sold. His books were in the top ranks of the Dainik Jagran & Nielson’s bestseller list. He is the first person to present a TEDx talk in Hindi. His audio shows have been the most loved shows on Amazon Audible.

After being a Corporate Marketing professional and content editor with a leading channel, he is now a full-time writer and develops movies, web series, and audio shows in his writer’s room. Some of the major projects he has been associated with as a dialogue writer includes, Movie PS-1 (Directed by Mani Ratnam) releasing on 30th September and Web Series(Dr. Arora) created by Imtiaz Ali on Sonyliv.

He belongs to a new line of Hindi authors who are rewriting the rules of the game. Read more about him at his website: Divya Prakash Dubey | Hindi Author & Storyteller (Storybaazi)

Erika Krouse

Erika Krouse leads the Himalayan Writers Retreat with a special emphasis on fiction and creative non-fiction.
Her fiction has appeared in The Atlantic, The New Yorker, Esquire.com, The Kenyon Review, Story, Ploughshares, One Story, The Iowa Review, and other publications. Her short fiction has been shortlisted for the Pushcart Prize and the Best American Short Stories. Her novel Contenders (Rare Bird Books), was a finalist for the VCU Cabell First Novelist Award, and appears in German with Aufbau-Verlag. Her short story collection, Come Up and See Me Sometime (Scribner), won the Paterson Fiction Award, was a New York Times Notable Book of the year, and has been translated into six languages. Erika received her MA from CU Boulder, where she also taught creative writing. She has taught at Lighthouse since 2008, and mentors for the Book Project. She's written everything from book reviews for The New York Times to horoscopes for Glamour. The only thing she doesn't like writing is her bio.

Geeta Ramanujam

Storytelling Faculty
Geeta teaches two storytelling workshops at the Himalayan Writing Retreat every year. She is the founder and Executive Director of Kathalaya, India leading storytelling organization. She created the Kathalaya Trust to revive the traditional art of storytelling,
Geeta is an internationally renowned storyteller and teacher. She uses storytelling as an effective educational and cultural tool for parents, teachers, NGOs and corporate sectors both in India and abroad.
Geeta talks about how she was once shy of speaking in public, forget telling stories. But now when you see her tell a story - where she may roar like a lion or do a brilliant enactment of a little squirrel, you wonder how that could be true. Ramanujam, who was formerly a teacher at the Valley School, bring her classroom genius and applies it to the subject of storytelling to deliver an amazing learning experience.

Kritika Pandey

A Pushcart-nominated writer from Jharkhand, India, Kritika Pandey is a graduate of the MFA for Poets and Writers, University of Massachusetts, Amherst.

Her many accolades include the 2020 grant from the Elizabeth George Foundation and shortlisting for the commonwealth prize in 2018 as well as 2016.

In2020, she was the Overall winner of the Commonwealth short story prize for her story “The Great Indian Tee and Snakes”. "A gut-punch of a story, all the more shocking in its charged conclusion given that most of it is set at a tea seller's and its energy derives from a few looks between a boy and a girl" says the Ghanaian writer NiiAyikwei Parkes, one of the Judges. You can read the story at https://granta.com/the-great-indian-tee-and-snakes/ .

Her writing  has been published in The Bombay Literary MagazineRaleigh Review, The Common, Granta, and UCity Review, among others. Her other awards include the 2014 Charles Wallace India Trust Scholarship for Creative Writing at the University of Edinburgh, the 2018 Cara Parravani Memorial Award in Fiction, the 2018 Harvey Swados Fiction Prize, and the 2020 James W. Foley Memorial Award.

Kritika lives in Massachusetts, U.S .

Paula Younger

Paula Younger

Paula Younger leads the Himalayan Writers Retreat with an emphasis on Fiction writing. Paula's writing has appeared in many literary journals, including Harper Collins’ 52 StoriesThe Chicago Tribune’s Printers Row Journal, The Rattling WallThe Southeast Review, and The Nervous Breakdown. She earned her MFA from the University of Virginia, and received the Henry Hoyns and Bronx Writers Center fellowships. She teaches at Lighthouse Writers Workshop, where she received the Beacon Award for teaching excellence.

You can learn more about Paula at her website www.paulayounger.com

Rochelle Potkar

Fictionist | Poet | Critic | Curator | Editor | Translator | Screenwriter

Award-winning writer, Rochelle Potkar’s book of haibun Paper Asylum was shortlisted for the Rabindranath Tagore Literary Prize 2020. Author of Four Degrees of Separation and Bombay Hangovers, she is an alumna of Iowa’s International Writing Program (2015) and a Charles Wallace Writer’s fellow, University of Stirling (2017). 

She was invited as a creative-writing mentor for the 2019 Summer Institute, The International Writing Program, Iowa. Read more about her at https://rochellepotkar.com

Sumit Bansal

Sumit Bansal leads the Blogging workshop at the Himalayan Writing Retreat. Sumit He has been blogging since 2013, and went full-time into it in 2015. The first blog that Sumit started was about Excel Spreadsheets.

Trumpexcel has become amongst the best Excel blogs in the world and enabled Sumit to quit his full-time job at IBM and live a life of freedom he always wanted. Sumit's fascinating story was covered by Problogger podcastIndieHackerIdeamenschSide Hustle School Podcast, and many other sites and publications.  In 2018, CEO Magazine featured Trumpexcel as one of the “50 Emerging Startups to Watch in 2018”. 

Dr. Vandita Dubey

Dr. Vandita Dubey is the author of "Parenting in the age of sexposure: Raising the precocious generation" , published by Rupa in 2016. Dr. Dubey earned her Doctoral degree in Clinical Psychology from the Illinois School of Professional Psychology in 2006 and obtained her Psychologist License from the State of Indiana in 2007. She trained and worked in private practice, community mental health centers, and schools in the US. Her research focused on resilience. She started her private practice in Gurgaon in 2008 and has consulted with schools and corporates. Dr Dubey also holds a degree in Medical & Psychiatric Social Work from TISS, Mumbai, and worked with NGOs on the issue of child sexual abuse in Delhi and Mumbai between 1997 and 2000.

Dr. Dubey now chooses to live in the Himalayas, where she has co-founded the Himalayan Writing Retreat. She has designed the Emotional well-being through Writing workshop which she conducts. She is also the expert psychologist featured on the popular YouTube channel Zen-brain.<\p>

Dr. Dubey has also just finished her second book with the working title “Against the tide – lessons from the journeys of those who left the 9-5 in search of meaning.” She is conversation with multiple publishing houses through her agent and hopes to publish the book in 2023.