Yes. Some non-writers come here to learn writing. Some accompany writers. And some simply hire rooms and stay. On occasion non-writers have rented the entire retreat to host their own events.
Non-writers can stay subject to availability, and we request that they do not disturb any resident writers.
The retreat is a full-service facility, with a staff of five people. All rooms are cleaned daily. Sheets and towels are changed every third day. Home-style meals are served buffet style three times a day, and tea and snacks in the evening. There is no room-service or a-la-carte menu, but electric kettles are provided in each room. The nearby Kapil store is well-stocked with packaged food and snacks.
The weather here can vary so please bring layers. Satkhol isn’t on the weather map , Mukteshwar is higher than us, but is our nearest proxy (chart here). In the monsoon season rain-gear is essential, and can be helpful even at other times. The Retreat is spread out and there is some walking required so a pair of practical shoes will help. Skip the stilettoes, bring the Sneakers.
Summers one can get by with a T-shirt, and maybe a light jackets in the evenings (unless it rains). There may be fruit on the trees and some of what you eat is farmed locally.
Spring and Monsoons are cool and you will need more than one layer. Heating is not required yet.
Winters are cold and beautiful. The big, snow-capped peaks are out in all their glory. To keep our participants warm the book lounge (the main teaching / eating / hang-out space) is heated with a wood burning stove called a Bukhari. There is little fog, and the sun is mostly bright so we spend day-time outside if it is sunny. Hot water bottles make all beds cozy at night.
No, but you are free to bring your own booze to help/hinder your book. (We talk about the relationship between alcohol and writing in our workshops).
The first workshop was held at a rented venue in October 2016, and we continued with that model for two years. We started workshops at our current facility in September 2018.
Dr. Vandita Dubey and Chetan Mahajan.
Dr Dubey is a Clinical Psychologist and the author of “Parenting in the age of exposure”. More about her at www.vanditadubey.com
Chetan Mahajan is a writer, writing coach and public speaker. More about him at www.chetanmahajan.com
Six Guest rooms with a maximum capacity of 18 people. All rooms can sleep 3 people. But we rarely accept more than 12. You can see the room pictures here. There are also many Writing spaces at the retreat.
The Retreat is located in Satkhol Village, District Nainital, Uttarakhand, India 263138.
People come by air, train and road. Find detailed travel information on the Getting here page.
The courses/workshops are 3-4 days long. Participants are expected to reach the retreat on their own. Some are online. All these are priced in INR.
The International Retreats are ten days long. We ensure safety and health of participants. We meet you at the airport, host you for all ten days and drop you back to the airport. Every single meal, transfer and nights stay is taken care of.
Both are led by hand-picked faculty. The International Retreats are led by top faculty from organizations like Lighthouse Writers Workshop in Denver.
You can sign up for our newsletter if you already haven’t. Alternatively, you can keep checking our Event calendar for updates.
We have created customized workshops for many organizations. You can find the details of that work here.
Our prices are not negotiable, and we follow a strict zero discount policy. We are offering no scholarships at this time.
Do you do anything free?
We offer two free online courses to our email subscribers. Please subscribe through the pop-up on this website.
Our other free/charitable initiatives include the Himalayan Book Club and the First Draft Club. We publish the Neilsen Bestseller List as a resource for both Writers and Readers. Our Blog also offers much deep insight into writing and publishing in India.
What courses does the Himalayan Writing Retreat offer online?
We offer many courses online. You can see the list of online writing courses here.
We have two models: the HWR Event, and the rental model.
The HWR Model is offered only to experts in writing / poetry and related fields, who qualify as HWR Faculty. See our Faculty profiles.
In the HWR workshop model, we list the workshop, advertise and market the workshop etc. Our website traffic is very strong, and we also have a large mailing list. We use all these resources for marketing and also spend on social media advertising. The Financials for the HWR Workshop are fair and transparent.
In this model, you rent out our premises. We do not market the event, and it does not appear on the HWR website.
For either of the above, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We are a business, but as a social enterprise we like to support the local community.
We support the Chirag School with funds every year. The First Draft Club funds the school directly through donations. We also work with Alaap, an Organization that works on climate change by increasing forest cover.