Himalayan First Draft Club

First draft club

A first draft is the starting point for any book. 

"Books aren't written. They're rewritten." said Michael Crichton.  Your first draft is what you rewrite, to create your finished book.

“I’m writing a first draft and reminding myself that I’m simply shoveling sand into a box, so that later, I can build castles.”  — Shannon Hale

We've created The Himalayan First Draft Club to help you finish  the first draft of your story. Here's how it works. 

1. Fill the form.

2. Make a donation of INR 250 (more is welcome) to the Chirag School, which educates needy kids in the rural Himalayas.

3. With step 1&2, you become a member of  the July First Draft Club (FDC#8) and join our community of writers

4. You set yourself a writing goal for July, and share your goal publicly.

5. You write regularly through July and update your word-count on the tracker.

6. You get inspired by a community of writers full of energy, inspiration and encouragement.

7. You meet published authors/ other well-known literary people every Sunday at 5 PM.

All this helps you finish July with many more words than you might have written otherwise. Most important - by the end of July writing is a habit. 

Writers from earlier FDCs say they wrote a lot more. They said this was mainly because they weren't writing alone, but as part of a writing community. The February cohort had written a total of over 4,00,000 words.  

The response to the previous FDCs has been great. So far, we have raised a total of INR 4 lakhs through FDC for the Chirag School. This helped the school educate many underprivileged kids here in Uttarakhand. 

(Note: The Himalayan Writing Retreat has NO stake /ownership / direct or indirect financial benefit from donations to the Chirag School. However, we know and believe in the work of the Chirag School. Learn more about our Community Work by clicking on the red text.)

You can learn more about the school, and donate HERE.  

The school may take up to a day to acknowledge the payment. So we will accept a screenshot of the payment confirmation page along with the form.

Check out the FAQs to know more about the Himalayan First Draft Club.

At the end of the month, we will see where we have reached vis-à-vis the goals we had set in the beginning of the month. We analyze what worked and what did not.  We learn. We discover. Most importantly, we WRITE. 

After all, it is always good to see your hard work bear some fruit. 

Sounds like a plan? 

Join the Himalayan First Draft Club to be a part of all this and much more.

Watch the Introductory Session of the FDC # 6 (February 2022) to know what to expect from it and also to understand what you should do to make the most of it. 

For April 2022, we had bestselling author Anindita Ghose, award winning translator Arunava Sinha and Hindi bestselling author Divya Prakash Dubey and Aman Misra from the Storyteller Bookstore, Kolkata joining us on the weekends.

For February 2022 sessions, we had  Poet and Publisher at Hawakal Publishers Kiriti Sengupta, bestselling author Meghna Pant and Literary Agents Anish Chandy and Priya Talwar joining us on the weekends.

Please note: This is a support group for writers - there is no teaching. If you are looking for guidance on how to write articles and blogs, you can consider joining our Blog & Content Writing Workshop

If you are looking for guidance on how to write a book and explore the art of Creative Writing , you can consider joining our Creative Writing Workshop. (This workshop is for people who want to write fiction or narrative non-fiction).

If you are looking for guidance on how to write a non-fiction book, you can consider joining our Non-Fiction Writing Workshop

Literary Guests (Nov' 20 - Nov' 21)

Top Row(L-R) Faiqa Mansab, Vish Dhamija, Kiran Manral, Neil D'Silva and Damyanti Biswas.                                                                                                                      Bottom Row (L-R) Jenny Bhatt, Hemali Sodhi, Arjun Raj Gaind, Milan Vohra and Kanchana Banerjee

Top Row (L-R) Mariam Karim-Ahlawat, Sidharth Jain, Sharanya Mannivannan and Sayantan Ghosh                                                                                                                 Botton Row (L-R) Dipankar Mukherjee, Rochelle Potkar, Tanushree Podkar and Shreya Punj

FAQs

  • When did the Himalayan First Draft Club start?

2020 was the first time we decided to become a part of NaNoWrimo as a community. This led to the creation of the Himalayan First Draft Club.

On some weekends, amazing authors like Damyanti Biswas ( Author of You Beneath Your Skin- Simon & Schuster India, 2020) and Jenny Bhatt( Author Ratno Dholi- Harper Collins India, 2020) joined us. They shared tips on writing and also talked about their own experiences of NaNoWriMo.

In April 2021, we had best-selling authors like Vish Dhamija , Kiran Manral, Arjun Raj Gaind and Kanchana Banerjee joining us on weekends and sharing their journeys as writers.

In November 2021, the guest speakers included poet, fictionist and translator Rochelle Potkar, Shreya Punj (Commissioning Editor, Penguin Random House India), Dipanker Mukherjee (Publisher, Readomania), and author Tanushree Poddar. 

We loved it so much,  we decided to host it four times a year instead of just once.

So, we created the Himalayan First Draft Club which is held in February-April -July-September

  • How does the First Draft Club work? 

It is fairly simple.

Step: 1

You sign up for the Himalayan First Draft Club through this form.

Please note, you will have to clearly mention your commitments in this form.  So, before clicking on the form, think about these questions:

  • What are you expecting from this exercise?
  • How many words can you commit?
  • At the end of the one month, what do you see as your achievement?

We request all the writers who want to participate in FDC # 7 to make a donation to educate underprivileged kids at the Chirag school, a wonderful school in the Uttarakhand Himalayas. Please donate a minimum of INR 250/- (more is better). This will help poor students in a Himalayan village get a great education.

The Chirag school is a cause we support. Please donate a minimum of INR 250/-  (more is better) to the Chirag School. This will help underprivileged students here in Uttarakhand get a great education. 

(Note: The Himalayan Writing Retreat has NO stake /ownership / direct or indirect financial benefit from donations to the Chirag School. However, we know and believe in the work it does. Know more about our Community Work.)

You can learn more about the school, and donate HERE.  

The school may take up to a day to acknowledge the payment. So we will accept a screenshot of the payment confirmation page attached with the form.

Please note, this donation is to participate in the current FDC. Every FDC needs a separate donation to be made to the Chirag School to participate. 

Step: 2

We will evaluate your application and confirm your membership to the club. (Yay!)

Furthermore, we will add you to the WhatsApp/Signal group created exclusively for the members to share regular updates. (You will not be added if you have opted out of it in the form in Step:1.)

And you are done! (Well, not yet but almost there.)

We will share a Google sheet which will basically be a tracker. You will have to update your word count in that tracker on a regular basis for us to keep a note of it. 

  • What is the focus of the First Draft Club?

The focus of this group is to make writing a habit. You will discover fellow-writers who dabble in the same genre. You might also find valuable critiques for your writing.

As a member, you have a chance to interact with some of your favourite authors apart from finding writing buddies who could be dabbling in the same genres as yours. You never know, you might end up creating a writer's group in your own city after discovering fellow writers around you. 

  • What should I expect after I join the First Draft Club?

Join us every weekend on Zoom to discuss and share our experiences of writing during the week. These sessions will also have some inspiring  authors as guest speakers, where they will share tips and tricks on writing effectively.

We will share a weekly dose of positivity ( a.k.a updates and writerly motivation) to keep the demon (Writer's Block) away. 

This is a Writer's Support Group. There is no teaching involved. 

You can connect with writers to find a writing buddy. ( Know more about it here: Discover a Writing Buddy at the Himalayan First Draft Club), create a local writers group of your own (based on people living in the same city), plan meet-ups (physical or virtual) and find your tribe!

  • I donated INR 1000/- during November 2021 to Chirag School. Can I participate again in July 2022 FDC?

You definitely can, but you need to make a fresh donation to the Chirag School for July. Every FDC needs a separate donation to be made for participation. 

  • I have been missing out on a lot of sessions in the February 2022 FDC. Can you share recordings?

We share recordings only after the FDC month is over. So for the April FDC sessions, we will share them in May.

As of now, you can watch FDC # 4 - YouTube, FDC # 5 - YouTube  and FDC # 6 - YouTube sessions. 

  • I am working on my final draft. Am I still eligible to participate in the FDC?

Yes, you can.

We have had poets, novelists, essayists, translators, and screenplay writers participate in the previous FDCs and they have found it productive. At the same time, writers have been working on their revisions, second, third or even the umpteenth draft in the FDC too.

The goal of FDC is to make writing a habit. You could be working on anything or are planning to. You could join in to find some writerly energy or work on the writing prompts we share to tickle your inspiration.

  • Can I join the FDC only for the Sunday sessions?

Yes, you can. The only requirement is to make a donation to the Chirag School as outlined above. 

  • The Chirag School website reads we need INR 2350/- to sponsor a child's education for a month. How are you insisting on INR 250/-  only?

INR 250/- is the minimum donation requested by us. You can donate more also if you are comfortable. INR 2350/- is the figure required to sponsor a child's education at the Chirag School. However, they also welcome donations in any amount.

Watch the Concluding Session of the FDC # 3 held in July 2021 to know how this month long writing adventure helped the participating writers. 

Please note: This is a support group for writers - there is no teaching. If you are looking for guidance on how to write articles and blogs, you can consider joining our Blog & Content Writing Workshop

If you are looking for guidance on how to write a book and explore the art of Creative Writing , you can consider joining our Creative Writing Workshop. (This workshop is for people who want to write fiction or narrative non-fiction).

If you are looking for guidance on how to write a non-fiction book, you can consider joining our Non-Fiction Writing Workshop.

Have questions? Write to us at namrata@himalayanwritingretreat.com 

stay in the know-

-about writing and publishing in India
(we send 1-2 emails a week. No spam, and we'll NEVER share your data.)