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Himalayan 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 September First Draft Club (FDC #4) and join our community of writers

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

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

6. You meet inspiring published authors / other famous literary people every Sunday at 5 PM.

7. You finish September with many more words than you might have.

8. Most important - by the end of September 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 July cohort wrote a total of over 3,55,000 words.  

Watch the Introductory Session of the FDC # 3 held in July 2021 to know what to expect from it and also to understand what you should do to make the most of it. 

In July 2021, the guest speakers included authors Neil D'Silva, Milan Vohra and Faiqa Mansab. We also had one of India's leading literary agent, Hemali Sodhi (Founder- A Suitable Agency) join us for a session.

For September 2021 we will host:

  • Children's writer Mariam Karim-Ahlawat - Award winning novelist, Playwright and Kids books writer.
  • Siddharth Jain of Story Ink -  turns books (published and unpublished) into movies.
  • Poet and writer Sharanya Manivannan - She captures emotions into words through her poetry.
  • Sayantan Ghosh - Senior Commissioning Editor for Simon and Schuster India

The response to the previous FDCs has been great. In July, 65 writers raised a total of 43k 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 which can be attached to the form below.

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

Literary Guests (Nov' 20, Apr'21 and Jul'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

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 fruits. 

Sounds like a plan? 

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

Please note: This is a support group for writers where there will be no teaching involved. 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 led by Chetan Mahajan. (This workshop is only 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 led by Chetan Mahajan.

If you are looking for guidance on how to write non-fiction content , you can consider joining our Blog & Content Writing Workshop led by Chetan Mahajan. 

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.

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 April -July-September-November. 

  • 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've made a small change to ensure only serious people sign up:

We request all the writers who want to participate in FDC # 4 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.

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. 

Please note: This is a support group for writers where there will be no teaching involved. If you are looking for guidance on how to write non-fiction content , you can consider joining our Blog & Content Writing Workshop led by Chetan Mahajan. 

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 led by Chetan Mahajan. (This workshop is only 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 led by Chetan Mahajan.

Have questions? Write to us at namrata@himalayanwritingretreat.com or reach out on WA/ Signal at +91 7303516665