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Himalayan First Draft Club

Himalayan First Draft Club

Firsts are always special. 

First prize. First crush. First job. First solo-trip. First drafts.

Rough. Unclear. Full of mistakes. Terrible. The first draft can be all this and still be of value.

The first draft of your book is one step closer towards your dream of becoming a published author.

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

The only way to write a first draft is—write.

And that is exactly what we did!

The whole of November 2020 we wrote and chatted. Then wrote some more and of course, chatted some more. 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, that we decided to host it every four months instead of waiting for November.

We will be hosting month-long writing sessions every April, July and November. If you are a writer looking for a writing community or a support group, that's what the first draft club is. You're welcome to sign-up.  

The FDC in July will be FDC#3. The response to the previous FDCs has been great. But we’ve noticed that while many members take it very seriously, a few coast.  

So far, the FDC has been free. To bring in a certain degree of seriousness, we are changing the requirements from now on:

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

  1. We request writers who are not HWR alumni 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.
  2. The FDC continues to be free for all alumni. However, we request our alumni also to donate generously to the Chirag School.


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 which can be attached to the form below.

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. 

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. 

How does it 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:

  1. We request writers who are not HWR alumni 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.
  2. The FDC continues to be free for all alumni. However, we request our alumni also to donate generously to the Chirag School.


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. 

Yes, these numbers are important because we have some exciting prizes to be won at the end of the month-long writing session.

Meet-the-Author Sessions (November- 20 & April-21)

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.

(Yes! We have exciting giveaways too to make it more fun.)

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.

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. And we also announce the winners! 

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.

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