So you're a teen and you love writing? You love creating characters, imagining new worlds, and dreaming up stories? Explore the writer within in this workshop.
The Himalayan Writing Retreat is hosting a Teen Writing Workshop online from July 17-18 & 24-25, 2021. The earlier ones were sold out and much enjoyed by parents and kids.
All our sessions are live and interactive. It is not a bunch of recorded videos. The participants get to interact with each other apart from Chetan Mahajan.
To participate, you must be between 13 - 16 years of age. (writers 16+ and above can participate in the Creative Writing Workshop) .
The workshop is custom built for teen writers. You learn the framework for writing a good story or even a book. You work closely, in real-time with a writing coach. You write. You share. You get feedback. And then you write better.
Can a 3/5-day workshop make me a writer?
Expecting a writing workshop to make you a great writer (feel free to insert an adjective of your choice here!) is like expecting a six-pack body a day after your first workout at a gym.
Writing is a continuous process. You evolve every day. It needs a lot of patience, consistency, dedication, and practice.
This workshop introduces you to the craft of writing. You understand the various elements of the craft – basic skills, good practices & tools for writing and editing. Taking the metaphor of carpentry, you will learn to cut wood in straight lines, and hammer nails without bending them. But to make that perfect table will take a lot of hard work even after the workshop is done. In this workshop you will put together a few elements which will help you write a great story. But not the finished work – that table. That will need you to diligently work on after the workshop.
This workshop is also a great place to start your journey as a writer because you join a reading & writing community. Fellow participants remain connected and support each other in their writing journeys. The First Draft Club and the Himalayan Book Club (both free) help you move your writing along. You have the means to find a writing buddy ( maybe one of your co-participants? Or a club member?) to help you work along.
Good practices like reading a lot (which the Book Club helps you with) and writing a lot (which the First Draft Club helps you with) will help you too.
For Online Participants
When: July 17-18 & 24-25, 2021 - 9.30 am to 1.30 pm.
How much : INR 18,000 (includes 18% taxes). Click here for our Cancellation Policy.
How to attend : Complete the application form below. If accepted, pay the fees within two days.
Do check out the FAQs to know more about the workshop.
About Chetan Mahajan
Chetan Mahajan leads this workshop. He is the co-founder of the Himalayan Writing Retreat. A Penguin-published author Chetan created the Himalayan Writing Retreat to be a source of inspiration and learning for writers. 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 on a memoir "The rat who wouldn't race". Chetan also writes for Mint, Reader's Digest and Hindu Business Line and Outlook magazine, amongst others.
PARTICIPANT, ONLINE TEEN WRITING WORKSHOP - JUNE 2020
I really loved the plan which was laid across the five days, how different days were divided and specific topics were handled.
I appreciate the editing process as it provided a perspective to my writing.
The tools and handouts were hands down a big help.
PARTICIPANT, ONLINE TEEN WRITING WORKSHOP - JUNE 2020
What I loved about the workshop was the interaction with the new people we didn't even know. Their feedback and suggestions really helped improve my writing.
Also, listening to their writing and view points really helped me get clarity and new perspectives. Along with this, I loved how we covered every topic in detail as this will really help me in writing further.
PARTICIPANT, ONLINE TEEN WRITING WORKSHOP - JUNE 2020
This workshop helped clear multiple concepts I was unsure about, like the making of characters and plotting. The best part was the section on editing, something we as young writers often ignore. What really set this one workshop apart from the ones I have attended before, was the discussion on publishing. I feel much more equipped with much better writing tools than I was before.
(Day 0 and Day 4 only applies for Himalayan Participants. For the online participants the content described on day 1-3 will be covered over the three days. The pre-work is common to both.)
Read two short stories we send you. Also, keep your favourite book (Fiction / Narrative Non-fiction) handy.
Day 0 Arrive any time . You can take the train up here or drive. Please be aware that cars cannot come up to the property and parking is a short walk from the retreat.
Day 1 - Aspects of good writing. Plot, Character, Point of view and much more.
We dig into the aspects of a good book, and spend time on Plot and Character in depth.
In Plot, we go over various frameworks of plot, and how they apply to some contemporary writings, such as Harry Potter. How a good plot leads to a strong narrative. In Character, we explore what characters are, their different types, how they are built, and so on.
Point of view is a big decision - will you write in first-person? Third ? Or will you write from Multiple points of view? We will do voice-writing exercises in pairs to help the writer get into someone else’s shoes and write.
Day 2 - Description & Setting, Clean language, Editing, The project of writing.
We understand exactly what Description & Setting is. We do visioning and focusing activities to make our descriptions and settings more vivid.
We then discover some of the bad writing habits we pick up young, and the ways to unlearn them. We learn to omit needless words and write clean.
Editing cannot be over-emphasized. Good writers do it over and over again. We understand why, and explore some tools which can help.
Next, we dig into the project of writing: how to plan a book and write it. We learn new ways to do away with distractions and create focus. We close by looking at tools - both offline and tech - specific to writing.
We review the book writing plans of those keen on sharing. We tweak the plans where required and understand the committed milestones and dates.
Day 3 - Writers block, Publishing options, Marketing your book.
We discuss strategies based on research on creativity from the field of psychology. We write more. From figuring out how to “think outside the box” to ways of dealing with the famous writer’s block, we put science to good use. We build on the authors’ toolkit.
We spend the day doing a reality check. Publishing and marketing a book requires a very different set of skills from writing a book. We explore those. We understand the options for publishing available to a first-time author. For analyze the economics of traditional and self publishing, their pros and cons. We learn what a literary agent does, and if you should sign up with one.
We discuss what it takes to market a book. Does Social Media have a role? What are good - and bad - ways to get reviews?
Participants leave after a sumptuous breakfast.
General Queries on Workshop
1. What can one expect from the Teens Writing course?
This workshop is a great entry point to learn the nuances of writing, with course content, examples and reading picked especially for young writers.
The workshop is custom-built for teen writers. You learn the framework for writing a good story or even a book. You work closely, in real-time with a writing coach. You write in a group with 9 other teens. You share. You get feedback. And then you write better.
2. I write in my mother tongue which is not English. Can I attend this workshop?
Yes, you can. We have had participants before who write in Bengali, Punjabi, and Tamil. However, the medium of instruction is English, as are the class readings, etc. So some proficiency in English is essential.
3. I have never written before. But I want to write a story. Can I attend this workshop?
Yes, you can attend this workshop. However, we do insist on a writing sample to be sent along your application. This is to help us understand you better and also as a fit for this workshop. The writing sample can be anything that you consider is your best piece of writing till date. A poem, an essay or an email - all of these can be your writing sample.
4. What should I do after I have applied for the workshop?
Look forward to an email from firstname.lastname@example.org on the status of your application. Do check your spam folders also. To avoid missing out on any important communication from us, please add this email to your safe senders’ list.
5. What is the process after applying for the workshop?
Once you are accepted into the workshop, you are requested to confirm your slot within a day by paying your fees. In the absence of the payment, your spot may be released to another applicant as we accept only a limited number of participants in the workshop.
6. What is the pre-work?
Pre-work is a recommended reading material sent by Chetan Mahajan to all the participants before the workshop. It can be 2-3 short stories which he will further discuss and analyze in the workshop. The pre-work is shared a few days before the workshop to give you ample time to go through it.
7. Is the pre-work mandatory?
Yes, it is mandatory.
8. Can I decide which sessions to attend and pay accordingly?
The workshop has a sequential structure. Each day builds on the previous one, and sessions are often connected. Ideally, you should attend the full workshop to get the most out of it. You cannot cherry-pick sessions you’re interested in or pay part of the fees.
9. What if I miss out on any of the sessions for personal reasons?
Our sessions are live and not recorded. Hence, in case you miss out on any of the sessions, there is no way you can attend it again except perhaps ask any of the other participants to brief you on those topics.
10. Is there any hand-holding or continued support from HWR after the workshop?
At HWR we believe in supporting and encouraging writers. After attending the teens writing workshop, the participant becomes a part of a group of teens interested in writing. They continue to stay connected over email and WA, and soften connect privately through other channels (email is for old people). They often work together in pairs or as a writing group. The close bond formed from the shared experience means you share, get feedback, become beta readers, critique each other's works, and much more.
In addition, we run events like the Himalayan First Draft Club and the Himalayan Book Club. The first draft club helps writers set a goal for themselves and write aggressively for an entire month. The Himalayan book club is a forum where members get free books to read and review. We do ask that members write reviews of the books we send them.
We also have our Facebook group “Let's talk writing” which alums can join. There we talk about writing and nothing else.
11. What should I do to get the most from the Teens Writing Workshop?
Firstly, participate diligently, and throw yourself into the process with an open mind.
If you can, try and keep a few days in hand to write after the course is done. Don’t jump right back into your daily grind after the workshop. A few participants who have attended the physical workshop at the retreat have locked themselves up for days after the workshop and focused 100% on their writing. They have reported massive progress. Try and implement a virtual equivalent of that. Staying focused on your writing immediately after the workshop helps you apply what you learn.
The Teens Writing Course will fill you with inspiration and ideas. Tapping into that energy and enthusiasm right after the workshop can be magical. So if you can, stay on for some time after the workshop - either with us or elsewhere. We offer a great deal for participants wanting to stay on (if attending in person, of course).
If participating online, try and create some time post the workshop to work on your writing.
12. Can I reach out to Chetan Mahajan after the workshop?
Working one-on-one is very time-intensive, and Chetan cannot afford to do it free.
He works as a writing coach with a few individual authors - mostly from abroad. His coaching calendar is full right now. The details for it can be found HERE. You can go through this and reach out in case you wish to consider working with him as your Writing Coach.
13. Does HWR help a participant get published?
Our workshops are about exploring the art of crafting great stories. We do discuss publishing and the various options available for writers in India. Our blog is a great resource for anyone who wants to explore the publishing process in India at length.
However, we do not provide any assistance in getting published for the participants.
Queries related to Accommodation and Facilities
1. Could you please share a bit more information about the accommodation provided to our family and the associated facilities?
You will all share a room as a unit with an attached bath. We are a full-service boutique hotel and are highly rated on google. Pictures of rooms and our lounge where we eat and hold sessions can be seen HERE.
2. While my child is in the workshop, what are the options available for the accompanying adults to utilize our time?
You can explore the local area, go for walks, read and chat with other parents. If you would like to explore, you can rent a car for 1-2 days and visit the attractions in the area like Mukteshwar (45 mins drive) to the Jageshwar temple complex (2.5 hours), etc.
3. While your website provides information on the travel and logistics to reach you, will you be able to help with some specifics of travel and logistics? We are not at all familiar with this part of India and have never visited not have any contacts and any help will be appreciated. For e.g. we may need help in arranging a trusted pickup from either Pantnagar airport or Kathgodam railway station.
Yes, we will help and guide you with all travel-related information. We will also help you coordinate with other people traveling for the same event.
4. What the expected weather conditions there during the workshop time?
Lows are around mid-teens and highs are in the mid-20s. we are at an altitude so the sun can be hot, but a shower can bring temperatures down. At that time there will be fruits on the trees that the kids (and you) can pluck and eat. The chart in the link below for Mukteshwar is the nearest published proxy (it is close by but 1000 ft higher) for our village, Satkhol. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mukteshwar#Climate
5. I have noticed the cancellation policies on your website. Due to the unpredictability and uncertainty of the pandemic situation, anything can happen and there can travel restrictions in either origin, destination, or transit during this time. So will you be considerate of that and flexible with the cancellation policies?
The Cancellation policy applies in ordinary circumstances. However, if the government bans travel/ does a lockdown / prevents interstate travel, etc. then we will hold your full credit and you can apply it for any future event or even a vacation. Furthermore, if travel is permitted but you decide not to travel, then the policy will apply.
All participants & parents are required to bring a negative RTPCR report, or proof they have had both shots. If the RTPCR test result is positive for anyone in your party, again, we will hold your credit for a future event.
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Reach out on +91 7303516665 (Call/WA/Signal)