Non-fiction Book Writing Course– Himalayas / Online

non-fiction book writing course

**Registrations are now open for the Non-fiction Writing Workshop in August from 24th to 28th, 2022 at our retreat in Satkhol. **

Do you think your expertise can help others? Have you toyed with the idea of writing a book? Then this non-fiction book writing course is for you.

 Whether your goal is to promote your business, build your personal brand, or support a cause, publishing a book does a lot. A well-written book makes you look great. A badly written book does the exact opposite. So your goal can’t be to “write a book”. That is like saying you’ll “cook a meal”. To impress people, the meal you cook should be well planned and organized with the right ambience. It should be tasty, look great, and offer an amazing culinary experience.

Please note:

This non-fiction book writing course is useful for people wanting to learn to write non-narrative content (Self-help / technical/ Professional Books or other such writing) - like you see from Stephen Covey and Cal Newport etc.

If you want to  learn how to write a narrative - whether fiction or narrative non-fiction, you should check out the Creative Writing Workshop also offered by the Himalayan Writing Retreat.

Your non-fiction book should offer deep learning and insights in a relatable and easy to understand way. It is more than just checking the "write a book" box. It should be the best book you can write and should make your expertise jump out at the reader. If you think your book will take you to "the next level” - to start with, avoid tired clichés like that.

We see ads saying you can write a book in 21 days. That's true. You can write a  book in 21 days. Most likely, it will be terrible.

Anyone can write a book. But to write a great book takes hard work, diligence and tons of editing.

non-fiction book writing course

Workshop in progress - Himalayan Writing Retreat

In this non-fiction book writing course you go deep into the craft of great writing over three intense days. We analyze how others have written great non-fiction. We start with the topic, craft an opening, and move into the main content.  What you are trying how to make an argument for? How do you build such an argument? What all should be covered in the scope of your book? How do you research, and bring it into your book without making it sound like a tired rehash? How do you anticipate counter-arguments and refute them? In the end, the reader should understand your point very clearly. The reader should gain this insight as easily and effortlessly as possible.  

This non-fiction book writing course is primarily focused on non-fiction book writing. Each person will be working on an actual project and building it piece by piece. They will be applying the learning of the workshop to their project along with the feedback ( from Chetan Mahajan and co-participants). 

It is recommended you have an outline for a book in mind while attending the workshop. Though one can do the non-fiction book writing course without a project but it will remain theory without any application.

To know how to outline a nonfiction book, read the 6 steps to a Great Outline for your Nonfiction book

The Non-fiction book writing course is led by Chetan Mahajan, a professional writing coach. Chetan is a Penguin-published author and has published columns in the Mint and Outlook magazine, amongst others. (Chetan's detailed  profile is shared below, or you can click here .)

This Non-fiction book writing course is offered both online and in the Himalayas. You can choose your preferred format. The small group experience stays the same - the same learnings, the same writing exercises and workload. If you want to be free of distractions and learn in the Himalayan serenity, come to the Himalayan Writing Retreat. If not, participate in the non-fiction book writing course from your couch or desk. The number of  participants is capped at ten (across both formats) - otherwise it becomes a lecture hall.

Book Lounge

Book Lounge - Himalayan Writing Retreat

The Himalayan Workshop sessions are held in the open or in the book lounge (see pic).  Most meals are often served in the open too - the outdoors are a very inviting and inspiring here.

The online non-fiction book writing course has no recordings - it is interactive, live and personal. We write a lot.  The Himalayas are replaced by your bedroom window, but the teaching and the camaraderie remains unchanged. 

Level: Novice - Intermediate writers

Who: Chetan Mahajan, a Penguin published author and award-winning blogger,  leads this course. (For instructor profile, click here or scroll down.)

For Himalayan Participants

When: August 24th-28th, 2022

Arrive anytime on August 24th, 2022.

Attend the non-fiction book writing course with other participants on August 25-26-27 with other participants from 9 AM - 5 PM (IST) on each of the three days. 

Leave on August 28th, 2022. (If you are not staying after) 

Where: The Himalayan Writing Retreat, Satkhol Village. Uttarakhand - 263138 (India). Details here.  We are a Covid Safe facility.

While you're here, walk in the wilderness, gaze at the stars and wrap that jacket closer. Your eyes feast on the magnificent Himalayan dusks and dawns, your ears on the live birdsong concert, your lungs on clean crisp mountain air, and your taste buds on the delectable, homely fare. Our workshops are rated  5/5 on Google, and our venue, 'The Quiet Place' is rated 5/5 on TripAdvisor.

(Please note: RTPCR tests / COVID vaccination is mandatory for all participants opting for the physical workshop held at the retreat.)

Chole Bhature

Great food & views

How much : INR 32,000 after that (3 days, 4 nights of learning, twin-sharing stay, food and taxes). Click here for our Cancellation Policy.  (Early bird discount available for all registrations done till August 10th. The discounted price will be INR 29k)

Single occupancy rooms are charged INR 12000 extra and are provided only on availability. Please mention it in the form if you are requesting for one due to any reasons.

A non-participant can stay for an extra charge of INR 16k which includes food, stay and taxes.

Click here for our Cancellation Policy.

We only accept a total of ten applicants in one workshop on a first-come first-served basis. To apply for this non-fiction book writing course, please click the blue button below and fill out the application. If accepted, you can pay the fees to secure your spot. 

For Online Participants

When:  Dates to be announced

Where: Your home. (or wherever you have a PC and good connectivity).

How much : INR 18,000 (USD 300 for international participants). For our cancellation policy, click here. 

Pre-requisite : Participants need to have a laptop and a good internet connection.

We only accept a total of ten applicants in one workshop (Online &/ Himalayan) on a first-come first-served basis. To apply, please click the blue button below and fill out the application. If accepted, you can pay the fees to secure your spot. 

Have questions? Please check out the FAQs where we have tried to answer all your queries.

Please note: 

This non-fiction book writing course  is useful for people wanting to learn to write write non-narrative content (Self-help / technical/ essays/ Professional Books or other such writing). However, if you want to  learn how to write a narrative - it could be either fiction or non-fiction, you can opt for our Creative Writing Workshop.

About the Instructor

Chetan Mahajan

Chetan Mahajan leads this non-fiction book writing course. Chetan has spent two decades working in on-line learning, both in the US and India. He started teaching online in 2006 as a faculty member at the University of Phoenix online.

Chetan is a Penguin-published author and an award-winning blogger. Chetan and his wife Dr. Vandita Dubey (also a published author) moved to the Himalayas six years ago. There they founded the Himalayan Writing Retreat.

non-fiction book writing course

Chetan Mahajan, Writing coach

Chetan is a full-time author and works as a  writing coach independently as well as with the London based the writing coach.  He also writes for The MintOutlook Magazine, HT BrunchReader's Digest and Hindu Business Line

Detailed Program - Non-fiction Book Writing Course

Pre-work and pre-reading

  • Three short pieces will be shared with all writers to understand and analyze
  • You will be required to complete a detailed format about your book project (if you have one)

Book Topic and Structure

  • Picking the right topic
  • Framing your title
  • Outlining your non-fiction book (Arguments and counter-arguments)

The Content

  • Crafting a great opening
  • The use of examples and narrative
  • Research for your non-fiction book
  • Bringing in other voices – the personal interview
  • Data Vs emotions
  • The body of the book - and making strong arguments
  • The use of humour
  • How to close your book

Language and Editing

  • What is great language in a non-fiction book
  • Terrible writing habits we form, and how to break them
  • Why should we edit? The essence of any good book
  • Can’t I just hire an editor?

Publishing your Non-fiction book

  • Traditional v/s Self publishing – pros and cons of each
  • Should I hire an editor
  • Elements of a great cover
  • How do authors make money? And lose it?

Marketing your Non-fiction book

  • The Amazon bestseller tag – how to get one? And does it help sales?
  • Title & sub-title of your book
  • The role of Book cover design
  • Book Reviews – Amazon / Flipkart / Goodreads
  • Other elements of a great marketing campaign

Non-fiction Writers'  tool-kit


About HWR

  1. Why should I choose HWR Physical/ Online Non-fiction Writing Course ?   
  • Personal Attention: We don't take more than 10 students in a class. You get a lot of personal attention and feedback. No classrooms of 20-30 people or one-way pre-recorded videos here.
  • Class Quality: For most courses, we filter our participants. You can't just pay and sign up. We need to see a writing sample (in our application form) to ensure the class is of a uniform standard.
  • Cost per hour: Our courses are long and intense. As an example, the Creative Writing course is 18000 for 24 contact hours (3 days, 8 hours each day). The cost per hour = 750 / hour. That is comparable to many of the "cheaper" courses.
  • Quality of faculty: No lightweights here. Many of our faculty are award-winners. All are experts and great teachers. We don't settle for average.
  • Feedback scores: Across courses, we are rated 4.5/5, or higher. You can read our reviews HERE.


  1. Do I get a certificate of participation?

Yes, certificates are available on request.

  1. Any discounts for students / other categories?

At the Himalayan Writing Retreat, we follow a strict No-Discount policy.

  1. Is the workshop fee refundable?

Our cancellation policy is as follows:

  • Online  Non-fiction Book Writing Course : 100% refund if cancellation 2 weeks before the event start date, 50% if cancellation one week before the start date, 0% if less than one week before the start date.
  • Non-fiction book writing course at the Himalayas: 100% refund if cancellation 4 weeks before the event start date, 50% if cancellation two weeks before the start date, 0% if less than two weeks before the start date.
  1. Is the Himalayan Writing Retreat a business or an NGO?

The Himalayan Writing Retreat is a social enterprise . It works closely and actively with two local NGOs in its community work initiatives : Chirag and Alaap. In 2020, HWR raised INR 6.1 Lakhs to support the Chirag School.

About the Non-fiction Writing Workshop

  1. What can one expect from the Non-Fiction Writing Workshop (Online/ At the Himalayas)?

You can expect to learn a lot about non-fiction writing.

You can also expect to be able to work on your (long-pending) book and see it published. Our participants win awards. They write short stories and have published over 25 books so far. Check them HERE.

To add further, this workshop will be beneficial for anyone interested in writing non-fiction. For e.g. books like Do Epic Shit, Atomic Habits, etc, or a book of essays on personal experiences. If you are planning to write a book of essays that are opinion-based, theoretical in nature, and backed by research and stats, then that is pure non-fiction. A book on management, how-tos, tips and tricks, guides, etc. are all non-fiction. 

  1. Can I have recordings of all the sessions for Online Workshops if I miss them?

As a matter of policy, we do not record any of our sessions. The idea is to build on each others' knowledge through interactions and feedback while working together throughout the workshop.

  1. 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. If you write in a language other than English, please share this in the form.

  1. I have never written a book but want to write one about my experience of working as an HR head for 25 years with a specific focus on analyzing people before hiring them. Will this workshop be helpful for that?

Our Non-fiction Writing Course (both physical and in the Himalayas) is recommended for writers who want to write non-fiction. So yes, this workshop will help you write that book.

  1. What is the pre-work?

Pre-work for this Non-fiction Writing Course is both reading and writing. A set of excerpts are to be read by all participants. These are used as examples and context to discuss and understand various concepts in the workshop. Further, each participant has to prepare a one-page project outline which they will then build on during the Non-fiction Writing Course.  The pre-work is shared a few days before the workshop to give you ample time to go through it.

  1. Is the pre-work mandatory?

Yes, it is mandatory.

  1. What is the daily schedule (different for online and offline)?

The schedule for the Himalayan workshop is shared below. For the Online Writing Workshop, it is the Day 1-3 schedule (9 AM - 5 PM over 3 days) without the Day 0 and Day 4 activities.

Day 0 ( a day before the workshop starts) reach Satkhol anytime. 

Day 1-3 

  • 8.15 am          Breakfast in the lounge

  • 9 am - 1 pm   Attend the workshop with the rest of the participants

  • 1 -2 pm          Lunch Break

  • 2-5 pm          Attend the workshop with the rest of the participants

  • After 6 pm   Go on nature walks, watch the sunset and enjoy the beauty of the Himalayas.

Day 4 

  • 8.15 am Breakfast in the lounge

  • 10 am    Checkout

  1. 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.

  1. 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.

  1. What’s in store after the workshop is over? 

We believe in creating a community for writers.  After attending one of our courses, the participants stay connected and work as a writing group. The close bond formed from the shared experience means you share, get feedback, become beta readers, critique each others’ works, and much more.

We also host free events like the Himalayan First Draft Club and the Himalayan Book Club. You can also join our Facebook Group: Let’s Talk Writing, where, as the name suggests we just talk about writing and nothing else.  

  1. What should I do to get the most from the Non-fiction 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 workshop at the retreat have locked themselves up for days after the workshop and focused 100% on their writing. They have reported massive progress. Not returning to your everyday life immediately after the workshop helps you apply what you learn.

The Non-fiction Writing Workshop 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 participating online, try and create some time after the Non-fiction Writing 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 does very little one-on-one work. 

He works as a writing coach with a few select authors. 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 joining the waiting list to work with him as your Writing Coach. 

Have questions?

Feel free to write to us at or connect with us at +91 73035 16665 (Call/ WA/Signal).

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