Chetan Mahajan (on the right in the picture above) is a Penguin-published author and the co-founder of the Himalayan Writing Retreat. He also works with a few authors as a writing coach. Coaching helps in many ways:
- It helps the writer get constructive, directional feedback from a well-informed peer
- The writer gets a schedule and is more likely to stay on track
- It makes the writing process less solitary
- It makes the writer accountable – beyond just themselves
The writers we coach say it’s really helped them. To see the coach’s profile, click here.
Coaching is not a language and spelling review – you need to hire an editor for that (HWR does not offer that service, but you will find a list of professional editors here). Coaching digs more into the quality of the writing.
Fiction / creative non-fiction: we look at the flow, how convincing the characters are, show and tell, the use of dialogue and so on. The end is to make your story an engaging, compelling read.
Non-narrative non-fiction: How convincing an argument does the writing make. Does the insight and wisdom come through strongly? How can it be strengthened, made more relatable etc. Will the book make the reader change beliefs and/or behaviour?
Determining the writer-coach fit
A good fit between the writer and the coach is critical. We recommend that all writers who want to work with Chetan first get comfortable with his style. You can read his writing on the blog of this website and on www.uncity.blog . This will help you evaluate the fit between your writing and the coach. We request that you share a writing sample before we sign you on. This helps both sides ensure a good fit and understand each other before we start.
Once a writer is signed-on, we schedule a “get to know” call to get started. The writer then shares her writing in submissions of 8000 words each. The coach annotates and comments on the writing. This is followed by a call – typically over skype or Whatsapp – during which they discuss that submission. The sessions are virtual unless you travel to the Himalayan Writing Retreat or Delhi NCR.
The call can also be scheduled as a coaching call separate from the content review, to discuss anything the writer may want to.
Words reviewed once are not revisited again. Instead, the writer needs to continue moving forward with her writing and strive to complete the work.
Words per month & duration
We require at least 8000 words (one submission) every month. Even in months where nothing is submitted, the writer is billed for the one session minimum. We also do not accept more than 24000 words (three submissions) in a month. The writer needs to allow at least one week after each submission for the feedback & call.
The writing submitted should not be a first draft. It should be edited and close to final. Sharing raw, unedited work is a waste of time for both the writer and the coach.
A typical engagement runs 5-8 months. It varies depending upon the writers speed, the length of the work etc.
USD 200 for one coaching session, inclusive of taxes. We do not offer coaching for one or two sessions. We sign up writers for a minimum of five sessions.
We currently have only one coaching slot open. To evaluate a fit, please email us a summary outline of your project and a 3000-5000 word writing sample.