DO I NEED TO HAVE AN EXISTING MANUSCRIPT?
Not at all. Workshops will be primarily at an intermediate level. However, there will be options and special attention for people who are newer to writing, as well as for more advanced writers. If you have a manuscript that you're working on, definitely bring it -- there will be plenty of opportunity to develop and refine it further.
will there BE an opportunity for feedback?
Yes - there will be a range of opportunities in which you can engage, entirely according to your preference. In each Himalayan Writers Workshop there will be daily structured workshops, mentored sessions with the featured writer(s), time for feedback from peers, lectures by local & guest writers, as well as optional opportunities to perform your work in public. On the last night of each Himalayan Writers Workshop there will be an optional reading performance, open to the Kathmandu public.
on which genre will the workshop focus?
Each Himalayan Writers Workshop is different. Depending on the craft or whim of the Featured Writer(s) the workshop may focus on travel writing, fiction, non-fiction, poetry, journaling, memoir, mystery writing, music - or a combination of all of the above. Each workshop is described by the Featured Writers, in his/her own words, under the "Learn More" tab of the "Workshops" page. You don't need to be an expert in any particular genre to join the workshop, you only need to be curious & open to adventure.
HOW MANY PARTICIPANTS ARE YOU ACCEPTING?
Himalayan Writers Workshop accepts a maximum of 15 participants for each trip. SPACE IS EXTREMELY LIMITED because we want to make sure that you receive plenty of individualized attention from the featured writers. The smaller number also allows us to get to know each other well and to benefit from the intimate and trusting atmosphere that this creates.
should i bring my laptop?
Yes - and you are welcome to bring any other mobile device that you find useful. Beautiful handmade Nepali paper will be available for those who still remember how to use it.
Will we have time for sightseeing or will we just be writing all day?
In addition to spending time visiting some of the most spectacular sights in the Kathmandu Valley, our writing projects and workshop sessions have been created to integrate the sights & sounds & tastes of the new landscape. The program as a whole is designed to inspire your own creative reflection & writing through active experience and engagement.
WHAT WILL THE FOOD BE LIKE?
Nearly all of your meals are included in the cost of the trip. In keeping with the cultural traditions of Nepal, Himalayan Writers Workshop provides a vegetarian menu, and you'll also have a chance to go explore Kathmandu's culinary offerings on your own. Kathmandu is well-known for its diversity of food options, and the hotels and restaurants here serve up everything from traditional Nepali and Newari food to Tibetan, Indian, and other dishes from around the world.
HWW only chooses hotels and restaurants where the kitchen staff maintains the highest standard for health and hygiene. All fruits and vegetables are cleaned in purified water prior to preparation.
HOW DO I GET TO KATHMANDU?
From North America, expect to pay between $1200-$1800 RT for an economy ticket. From Europe, $750-$1200 RT. From Hong Kong or Singapore, $450-$800 RT. These are just general estimates to give you an idea.
Several airlines offer service to Kathmandu's Tribhuvan International Airport. We'll pick you up from the airport and take care of the rest.
WHEN SHOULD I ARRIVE AND DEPART?
The November 7 -17, 2016 trip begins late Monday afternoon (around 4pm) and ends after breakfast on Thursday, November 17. You may arrive on November 7 and depart on November 17, or you may also choose to extend your trip in either direction.
The March 6 -16, 2017 trip also begins late Monday afternoon (around 4pm) and ends after breakfast on Thursday, March 16. You may arrive on March 6 and depart on March 16, or you may choose to extend your trip in either direction.
Please inform us if, due to flight arrival and departure dates, you require an extra night or two on either end of the trip and we'll place a reservation on your behalf. (A fee for extra hotel nights would apply.)
DO I NEED TRAVEL INSURANCE?
All participants must be covered by a current major medical insurance policy that covers you for international travel for the duration of your trip. Call your provider for coverage details.
We also strongly recommend that you purchase a travel protection plan ("Travel Insurance"), roughly $100-$200 depending on coverage, to protect your investment in travel, personal assets and health during your trip. NOTE: To be eligible for coverage, some companies require that the policy be purchased within a certain time frame of putting down your first payment for the trip.
CAN I CHOOSE MY ROOMMATE?
Yes, you can. If you are registering with a friend, boyfriend, girlfriend, or spouse, just enter each others' names on your registration form in the roommate selection area.
CAN I GET A SINGLE ROOM?
Private rooms are available for an extra fee of $400 depending upon availability. If you're interested in a private room, please indicate so on your registration form. HWW will make every effort to accommodate single requests, but please be aware that due to space limitations in the high season, private rooms may not be available.
DO I NEED A VISA TO TRAVEL IN NEPAL?
Yes. The easiest way to get your visa is at the airport upon arrival in Kathmandu. Right now, a 15-day multiple entry visa is $25 US. It's a good idea to bring extra passport-size photos along with you for your visa application. If you'd like to take care of your visa ahead of time, you can apply for one through the Nepali Embassy.
ARE THERE ANY IMMUNIZATIONS REQUIRED FOR ENTRY INTO NEPAL?
Immunizations are not required for entry into Nepal; however, there are some vaccines you should consider for your own health and safety. Malaria is NOT present in the regions of Nepal we will be visiting on this journey. You will receive more information on health and immunizations in your pre-departure pack, and it is recommended that you get medical advice from a doctor or travel clinic at least 6 weeks prior to departure.
CAN I OPT-OUT OF ANY ACTIVITIES OR EXCURSIONS?
Absolutely. This trip is about having the best experience possible, and if you decide you'd like to take a rest or see something else on any given day, you are more than welcome to do just that.
IS THE FOOD AND WATER SAFE?
Scheduled meals will take place at some of my favorite restaurants and hotels, where the standards for health and hygiene are the highest. If dining separately from the group, you'll want to avoid buying food from street vendors or stalls. To be safe, you'll want to choose food that is hot and freshly prepared and avoid drinking water from the tap. In general, it's best to stick with bottled drinks or boiled water. Having said all that, Kathmandu is full of yummy food options, and dining here can be a such a treat...Really!
WILL WE BE TRAVELING AT HIGH ALTITUDES?
The highest elevation we'll reach on our journey is a moderate 5,740 ft. (1,750m). You'll need to drink lots of water but you won't need to be concerned too much with the effects of altitude. However, if the weather gods are smiling, you'll be able to witness an unbelievable panorama of Himalayan peaks during our stay in Dulikhel. Although we do go on a couple of lovely day hikes, Himalayan Writers Workshop does not offer high altitude or extended treks. If this is something that you're interested in please let us know - we've got a great trekking agent who can make those arrangements for you.
WHAT ABOUT EMERGENCY SERVICES?
Kathmandu has several excellent travelers' clinics, including the CIWEC Travel Medicine Center. That being said, the level of medical services and facilities that you might be accustomed to may not be available (including the presence of a specialist and/or the availability of prescriptions drugs, or certain kinds of equipment) . We recommend that you have adequate medical and travel insurance in the unlikely event that you require medical evacuation. Please, read the section above for more information on travel and medical insurance.
WHAT'S THE CLIMATE LIKE?
Expect sunny days and cool, pleasant nights. Daytime temperatures can vary from pleasantly warm to hot, so arm yourself with a good hat or sunscreen. You'll want a warm jacket or fleece for the evenings.
WHAT SHOULD I BRING?
A pre-departure information pack detailing everything you need to know before your trip will be sent with your welcome email. It contains a list of useful items to pack, health advice, travel insurance options, information on cultural norms in Nepal, and many more helpful travel tips!