The Book Writing & Publishing Blueprint Workshop

A two-day book writing workshop

Are you ready to transform your ideas, chapter drafts, and research notes into a powerful blueprint for a published book? Published author Minal Hajratwala will lead a two-day intensive book-writing workshop Saturday October 10th and Sunday October 11th, 2009. The workshop will give participants a writing toolkit to develop and finish a book AND a business strategy to publish a book. Minal’s recent publication and success of Leaving India: My Family’s Journey from Five Villages to Five Continents positions her as a writing mentor with valuable insight and a fresh perspective on the book business and the creative writing process.

This is a unique opportunity to access a published author’s firsthand knowledge and experience of her journey from creative book idea to a critically acclaimed publication. The workshop is set up for a limited set of participants, so each participant will receive individualized attention and focus on works in progress through topic discussions, writing exercises, and question and answer sessions.

About the teacher

Minal Hajratwala is the author of Leaving India: My Family’s Journey From Five Villages to Five Continents (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2009), which has been called “incomparable” by Alice Walker and “searingly honest” by the Washington Post. She spent seven years researching and writing the book, traveling the world to interview more than seventy-five members of her extended family. She is also a performer, poet, and queer activist based in San Francisco. Her creative work has appeared in numerous journals, anthologies, and theater spaces, and has received recognition and support from the Sundance Institute, the Jon Sims Center for the Arts, the SerpentSource Foundation, and the Hedgebrook writing retreat for women, where she currently serves on the Alumnae Leadership Council. Her one-woman show, “Avatars: Gods for a New Millennium,” was commissioned by the Asian Art Museum of San Francisco for World AIDS Day in 1999. As a journalist, she worked at the San Jose Mercury News for eight years, was a board member of the National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association, and was a National Arts Journalism Program fellow at Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism in 2000-01. She is a graduate of Stanford University.

The Book Writing & Publishing Blueprint Workshop:  Agenda


The writing process: how to structure one’s time, process, support and what it personally takes to finish a project.

Breakthrough to write: how to deal with inner criticism, obstacles, and blocks to write the book only you can write.

• Narrative structure: themes and narrative drive that unify a longer piece of work.

• Storytelling: discovering narrative threads.

• Finding the depth and layers of your story: research and inspiration.

• Editing and revision during the creative process.


• Navigating the book business.

• Creating your platform as a writer.

• Finding an agent: pros, cons, and how to go about doing it.

• Writing a query letter.

• Having a hook: pitching your work.

• Writing and submitting a non-fiction book proposal that makes you stand out from the crowd.

• Editing process in the publishing house.

• Resource list: books, publications, and websites that are helpful.

NOTE: Minal will send out an email detailing some advance reading to prepare for the workshop in order to maximize our time together.

Yes, tell me the details!


The Book Writing & Publishing Blueprint Workshop

The Writing Process: Saturday, October 10, 2009, 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
The Business Strategy: Sunday, October 11, 2009, 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.


San Francisco Bay Area (details upon registration).


$150 per day, or a special rate of $200 for the whole weekend.


Writers of all backgrounds and all genres (fiction or nonfiction) are welcome. Participants should have a book in progress or a book idea that they are willing to work with for the purposes of the weekend.


Please email Meeta Kaur at to reserve a seat and send a check payable to Meeta Kaur at 4561 Fernandez Street Union City, CA 94587 by September 1st, 2009. To maintain individualized and focused attention for each participant, workshop size is limited, so please confirm your participation soon.

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