Ghostwriting 101 : A Hands-On Workshop

Workshops / Masterclass
Saturday, 25th March 2023
From 10:00am to 1:00pm (IST)


Did you know that Prince Harry's memoir “Spare” sold 1.43 million copies in just 24 hours in the UK, US, and Canada? As a result, it set a Guinness World Record for the fastest-selling non-fiction book of all time. But what’s more interesting is the book actually not written by Prince Harry, but ghostwritten by American novelist, journalist, and ghostwriter J. R. Moehringer.

Avid Learning presents a full-day hands-on workshop on ghostwriting with Founder and Director, The Big Sneeze Content Company Gayatri Pahlajani. Whether it’s a blog, long-form article, newspaper column, or an entire book, ghostwriting will give you a chance to hone your craft, devise communication strategies, gain valuable experience while writing for others, and get paid. This workshop is an exciting opportunity for aspiring writers to learn the ins and outs of ghostwriting, from developing a unique voice and style to working with clients and managing feedback.


Workshop Highlights:

Learning to organize and structure the writing process

Capturing the voice and style of the subject

Strategies for working with clients

Practical exercises and writing assignments

Sharing of case studies and real-life examples

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Ghostwriting 101 : A Hands-On Workshop
Ghostwriting 101 : A Hands-On Workshop
Ghostwriting 101 : A Hands-On Workshop
Ghostwriting 101 : A Hands-On Workshop


Gayatri Pahlajani

Gayatri Pahlajani

Founder and Director, The Big Sneeze Content Company

Gayatri Pahlajani holds an MSc in Gender and the Media from the London School of Economics (LSE), followed by a stint in film direction at the New York campus of New York Film Academy. She provides commissioned film, voiceover, scripting, and book writing services through her firm-of-one The Big Sneeze Content Company. Depending on the project, she also fully ghostwrites or edits books but does not, as someone asked her once, specifically write about ghosts. She hopes she never has to. Of the twelve books that Gayatri has been commissioned to ghostwrite or edit, seven have had national releases, two have been private commissions and three are in production. Of the seven national releases, five became bestsellers, some have been published in multiple languages to include Hindi, Gujarati, Bengali and Marathi, one was nominated for a Crossword Book Award (the winner is through public vote), one was reported by the Times of India as the fastest-selling motivational book, and one won a Gourmand World Award for 2020 for India. She has also ghostwritten a column in Bombay Times for many years, as well as multiple articles for The Times of India. She provides end-to-end book services to include conceptualizing, positioning, ghostwriting, editing, liaising, and securing the publishing contract for the client. Her list of book clients include a Padma Shri and OBE awardee, CEOs, a Guinness World Record holder, celebrity trainers and nutritionists, and her clients are published with either Penguin or HarperCollins. The books have had multiple celebrity contributors and endorsements to include Alia Bhatt, Hrithik Roshan, Kiara Advani, Ananya Panday, Vaani Kapoor, Vicky Kaushal, Deepika Padukone, Karan Johar, Ranbir Kapoor, Preity Zinta, Sushmita Sen, Anand Mahindra and also forwards by Jack Canfield (Chicken Soup for the Soul) and Katrina Kaif. Of the private commissions, she has written a book on the construction of the Bandra-Worli Sea Link as well as a commissioned book on the founder of the Landmark Group, Dubai (owner of the brands Lifestyle and Home Centre). She featured in the book How to Get Published in India (by Meghna Pant) and has contributed a chapter on Ghostwriting (other contributors included Jeffrey Archer and Shobhaa De). The book charted at #1 on Amazon. She has also been awarded the Women’s Economic Forum’s Exceptional Women of Excellence award in 2018.

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What is ghostwriting?

Ghostwriters work behind the scenes to help authors bring their ideas and stories to life on the page, but their work is often invisible to readers. In many cases, readers may not even be aware that a book or article was ghostwritten. They play an important role in the publishing industry, working with authors to help them create polished, engaging written works that resonate with readers. The level of creative involvement of the ghostwriter can vary, depending on the needs and preferences of the author. Some authors may provide a detailed outline or rough draft of the work for the ghostwriter to build upon, while others may give the ghostwriter more freedom to create the work from scratch.


Is ghostwriting done only for books?

Ghostwriting is done for a wide range of formats, including books, articles, essays, newspaper columns, and film screenplays among others. The work of ghostwriters can be especially important in cases where the author lacks the writing skills or time to create work themselves, but still has important ideas or insights to share.


Are ghostwriters visible?

The authors rarely reveal their ghostwriters outrightly. In some cases, the ghostwriter's name may be included in this section, along with the author's name. The acknowledgments section can include a mention of the ghostwriter's name and contributions to the work. A small paragraph may be included at the back of the book or in the author’s bio section that mentions the ghostwriter's name and their role in creating the work. The ghostwriter may also receive a percentage of the royalties or other compensation for their work. The specific location and format of the ghostwriter's credit will vary depending on the preferences of the author and the terms of their agreement with the ghostwriter.


Famous ghostwritten works

Have you read Nike co-founder Phil Knight’s inspiring memoir Shoe Dog or Andre Agassi’s gripping autobiography Open or the recently released record-breaking Spare by Prince Harry? Apart from being chart-topping, what else connects these personal narratives? Believe it or not, they are all ghostwritten by the prolific novelist and Pulitzer winner J. R. Moehringer. “Spare” sold 1.43 million copies in just 24 hours in the UK, US, and Canada, setting a Guinness World Record for the fastest-selling non-fiction book of all time. Some of the biggest names in literature, politics, and business have used ghostwriters to help them create their books or other written works.


Skills needed to become a ghostwriter

The primary ability is to use language to convey the author's ideas and voice, while also maintaining a high level of readability and engagement. Ghostwriters need to conduct research to gain a deep understanding of the subject matter they are writing about. This requires the ability to find and evaluate sources, synthesize information, and present it in a clear and compelling way. They require strong communication and collaboration skills, as well as the ability to take feedback and make changes as needed. Another key skill is balancing multiple projects and deadlines while maintaining a high level of quality and attention to detail. Avid Learnig’s ghostwriting workshop will get you started on this journey equipping you with the necessary skill set.




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