Workshops by Prem Panicker & Arati Kumar-Rao

Tell me a story. It is the first demand we make as children; the first demand our children make of us. We listen to stories; we tell them in our turn. We tell stories in order to explore our world, to navigate our value systems. We tell stories to know what we are thinking, to dream out loud. We tell stories to share a little bit of ourselves with the world. Like a dolphin’s sonar, we send our stories out into the world and listen for the answering pings, and we know we are not alone.

We told stories through pictures, and then we invented language to tell those stories in. Then the internet came along and gave us more tools, and more ways to combine those tools to tell our stories in more immersive ways.

This course is about that. It is about how to tell stories. It is about the tools and the techniques that help you tell multi-sensory stories – through text and voice and stills and videos and much else.

“We write to taste life twice, in the moment and in retrospect.”

Anaïs Nin

Who Should Attend:

There are two workshops:
>> for young people in the 15 – 18 age group;
>> for adults
No matter where in the world you are, do feel free to apply if the timings suit you

Youth Batch:
For the high-school student or undergraduate looking to break out of formulaic academic templates and learn to communicate better, write better, tell visually rich stories.

Adults Batch:
If you are a reporter, a writer, photographer/videographer, a researcher looking to find and tell stories from your specific field of expertise, a blogger looking to tell stories in more compelling and immersive ways, if you are a white-collar employee or an entrepreneur looking to communicate more effectively, if you run a non-governmental organization (NGO) and are looking to tell a powerful, well-structured, visually-rich story that integrates the tools and technologies of today, this is for you.

What You Will Learn:

Youth Batch (a non-exhaustive list of topics):
>> Art & craft of writing well
>> Read and understand news and filter for bias
>> Enrich your vocabulary
>> Storytelling in a visual world
>> Find your own voice
>> Write compelling personal essays that stand out from the crowd
>> Ethics

Adult Batch (a non-exhaustive list of topics):
>> Finding a story, pitching an idea
>> Art & craft of researching and organizing in a multimedia world
>> Techniques and tips for gathering information in field
>> Finding story structure, using media
>> Owning voice – verbal and visual
>> Putting it together
>> Ethics

Workshop Format

Both workshops will combine classroom learning (3 hours/ week on a Saturday on Zoom) with assignments (due every Thursday) and a feedback session (1 hour, every Friday). Guides will be available for queries during office hours, MTW, for one hour.

Guest lectures and additional recorded video sessions will be made available as per interests and needs of each cohort.

We will use industry standard backend interfaces that allow students access to
>> the materials relevant to each week
>> quizzes and assignments
>> office hours
>> peer-peer interaction
>> interaction with guides

Your Guides:

The workshops will be jointly conducted by National Geographic Explorer Arati Kumar-Rao (Twitter: @aratikumarrao; Insta: @aratikumarrao) and senior journalist/editor Prem Panicker (Twitter: @PremPanicker). We will invite one or two guest lecturers for each batch.


July 1, 2020 – August 1, 2020 (both dates inclusive: 5 Weeks)

Timings (IST; GMT + 5:30):

YOUTH BATCH (15 years – 18 years)
Classroom day: Saturdays: 9AM – 12PM
Feedback day: Fridays: 7PM-8PM
Office Hours: MTW: 7PM-8PM
Assignments due: Every Thursday 12 Noon

Classroom day: Saturdays: 2PM – 5PM
Feedback day: Fridays: 8:30PM-9:30PM
Office Hours: MTW: 8:30PM-9:30PM
Assignments due: Every Thursday 12 Noon

Cost: INR 29,990 (USD 400; Euro 350)

Apply Here

Youth: 15-18 years: Application Form

Adults: Application Form

Deadline for Applications: June 18, 2020

You will receive a response from us by June 22, 2020

Any questions, clarifications, please email us at: