Writing True Stories | wisconsinacademy.org
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Photo and book cover image of Marja Mills

Writing True Stories

Course Starts

March 23, 2021

Course Time (CST)

6:00 pm to 8:00 pm

Course Type


Course Ends

May 11, 2021

Course Cost



True stories, compellingly told, have a distinctive power. They can take the form of memoir, personal essay, literary journalism or other types of non-fiction. They impart not only facts but insight and emotional truths. Often, they combine rigorous research with a novelist’s language and sensibilities. 

Join memoirist Marja Mills for an exploration of how to write this kind of nonfiction with clarity, style, and substance. Course participants willl read and discuss passages from a range of narrative nonfiction and occasionally do short writing exercises. We’ll discuss any work that participants have underway or are contemplating and tailor the course to the group’s interests. We’ll delve into how to research and organize material, and write and revise. We’ll also consider key elements of nonfiction storytelling, including character and place, structure and pace, quotations and telling details and, always, context and meaning. Registration for this course is limited to twelve participants.

SCHOLARSHIP AVAILABLE: There is one (1) scholarship available for this course. Students of need are encouraged to apply through our Scholarship Application page.

QUESTIONS ABOUT THIS COURSE? Visit our FAQ page or e-mail course coordinator Christopher Chambers.

DISCOUNT FOR ACADEMY MEMBERS: Members receive a 10% discount Member Rate on this course (discount applied during registration). Not an Academy member? Choose the "Member Rate + Membership" option during registration to recieve your discount rate. Academy Members receive discounts on courses, contests, and ticketed events, as well as an annual subscription to Wisconsin People & Ideas magazine.


Marja Mills is a journalist and bestselling author. She teaches and consults on writing projects.

Her memoir, The Mockingbird Next Door, was a New York Times bestseller. It tells the story of her friendship with Harper Lee and her sister Alice in their Alabama hometown. Mills was a news reporter and feature writer at...

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