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PROSE MASTER CLASS: Memoir to Fiction

January 24 @ 9:00 am - January 28 @ 12:00 pm

Week-long master class for advanced prose writers



The truth about stories is that that’s all we are.” –Thomas King

What makes a compelling memoir? Why do some novels keep us reading obsessively until the last page? In this class, we’ll explore that mysterious amalgam of elements that create true, authentic, compelling stories that are foundational to both memoirs and novels. Through discussion, handouts, writing exercises, and brief homework assignments, we will explore three elements that are critical to story: character development, world building, and creating the right form to carry the intent of the narrative. At the same time, we will honor and nurture the unique creative process that each individual brings to the circle, remembering that writing is an act of courageous vulnerability. This class is intended to support writers working on book-length manuscripts in strengthening their own writing process, finding inspiration through exploration, and deepening their understanding of the stories they want to tell.

Each day opens in circle, moves into a lively discussion of the day’s theme that will include writers sharing specific challenges and insights from their own work, a writing exercise to loosen up and explore each topic, and a short homework assignment to keep the juices flowing. Writers are encouraged to use their free time to write, connect, and nurture their creativity. The week’s schedule includes:

  • Monday: Building the Circle
  • Tuesday: Breathing Life into Characters
  • Wednesday: Building the World
  • Thursday: Finding Form
  • Friday: Share, Celebrate, Commit

This class is intended for writers of memoir and fiction with significant experience with writing workshops. Participants are expected to be working on a book-length manuscript and to be able to critique others’ work as well as be open to critique of their own writing. 

Tuition for the week-long master class is $600. Write On members receive a 10% discount. To become a member and save, please click here. To register online for this program, please click the button below. For other registration options, please call 920.868.1457. Please read our policy on cancellations and refunds.

PLEASE NOTE: Tuition is for the class only. Participants are responsible for their own lodging and meals. Light breakfast refreshments will be available each morning. To find available housing options, please visit Destination Door County.


Diane Wilson is a Dakota writer, speaker, and educator, who has published two award-winning books as well as a new novel, The Seed Keeper, by Milkweed Editions. Wilson’s memoir, Spirit Car: Journey to a Dakota Past (Borealis Books) won a 2006 Minnesota Book Award and was selected for the 2012 One Minneapolis One Read program. Her 2011 nonfiction book, Beloved Child: A Dakota Way of Life (Borealis Books) was awarded the 2012 Barbara Sudler Award from History Colorado. Her essays have been featured in many publications, including the 2016 anthology, A Good Time for the TruthWilson has received awards from the Bush Foundation, Jerome Foundation, the Minnesota State Arts Board, as well as a 50 Over 50 Community Leadership Award from Pollen/Midwest. Wilson is the Executive Director for the Native American Food Sovereignty Alliance, a national coalition of tribes and organizations working to create sovereign food systems for Native people. Wilson is a Mdewakanton descendant, enrolled on the Rosebud Reservation.


January 24 @ 9:00 am
January 28 @ 12:00 pm
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Write On, Door County
4210 Juddville Rd
Fish Creek, WI 54212 United States
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