About Us

The Mill: A Place for Writers, now in its fifth year, was founded to create a center that would encourage the growth of the literary community and provide learning opportunities for writers at all levels, by offering a broad range of classes and workshops for interested adults. The Mill offers classes in the writing of Fiction, Poetry, and Creative Nonfiction taught by experienced teachers, themselves accomplished and widely-published writers. The Mill sponsors the Mill Prizes, a writing contest for both short stories and poetry.

Our Mission is to support the artistic development of writers, foster a writing community, and build an audience for literature.

We are an independent 501 (c) (3) tax exempt organization.
The Mill Prize for Poetry

For submission guidelines and information about prize money, click HERE

Newsletter Sign-up

The Mill Prize for Short Fiction

For submission guidelines and information about prize money, click HERE


Become a Mill member and take advantage of the 10% discount on all classes. Annual membership is $35.00.
If you prefer paper, please make checks payable to: The Mill A Place for Writers PO Box 861 Appleton WI 54912.

Writing Beyond Yourself: Prayers, Charms, Spells, Chants, and Masks with Tom Montag

While we can’t pretend to be wizards or witches or shamans, this class will examine and foster poetry which takes the form of prayer or charm or spell, chant, and mask in order to work its magic.  More

Length: Eight week course

Day: Monday

Dates: Jan 15 – March 15

Where: Neenah Public Library  [Note: Feb 19 session held at Menasha Public Library]

Time: 6:30 – 8:30 p.m.

Cost: $200


Member: $180


Advanced Fiction Writing Workshop with Steve Polansky

In these sessions, we will spend most of our time discussing works submitted by participants. More

Length: Eight week course

Day: Monday

Dates: Jan 15 – March 5

Where: Neenah Public Library  [Note: Feb 19 session held at Pizza King, Appleton]

Time: 6:30 – 8:30 p.m.


Cost: This class is full and will be available again in April



Literary Conventions for Memoir and Creative Nonfiction with Jill Swenson

Devices and techniques used in nonfiction narratives will be covered in this class intended for those who are writing memoir or creative nonfiction. More

Length: Six week course

Day: Monday

Dates: Jan 15 – Feb 19

Where: Menasha Public Library

Time: 6:00 – 8:00 p.m.

Cost: $150


Member: $135




Reading for Writers: Flannery O’Connor and Bernard Malamud with Steve Polansky

And though it’s been said many times, many ways: one must read to write. This class is founded on the general, if not inarguable premise… More

Length: Eight week course

Day: Wednesday

Dates: Jan 17 – March 7

Where: Pizza King: 800 E. Wis. Ave, Appleton 

Time: 6:30 – 8:30 p.m.

Cost: $200


Member: $180

Where Are You From: Writing Poetry About Place with Karla Huston

Join Wisconsin Poet Laureate Karla Huston to write poems that use place as their impetus whether that place is a metaphoric “happy place” or that cabin in the woods. There will be exercises and model poems and weekly assignments for writing your poems about “that place.”

Length: Two week course – Three hour classes

Day: Saturday

Dates: Jan 13 and Jan 20

Where: Neenah Public Library (Carpenter Room)

Time: 1:00 – 4:00 p.m.

Cost: $75


Member: $67.50

Become a Mill Member

The Mill: A Place for Writers is a nonprofit organization that relies on member support to continue to offer a variety of literary classes, workshops, and presentations to the Fox Valley region. By becoming a member you not only provide financial support, but broaden the reach of the organization and foster a greater awareness of the power the written word provides.
Annual Mill membership is $35.00. Mill members receive a 10% discount on classes and workshop.
Purchase your Mill membership now by credit card or PayPal. Thank you for supporting the Mill.

If you prefer paper, please make your $35.00 check payable to: The Mill A Place for Writers, PO Box 861 Appleton, WI 54912. Memberships will extend for one year after the date payment is received.


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Student Testimonials

Latest News

Something is always happening at the Mill.
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The Mill Teachers

Accomplished and widely published authors.

Steve Polansky
Steven Polansky was born in Queens, educated at Wesleyan (B.A.), Hollins (MFA), and Princeton (Ph.D), and taught at Princeton, St. Olaf College, Macalester, and the University of Minnesota. A two-time recipient of a McKnight Artists Fellowship for Writers, his short fiction has appeared in The New Yorker, Harper's, Glimmer Train, Best American Stories, New England Review, and Minnesota Monthly. His collection of stories, Dating Miss Universe, won the Sandstone Prize for Fiction, and the 2000 Minnesota Book Award. His novel, The Bradbury Report, was published in 2010 by Weinstein Books. In the November 15th’s New Yorker Fiction Podcast, his story,"Leg,'' was read and discussed by novelist David Gilbert, and New Yorker Fiction Editor, Deborah Treisman. His story, “Obsequies,” appears in the 2017 Spring/Summer Edition of Glimmer Train.
Karla Huston
Wisconsin Poet Laureate (2017-2018), she earned an MA in English/Creative Writing from the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh. Huston is the author of a full collection of poems A Theory of Lipstick (Main Street Rag Publications: 2013) which won an Outstanding Achievement Award from the Wisconsin Library Association. She has published eight chapbooks of poetry, most recently, Grief Bone, Five Oaks Press, 2017. Huston serves on the board of directors for the Council for Wisconsin Writers and The Mill: A Place for Writers where she teaches poetry workshops as well as the authors committee for the Fox Cities Book Festival. Her poems, reviews and interviews have appeared in many regional and national journals. Her poem, "A Theory of Lipstick" won a Pushcart, Best of the Small Presses Award in 2011.
Nikki Kallio
Nikki Kallio is a fiction writer and has also worked as a journalist in Wisconsin, Maine and California. Her articles have recently appeared in publications such as Insight magazine and The Rotarian, for which she has reported stories in Cape Town, South Africa and Modena, Italy. She earned her Master of Fine Arts degree in Creative Writing from Goddard College. Her creative work has appeared in Pitkin Review, Minerva Rising, Midwestern Gothic and elsewhere. She is the winner of the 2014 Mill Prize for Fiction and the 2015 Wisconsin People & Ideas Fiction Contest for her short story "Geography Lesson." She also works with Wide Open Writing, an annual writers' retreat in Tuscany.
Jill Swenson
Jill Swenson, Ph.D., is a developmental editor and literary representative who recently moved from New York to Appleton. Swenson Book Development LLC is a boutique agency which represents a select clientele who write memoir, narrative nonfiction, children’s picture books, middle-grade fiction, art/photography, poetry, and YA. With a Ph.D. from The University of Chicago and 30 years of teaching, editing, and coaching writers, Jill is an author’s advocate. She recently won the first Muskeg and Spruce Writing Contest for her piece, "If We Were Good," and has previously taught at the Loft Literary Center, Ithaca College, and the University of Georgia-Athens.
Tom Montag
Creative Nonfiction
Tom Montag is recently the author of In This Place: Selected Poems 1982-2013; This Wrecked World; and The Miles No One Wants. He has been a featured poet at Atticus Review, Contemporary American Voices, Houseboat, and Basil O'Flaherty Review, and in the past two years received Pushcart Prize nominations from Provo Canyon Review, Blue Heron Review, and The Lake. He has been writing and publishing poetry and creative nonfiction for more than fifty years in a wide variety of little magazines. He blogs at The Middlewesterner. With David Graham he is co-editing an anthology of poetry about small town America.
Camille Maurice
Camille Wade Maurice has an extensive and varied background in human services. She has been a social worker, psychotherapist, administrator, college professor and a speaker/ consultant for health care organizations in the US and Canada. Camille is both poet and poetry lover. For twelve years she facilitated poetry classes for the Learning in Retirement program at Nicolet College in Rhinelander. She is a member of Wisconsin Fellowship of Poets.
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