Write Your True Story: Narrative Nonfiction Course with Jana G. Pruden

The award-winning Globe and Mail feature writer takes your true story from concept to final draft in this exclusive seven-week creative nonfiction course

SOLD OUT (Waiting List Only)

Registration for this course is full. Email us to add yourself to the waiting list in case someone drops out.

Join award-winning journalist Jana G. Pruden for an seven-week narrative nonfiction workroom.

In this class you will learn to employ the tools of fiction and narrative writing to tell powerful, readable true stories that will stand up to fact checking. During the program, you will write and revise a work of long-form nonfiction, literary journalism or memoir, resulting in a piece of writing ready to pitch or publish. The class will include lectures, group discussion of other published works, and one-on-one direction and feedback on your writing—plus a printed class anthology mailed to you for free!

Prerequisite: A story to tell. The class is open to writers of all levels of experience.

SOLD OUT (Waiting List Only)

“This was such a fun course to be a part of – and deeply inspiring. Thanks so much for your guidance, Jana!”

–Ruby Prosser Scully, science journalist
Mondays, 7–9:30pm ET, Apr.12–May 31/21

(Total 7 weeks, 17.5 hours)

Pre-course homework: Have a story idea ready! Jana will arrange a brief phone call to discuss it with you, to ensure that you are prepared to report it to your best abilities.

  • Apr. 12: The elements of narrative
  • Apr. 19: Scene and detail
  • Apr. 26: Writing about people
  • May 3: The role of “I”
  • May 10: Structure / First drafts due
  • May 17: “Sweating the copy,” “boiling,” and finishing touches
  • — one week break for revisions —
  • May 31: Readings and Wrap-up / Final drafts due

June: Class anthology will be printed and mailed to students as a keepsake (Additional copies can be printed for $20 plus shipping.)


After checkout, you’ll receive a receipt with a link to download your syllabus, which will include Zoom passcodes, pre-class homework, and additional course information. You will also receive an emailed reminder a few days before your first class.

This course inspired me to tackle new writing challenges and gave me the tools I will need to take on those challenges. I met an amazing group of writers who inspired me and made me think about my own writing, along with how I read other people’s work.

Katherine Hill, CTV digital producer

About the Instructor Register for $549 CAD (~$430 USD) Class Catalogue


This course intended for committed students. You are expected to complete two drafts of a narrative nonfiction story, meeting both first draft and final draft deadlines (May 10th and 31st, respectively). In addition, you are expected to read your classmates’ stories and provide meaningful feedback in-class during workshop exercises.


Pandemic University is committed to offering a fulfilling and inclusive education. Classes are held via Zoom with Closed Captioning features enabled through auto-transcription technology. A teaching assistant will be present to correct transcription mistakes and assist in other ways. The course includes workshops and class discussions, thus students are required to participate through audio; accommodations can be made for people with speaking or other disabilities if they inform us ahead of schedule. Video is encouraged of all students in order to optimize everyone’s virtual classroom experience.


Space is limited to sixteen students. Anyone wishing to cancel their registration have until Apr. 5, 2021 to receive a guaranteed refund (minus the e-commerce service fee of 2.9%). If you cancel after Apr. 5 but before Apr. 12, we will only offer a refund if and after the vacated spot is filled. No refunds whatsoever will be offered after the course begins on Apr. 12. Violations of the Code of Conduct may also result in your removal from the course without compensation.

“It was a great way to spend the last eight Monday nights. Learned a lot and came out of it with a piece I’m really pleased with. Take it if you get the chance to! … Money well spent.”

Rob Csernyik, Editor of Great Canadian Longform

Although PanU is technically a fake university, we’re committed to high standards of artistic integrity, quality education, and maintaining a safe virtual environment for students. Abusive behaviour toward classmates or instructors will not be tolerated at any point during the course, including in private messages, and will result in expulsion without refund.

Other violations that could have you expelled from this course include: refusing to participate in group workshops; plagiarism and misrepresentation of others’ ideas as your own; sharing recordings of classes; sharing classmates’ work without their consent; and racism, sexism, homophobia, and transphobia either in your notes feedback to classmates or in your written work.

The final say on whether or not you continue in class belongs to the instructor alone. If you have any questions, email info@pandemicuniversity.com.

About the Instructor Register for $549 CAD (~$430 USD) Class Catalogue