Sticky: Stories that don't let go.

Narrative non-fiction. Literary journalism. Memoir. True crime.


Sticky is a long-form newsletter published by me, Mike Wells. It focuses on narrative journalism and storytelling.

This newsletter is best consumed when you’re not multi-tasking or easily interrupted. My goal is to elicit the same feeling you get after reading or hearing a captivating tale that shook or uplifted you—or both!

In addition to reporting, Sticky includes my observations, commentary, essays, reviews, and recommendations. Free subscribers receive two editions monthly.

Paying supporters get access to bonus editions, comments, discussions, and the Sticky podcast, which is a mixed bag of interviews, unfiltered reflections, and readings.

I don’t have a set agenda with Sticky. What I intend is to be as authentic, transparent, and raw as I possibly can here.

If you’re looking for a disclaimer, I guess this is it: I’m figuring this newsletter out as I go. This is both my workshop and my playground. It’s where I can be serious and silly, certain and unsure. I intend to be bold and purposeful, but I’ll always permit myself to change my mind as soon as I hit publish.

I covered the crime beat at four different newspapers, from a rural weekly to a major metropolitan daily. It’s only fitting with Sticky that I continue to share stories of trauma, abuse of power, and even murder.

However, I’m not a one-note storyteller. Some editions might include progress reports on upcoming articles, my analysis of a recent news development, diary-like essays, or recommendations for books and articles I found especially helpful or riveting. And you might come across a fiction story I’m working on, as well.

You’ll occasionally get my personal take on things. Consider them editorials. They might include thoughts on politics, relationships, or justice.

Each month, two newsletters will be free to every subscriber. I’m reserving exclusive content, podcasts, and other special perks for paid subscribers.

If you buy a subscription, you’re helping me earn a living and financially supporting my reporting, which is not cheap to produce (i.e., travel, equipment, research, documents, my time, etc.).

Finally, I’m pretty much always hunting for the next great story to share, and I encourage you to not be shy about sending me your pitches.

My deepest thanks to you!

― Mike


My intention (for now) is that Sticky will offer:

  • free subscription of two newsletters a month. You’re busy, so I’m not gonna overwhelm you.

  • paid tier providing a weekly newsletter, plus access to the comment and discussion sections and podcast episodes. Cool! You wanna support what I’m doing here, and so I’ll send you some great stuff.

  • four-week trial during which you can add the premium subscription at a deep discount. Grab the discount before the trial ends!


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Note: All photos and illustrations on Sticky are copyrighted to me, unless otherwise credited.