For nearly forty years, I harbored a secret desire to write. When I finally got serious about it, I wrote a novel. In search of an agent, I stockpiled a drawer full of rejection letters, uncovering the need to sharpen all the tools in my kit to elevate my writing to a higher level. I applied to an MFA program and earned that degree a couple of years later. Yes, I learned and honed many of the elements of the writers’ craft, but discovered something even more amazing along the way – community, specifically that of the writing community. Writers all share the same fundamental passions and fears and insecurities about doing what they want most – getting that story idea or character out of their head and onto a page. The idea of hacking away in a lonely room isn’t altogether false, but it’s the writing community – our critique partners, our editors, our beta readers that help shape our work.

I learned from, and was mentored by, some of the most amazing writers – Wiley Cash, Leslie Jamieson, Jo Knowles, Robin Wasserman, Katherine Towler, Jacquelyn Mitchard, and Diane Les Becquets. They instilled a passion, not only to write, but to teach. So, I am launching Page 1 Writers.

It’s hard to come by someone who hasn’t, at one time or another, felt the pull to write a story, only they don’t know how or where to start. Home Depot has a slogan on their commercials – “Let’s Do This”. They have their orange work buckets. We have blank white pages, so I say, let’s do this. Come sign up for a workshop and learn how to get the creative juices flowing and dip a big toe into the ocean of writers who surround you.

I look forward to working alongside you and sharing some great stories…

Gary Nilsen