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Gary Nilsen

Gary Nilsen - Editor

Port Washington, NY

I'm a writer, a blogger, and a freelance book doctor...


I love writing. I’ve written two novels (so far), some short stories, and I maintain a blog (my alter-ego). In pursuit of mastering the craft of writing, I went after an MFA in Fiction and enjoyed the greatest process of my life. Could I have learned most of it from a book? Probably. What I couldn’t take from a book was the realization that bringing a writing project to light becomes, at some point along the way, a community effort. It begins with the writer, but then comes the beta readers, the editors – both structural and grammatical, line editors, proofreaders, agents, publishers, reviewers, lawyers, accountants – the list goes on. But before all of that, the writer needs to put a manuscript into the very best shape it can be; it needs to be polished to a brilliant shine. Would you try to sell your car while it’s full of mud and sporting a flat tire? Well, you could, but you’ll have many more rejections than if you wash it first, and have a mechanic check it over. So, while I love to write my own projects, I also enjoy discovering the treasures that other writers produce and love to help them add luster to their work. Let’s do this together…

English (US)
Adventure Crime & Mystery Fantasy Science Fiction Thriller Young Adult & Teen


  • Master of Arts in Fiction


  • Robert J. Begiebing Prize

Work experience

Freelance Content Editor

Gary Nilsen, MFA
June, 2014 – Present (almost 4 years)

I generally work with clients who have completed a manuscript and have taken some time to revise and polish. That's a great starting point to have a content editor look at the full scope of the work for all the various issues of craft, plot lines, pacing, theme, etc. I do extensive line editing and marginal notation and render a full critique at the end.


Gary Nilsen
January, 1980 – Present (about 38 years)

As a writer, I have focused on novel length fiction and an occasional short story. The best ideas come from something in your experience that sparked the question 'what if?'. Secondly, the story that strives to burst from your imagination must connect, in direct proportion, with your desire to tell it. I have completed two novels and working on both their sequels.

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