Nathan Winfrey - Content Writer

Nathan Winfrey graduated from the University of Central Oklahoma with a degree in journalism and a minor in creative writing. After years navigating a colorful succession of reporting and editing jobs, he took the helm of his hometown newspaper before eventually becoming the copy editor for the largest state agency in Oklahoma.

Nathan spends his free time plunging into the third draft of his novel, systematically exchanging his blood for coffee, bungling through language-learning apps, sitting on sunny patios, secretly binge-reading when nobody’s looking, petting other people’s dogs, and traveling the world with nothing but a backpack and a camera.

I believe in this principle, even though it isn’t always the popular opinion: Writing is one of few things you can get better at without practicing. How? By reading! Audiobooks are wonderful, but as much as possible, read with your eyes, not your ears. Read deliberately. Google every word you don’t know. Keep a running toolbox of words and phrases you like and want to remember. Pay attention to sentence structure. Spelling. Remember the rules the author breaks and why.

Location: Oklahoma City, USA

Most Read Book: ​I don’t really re-read books unless it’s for reference or study, but I do find myself going back to certain authors just to return to that familiar voice. I go on Stephen King kicks every few years.

Favorite Story to Tell: ​I was in Istanbul unexpectedly and needed to explain to some teenage kids at the airport that I wanted to hitch a ride in my friend’s prepaid shuttle and just pay when I got to my hostel. Suddenly, a third kid appeared, holding out for me (in a hand lined with visible dirt) a small blue object the size of a peppercorn. I bravely stupidly popped it in my mouth, and immediately the kid yelled, “Ecstasy!” Startled, I spit it back into my hand. And then he said, “Şeker!” (sugar). Of course it was sugar. I put it back in my mouth. “Ecstasy!” he warned again, laughing, and I spit it out a second time. That probably would have gone on all day, but there comes a point when something’s been spat out enough times that it needs to go in the trash.