Richfield creates a writer

Published in The Richfield Reaper, March 5, 2024

by Liberty Best


Garret Nash had support from a young age, which molded his desire to tell stories. After leaving Richfield High School and graduating from Brigham Young University and Yale University, he found writing to be something achievable.

Nash wrote a novella that turned into an opportunity of a lifetime when he won the Writers of the Future contest. He is heading to Hollywood, California, soon for awards and workshops with renowned authors.

Nash was always interested in storytelling but thought it a real possibility after ghostwriting speeches for Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, former president of Liberia.

“In my previous job, we had a client, a former president that won the Nobel Peace Prize that needed some speeches,” Nash said.

Nash said he was not qualified at the time to write speeches and had only done analytical writing at that point in his career, but the work landed on his desk and he wanted to do it. He learned a lot in the process of writing through the perspective of someone from Africa, a 70-year-old woman and former president.

“When I saw the work printed and the break out quotes were things I had written, I thought, if I can do this writing as a former president, I can write fiction,” Nash said. “That’s when I started and it’s been a lot of learning and a lot of fun.”

His novella “Son, Spirit, Snake” is a 15,000 word story that was inspired by what he learned studying anthropology. Nash loves mythology, what people believe, how they believe and why they believe and the combination of all of it inspired the award-winning story.

He said the opportunity that comes with winning the Writers of the Future contest is greater than the prize money and he looks forward to the opportunity to learn during the workshops in California.

“It’s an invaluable experience to get that feedback and learn from people who have made it,” Nash said.

Crediting teachers and his grandparents who inspired him to never give up and reach his goals, he said his grandparents have been his greatest advocates and supporters growing up. They continually encouraged him to expand his horizons and try new things.

Nash said he also had a few stand out school teachers that helped him hone his skills and brought out learning to shape what he does today.

Elaine Street and Curtis Benjamin stand out to him and he still thinks of them today, as they helped him to learn in different ways and grow his skills with writing. In elementary school, Pam Williams helped him find a love for writing and expression through words.

Nash is using the pen name “Jack Nash” and is currently working on a novel that he said is not ready for anyone to read and not ready for publishers. He is hoping to get his manuscript where it needs to be to take the plunge into writing novels, focusing on the thriller genre.

His advice to young aspiring writers is to “Read every day, write every day and read a lot of different stuff. I wrote a fantasy piece but I don’t read a lot of fantasy, being able to do something different and bring something different to a genre is what makes you stand out.”

The Writers of the Future contest is one of the most prestigious writing and illustrating competitions in the world, is currently in its 41st year and is judged by some of the premier names in speculative fiction, according to a news release.

Nash moved from the area and has lived on the east coast since his graduation from Yale University in 2018.

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