Nick Gowen founded Red Ink after a group of high school students in Sarasota, Florida, told him they felt unprepared to write their college application essays. They could write an academic paper — that lifeless, impersonal writing style found in biology lab reports — but they never learned how to write a meaningful story about themselves. They had certainly never started a sentence with “I.”

Nick began traveling to schools and sponsoring workshops on the personal essay for high school students and their families. He also began working one-on-one with students to transform their application essays from faceless news reports into engaging personal narratives.

But high school seniors aren't the only ones with stories worth telling. Red Ink also teaches businesses, bloggers, consultants, executives, and wedding speech writers how to make their stories shine.

Nick Gowen, Essay Coach

Nick graduated summa cum laude from Centre College in Danville, Kentucky, where he studied non-fiction writing and the personal essay under award-winning writer Lisa Williams. In 2010 he completed an internship with the college's Office of Admission, which introduced him to the world of college recruitment and application review process. He wrote and directed the admissions web series Lil Smitty: A Hip-Hopumentary and was a reviewer for admission into the 2010-2011 Centre-in-Strasbourg study abroad program.

Each summer Nick teaches with the Kentucky Governor’s Scholars Program and is also a member of the application review panel for the program. He was an editorial assistant for Everything’s An Argument, a textbook on persuasive writing, and most recently wrote The $100,000 Essay, a digital manual on how to write a winning college application essay.

Nick lives and works wherever there is Internet but will always call Kentucky his home. He reads grammar books at breakfast and style guides at night when he can’t fall asleep. His favorite punctuation mark is the em dash.