Chamonix Hike


I was trying to write then and I found the greatest difficulty was to put down what really happened in action; what the actual things were which produced the emotion that you experienced…the real thing, the sequence of motion and fact which made the emotion and which would be as valid in a year or ten years or, with luck and if you stated it purely enough, always.

-Ernest Hemingway

Writing well about what really happened and how it happened does not come easily, but it’s the key to composing clean, compelling prose. I have sought to do this over a long and varied career as a journalist for weekly and daily newspapers, a freelance writer for magazines, and as a writer of nonfiction and fiction books, including my recent novel, The Storms of Denali. Take a look at the trailer below:

This site gives an overview of my work, both in fiction and nonfiction, as well as providing background on my novel, The Storms of Denali, an interview with me by Scott Driscoll, a blog on freelance writing and schedule of readings and events.  For a complete description of my writing program, The Writer’s Workshop, take a look at

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Over the years, I have contributed to Newsweek, Condé Nast Traveler, Gourmet, Food and Wine, Saveur, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, National Geographic Adventure, Outside, GO, Sierra, Rock + Ice, Image and many other places. I’ve written the following nonfiction books: On Sacred Ground: The Spirit of Place in Pacific Northwest Literature (University of Washington Press, 2003), At the Field’s End: Interviews with 22 Pacific Northwest Writers (University of Washington Press, 1998), Contemporary Ecofiction (Charles Scribner’s, 1996) and Beyond Risk: Conversations with Climbers (Mountaineers, 1993).

My online literary magazine, The Writer’s Workshop Review, features the best in fiction and nonfiction writing from established and emerging writers. The eighth issue includes an interview with Patricia Wells as well as outstanding stories. For more:

Please contact me about freelance writing, speaking, teaching or any other subject. I look forward to hearing from you!


Nicholas O’Connell, M.F.A., Ph.D.