Putting a Dream in Writing 
An entrepreneurial English student publishes his debut novel.
5 min. read
November 7, 2023

Most students spend their university years socializing, studying and attending classes. Fourth-year student Nathan Reid-Welford can relate. The only difference is that he also published a 230-page novel. 

Born in Keswick, Ontario, Reid-Welford is pursuing a bachelor of arts in English writing, with minors in marketing and history at Redeemer University. While he toyed with the choice between a number of schools, his decision to come to Redeemer was driven by his desire to study in a place where faith could be part of his educational experience and where he could find authentic community amidst the pandemic. 

According to Reid-Welford, he has always been creative and curious about the world, enjoying reading and writing from a young age. He is fond of both fictitious and journalistic writing. Landing freelancing opportunities through cold emailing and networking, he is driven to follow his dreams. 

His book, Colin Harris: The Game of Wits, follows the life of Colin Harris, the rebellious and reckless high school student who winds up at a private school named Clearview Academy. As he begins to grow as a person and get used to life at Clearview, he learns that there is more to the school than meets the eye and is thrust into a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to save the world. His book is targeted toward young adults and fits within the action, adventure and spy genres. 

Reid-Welford conceived of the idea of Colin Harris in middle school, and he continued to draft and edit the novel throughout high school. While at Redeemer, he completed some final touches and secured a publisher, officially launching the book in December 2022. Seven years in the making, his novel draws inspiration from book series such as Alex Rider and James Bond. Reid-Welford is working with FriesenPress, located in British Columbia, to publish, design and distribute his book. He says that this is all a learning process, and navigating the publishing industry produced significant personal and professional growth.

Reid-Welford is grateful for what he has learned at Redeemer and believes it will make his leap into a writing career much easier. 

“I was really adamant on taking business courses because I knew that with whatever I did—whatever creative product I made—I could expand on it and make a career out of it by knowing how to get it to people,” says Reid-Welford. “Marketing has helped me feel more confident in approaching business owners and event planners and saying, ‘I have something I know your people will want.’” 

While the book is considered by his publisher to be secular, there are nuances of the project that point to a greater source of inspiration. 

“In my business classes, I’ve been learning that you don’t have to create a faith-based business, but your faith will impact how you conduct that business and what you do with that business,” says Reid-Welford. “My book isn’t a book about religion, but the way it’s written, the things I do and don’t do and even the way I interact with potential customers show that there is a faith and set of values that I hold to.” 

Even the broken and the lost can be molded and used for something good. You see this in a variety of biblical characters, such as Paul. Colin is a kid who isn’t doing anything right, but he ends up rising to the challenge.

The theme of redemption reveals itself within the novel as the protagonist learns to channel his desire for justice away from personal vendettas and toward the common good. 

“Even the broken and the lost can be molded and used for something good. You see this in a variety of biblical characters, such as Paul. Colin is a kid who isn’t doing anything right, but he ends up rising to the challenge.” 

This novel is the first book in what Reid-Welford plans to make a series; he has already started writing the sequel. With his English degree almost complete, set to graduate in 2024, he is feeling confident that he will be able to make this a reality. 

“My degree, especially my creative writing classes, will help in the future as I forge ahead with this series. I’ve learned different techniques with imagery, detail and strategic ambiguity.”

You can purchase Colin Harris: The Game of Wits in print or e-book format through FriesenPress, Amazon and 21Five, the Christian bookstore at Redeemer. 

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