about

The Varsity Pen is the synthesis of Nadine Gorelik’s lifelong obsession with words—most notably with the personal statement, the academic essay, grammar and syntax. Too often, these matters are instructed with all the flair of saltine crackers. Circa 1991, Nadine’s love of writing flourished though her 6th grade Language Arts class was taught from textbooks copyrighted 1964—whose inside covers bore the ball-pointed edict, “IN CASE OF FIRE, THROW IN.” Since her playground days, Nadine has quested to render the writing process engaging even to seasoned skeptics.

The Varsity Pen is your full-service resource for all things writing. Unlike similar services, its expertise is not diluted by claims of specialization in several disciplines. Sessions are tailored to your unique learning style, challenges, timetable and goals. Whether you wish to make lasting gains in writing skills or a specific project needs improvement, The Varsity Pen has you covered. Nadine’s Columbia University Master's in Nonfiction Writing fuels her knowledge; her passion for people ignites her drive to share it.

How might you
use The Varsity Pen?
see services page
Need to know
more about Nadine?
see credentials

My Philosophy

When coaching writing, my philosophy hinges upon the belief that I should eventually render myself obsolete. Clients take what they learn from our sessions and apply it on their own with increasing success. In time, each client will reach a point where s/he no longer needs me in order to produce clear writing.
 
But what if you haven’t come to The Varsity Pen to learn? What if you’re here for an edit of your midterm paper, due in two days, and don’t have time to learn? I can work with that, but you shouldn’t be surprised if I try to impart some useful lessons along the way. That’s how invested I am in getting people excited about writing.

In my experience

1

In applications and cover letters, a writing deficiency can make a capable employee seem incapable...whereas a writing proficiency can make an incapable employee seem capable.

2

The ability to write clearly is among the few that can’t be bought, faked or substituted.

3

Writing is a skill that benefits students in almost every discipline…and improves grades in the Social Sciences and Humanities even when content knowledge remains unchanged.

Reviews

"The Varsity Pen has helped our teenage son become a competent and proficient writer—and has taken a lot of stress away from us! Nadine has been a calming influence and wonderful tutor to our son which allows him to relax and flourish as he works on school assignments. She is always prepared with challenging materials and encourages communication throughout the week for feedback on any projects he has. We are so grateful to have met Nadine and appreciate all she has done to help increase our son’s confidence as his writing assignments get increasingly more demanding."
– L.B. & D.B.  /  client  /  New York, NY


"Nadine is a great tutor for any type of writing! I am a junior in high school and so far Nadine has helped me outline, edit and revise a novel-based comparison essay and a fiction character piece. Nadine is very passionate about her work and this is reflected in her whole attitude towards writing. Not only did she help me with the pieces we were working on, Nadine also taught me skills I could apply on my own to writing assignments in all my classes. I would definitely recommend Nadine to anyone who is looking for any kind of writing assistance!"
– M.F.  /  client  /  New York, NY


“At her core Nadine has a value set that anyone wanting to raise confident, empathetic, smart and creative children should covet. Her natural instincts are to constantly create new and exciting learning adventures. We credit Nadine’s countless hours working on letters, reading stories and her obvious love of literature with helping my oldest daughter to learn to read and write at an early age.”
– B.D. / parent & employer  /  New York, NY


“Nadine pays attention to details, collaborates well with others, and is attentive to the needs of a group. Yet she never stops taking pleasure in seeing children learn, she finds humor in unexpected places, and she takes challenges in stride.”
– C.M.  /  colleague  /  New York, NY

credentials

Master's Degree (MFA)
Nonfiction Writing
Columbia University
Teaching Assistant
Johns Hopkins University
Summer 2017
Developed and taught lessons for intensive Creative Nonfiction course (residential program, grades 8-11)
Writing Center Tutor
Muhlenberg College
1.5 years
Tutored undergraduate academic papers
in all disciplines on a walk-in basis.
Writing Assistant
Muhlenberg College
1.5 years
Tutor for two first-year Writing Intensive courses. Attended all classes, held individual sessions & group workshops, tracked student progress.
Learning Assistant
Muhlenberg College
1 year
Psychological Statistics course. Held individual sessions & group workshops to instruct students in converting their numerical data into long-form reports adhering to APA style.
WRITING TUTOR & 
Consultant To Parents
Freelance
10 years