We had the good fortune of connecting with Nile Fortner and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Nile, where are your from? We’d love to hear about how your background has played a role in who you are today?
I was born in Miami and I’ve been a Fort Lauderdale native all my life. Ever since I was in grade school, I had an interest in writing and stories. My parents would share books, movies, comics, and all kinds of forms of storytelling with me. I took that interest and I started making my own creative stories and around high school, I became more interested in real stories in the South Florida community and culture. So I took my interest in writing while wanting to apply it to the community. Therefore, I reached out to local publications and platforms to see if I could become a community writer helping to bring awareness, understanding, news, and features on people and events. I believe to learn about people is to learn about the community and to learn about the community is to learn about yourself in a way and I’ve learned so much about myself, the people around me, the areas, and so much.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I’m an FAU December 2019 graduate with a Bachelor’s Degree in Multimedia Journalism and I have been and continue to be a writer for various publications and online platforms such as the Sun-Sentinel, New Pelican Newspaper, The Parklander Magazine, Fort Lauderdale Magazine, My South Florida Today, SFLStyle, Atlantic Current, and more. The reason I do this and have been doing it for years is that I have a passion for stories and the South Florida community. It’s a way to help spread the word and positivity to the community by offering news, culture, and inspiration. Even before I was a community columnist writer, I knew I had to separate my written style or voice from other writers. In other words, I knew and asked myself,” What will make you different?” So I would go with the old term, “Show, don’t just tell.” I decided to get a little more descriptive with people, events, and places. Some people like it and some people don’t and that’s fine. But I do like when someone can tell or say, “He wrote it and I can tell he did.” It’s a stamp of approval and I think regardless of what you do, finding out your style or unique quirk can take you a long way. I still remember Brett Diaz, other classmates, even people who didn’t like my work and still don’t telling me, “Your article gave the news and facts and the descriptions were like a journey.” That seems to be what I’ve been known for and I actually like and embrace that. Even though I’ve been published in magazines, newspapers, and online, recently I had two Sun-Sentinel articles on author Micah Dawanyi and Island SPACE that made the front cover and are the cover stories on the newspapers, which in journalism is a good thing. My articles were front and center which means a lot to me and I would say has been the most rewarding experience so far. Especially, since people have criticized my work in the past and one person even telling me, “You shouldn’t be doing this,” or “He’s so bad,” someone once put something I wrote and wanted to share in the trash and they said, “This is what God created trash cans for.” But I really just wanted to get better and keep going for it. I also do a podcast series with a site called BocaFirst interviewing Boca Raton artists, entrepreneurs, and discussing those in the community. I also, do another podcast with a site called Cinephellas. I got to interview legendary horror actress Lin Shaye for the 2020 Halloween season. I also work with my friend Evan Snow on helping with the Choose954 Podcast. I’ve also done a little bit of video work with my friend Jonathan Delgado of comic culture and cosplay website, Instagram, and YouTube Channel, Geekvised. Most recently, discussing Wonder Woman 1984 and we plan other stuff too. That’s an example of community coming together and realizing we can be more than just the one thing we thought we’d be or what others expect us to be.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I love a lot of South Florida areas and I have a few hangout spots already in mind for when people visit or plan on visiting. I’d take them to the Wynwood area, Downtown Fort Lauderdale, Daniel Popper’s ‘Thrive’ statue at Society Las Olas is really nice. Also, Sawgrass and Aventura Malls, Cinemark Paradise 24, iPic, Steve’s Pizza in North Miami (Best pizza I’ve ever had), Tate’s Comics, South Beach, and Avocado Grill is one of my favorite restaurants. I’m a restaurant guy and we have a lot of good ones. Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
There have been a lot of people who’ve helped me and encouraged me along the way. My parents, Clifford and Alethia, have been very supportive to this day. My friends, professors, and former classmates at Florida Atlantic University have been very nice and I learned a lot while I was a student. I went into school thinking, “I’m here to just be a writer,” but I learned a lot more while there such as audio editing, which I still use. My former classmates from FAU and even a couple from high school are friends and they’ve actually helped me with contributing to my articles such as taking photos and videos. All kinds of support from people like Valery Guillaume of ValVisuals, Max Maldonado and Gabriella Melo who are photographers, Professor Prusher at FAU, my family on both sides, Brett Diaz of My South Florida Today and Hook360, and a lot of people who simply just showed support or took an interest. Even people who aren’t supporters can encourage you to support yourself even more and pursue becoming better. I’ve also made a lot of new friends and networks while doing this type of work too. People who I’ve written about or we’re in the same type of community work.
Nile Fortner at Sunrise Civic Center (Photo Taken By Alethia Housen-Fortner) FAU Grad Photo Taken By Gabriel Clarke (@g_thats_nice_media) Burger Picture – At iBurger in Miami Geekvised Photo – Video By Jonathan Delgado – Nile Fortner with Nina Andujar (@revved_harley) Nile Fortner with Evan Snow of Choose954 at Daniel Popper’s ‘Thrive’ at Society Las Oas Fort Lauderdale Magazine Sun-Sentinel (Sawgrass Sun on Island SPACE at Westfield Broward Written By Nile Fortner) Sun-Sentinel (The Forum Newspaper on Author Micah Dawanyi Written By Nile Fortner)