About Us

There's a great writer inside everyone. Let us help you discover yours.

At GCW, we believe that everyone has the power to tell their story.

We know how challenging writing can seem, especially when you’re on your own. Our mission at GCW is to change what writing means to you. We’re here to guide you on the storytelling adventure, empowering you with the tools you need to access your authentic truth. We are passionate about this life-changing process and can’t wait to take the journey with you.

What is creative writing?

Creative writing is the art of bringing words together in an original way. 
Creative writing can take on an infinite number of forms: 
it can be a story, an essay, a letter, a poem, a jingle. 
It can be something that hasn't been done before.
It can be something you're about to invent. 

Creative writing isn't only about the finished product. 
Creative writing is about reflecting in a way that brings purpose and meaning.
It's about overcoming the limitations that keep us from knowing our true selves. 
It's about accessing your creativity, having fun, and not succumbing to anyone's idea of who you are.  

Who do we help?

High school students

We offer high school students one-on-one mentorship to help them write authentic, stand-out college essays.

College graduates

We help graduate school applicants make sense of their journey and write memorable personal statements.

Young professionals

We help professionals reflect on their career path and discover where they're headed next.

Start-up & Small business

Understanding and constantly redefining your core values and purpose are essential skills for every entrepreneur. The writing process is a sure-fire route to clarity.

Non-profits & Social Entrepreneurship

We help non-profits and social entrepreneurship ventures raise capital by guiding them on the storytelling journey.

Everyone (yes, that includes you!)

Don't think you're a good writer? Never find time to write? Join our small, innovative workshops aimed at transforming your relationship to the written word
(and the world at large).

Monica Isabel Restrepo

Gala Creative Writing Founder

Monica Isabel Restrepo was born in Panama, grew up in Venezuela, studied and worked in the U.S. and Switzerland, and now lives in Spain. Monica fell in love with words when she moved to Cincinnati, Ohio at age seven. Finding herself immersed in an English-only speaking school and unable to say the world “glue,” Monica resolved to learn as many words as she could from flashcards. Nine months later, she won the second grade spelling bee.

Monica’s first tutoring gig occurred at age twelve when a Spanish-only speaking girl arrived at her international school in Caracas. After seeing her friend struggle in English class, Monica took it upon herself to tutor her during after-school playdates. Soon she became the go-to writing tutor for friends and family.

Monica graduated from the University of Pennsylvania and has worked in a variety of industries, including banking, marketing, education, start-up, and non-profit. In 2008 she started writing creatively on the side, first through a blog, and then more formally attaining a Master in Fine Arts in Creative Writing at Florida International University.

For the past 10+ years, Monica has been helping students write college and graduate schools essays through Gala Consulting, her college counseling business. The 2020 global pandemic offered Monica an opportunity to rethink her business and focus more exclusively on her writing passion. Founded in 2021, Gala Creative Writing continues to offer college and graduate school essay counseling, but now also aims to transform people’s relationship to writing. Based on the premise that everyone has the potential to be a great writer, GCW offers people of all ages the tools to write effectively, creatively, and with gusto.

Monica has an M.F.A. in Creative Writing from Florida International University, a B.A. in History and Economics from the University of Pennsylvania, and has completed a Compassion Cultivation Training course. Her lyric essays appear in various creative writing journals including Cherry Tree, The Lindenwood Review, and Harpur Palate. You can get a taste for her writing through her blog.

In addition to writing, Monica’s favorite things are:

Engaging Conversation







Nature Walks


Dips in the salty blue


Monica’s work experience includes:

• 10+ years providing College Counseling with focus on the college essay

• Nonfiction Editor for Gulf Stream, FIU’s literary magazine

• Research, writing, and translation of peer-reviewed articles for UNESCO’s International Bureau of Education

• Lead fundraising writer for BRAC USA, a start-up supporting BRAC, of one of the largest development organizations in the world

• Consumer Online Marketing Manager for various Time Inc. magazine sites

• Researcher and writer for High Yield Research Desk as Goldman Sachs analyst

Our latest publications

  • Earlier this year, I wrote an apologetic blog post about my lack of interest in politics, current events, and celebrity gossip – a.k.a. all the topics one resorts to when engaging in small talk with strangers. As 2022 nears its end, I thought it woul

  • Summer is my favorite time of year. Bare feet, barely-there clothes, lazy mornings. While most moms prepare for summer by finding the perfect camp for their kids, I get ready to bunker in for a ten-week session of Camp Mami. Collaborative breakfasts,

  • I wake up on the day I turn forty without a plan. No scheduled activities. No pre-ordered birthday cake. No candles to blow out. Quite intentionally, today is a blank slate. Depending on what kind of person you are, this may or may not sound surp

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