I offer writing coaching to writers working on memoirs, nonfiction book proposals, MFA program applications, and personal essays.
My students and writing coaching clients publish books with small and large publishing houses and essays in national outlets, such as the New York Times and the Washington Post. (See examples below)
Coaching meetings are held online via GoToMeeting. My philosophy is to meet the writer at the level they're at and help them reach their goals by teaching discrete skills and giving them honest and usable feedback. My strengths are structural and developmental editing; intuiting a narrative's emotional preoccupation; and reading at the speed of light. My rate is 120 dollars an hour. If you'd like to set up a session, email me at email@example.com.
Content of coaching sessions is held in confidence. Testimonials and names below shared with permission of writers.
Selected nonfiction titles from former students and clients:
New York Times Modern Love columns by former students and clients:
Forthcoming nonfiction from former students & clients:
Reckless Steps Toward Sanity by Judith Sara Gelt forthcoming from UNM Press (2019)
Untitled memoir from Noe Alvarez forthcoming from Catapult (2020)
Setting the Wire by Sarah Townsend forthcoming from Lettered Streets Press (2019)
Flying Free by Cecilia Aragon forthcoming from Blackstone Publishing(2020).
Washington Post essays by former students:
Marijuana's addictive risk shouldn't be ignored by Roger Roffman
My husband was laid off. Here's what happened to our parenting by Natalie Singer
Testimonials by former students:
Theo Nestor changed my life. Taking her Certificate in Memoir class at UW in 2015-1016—blew the top of my head off. I can’t describe it any other way. It was as if Theo opened a trapdoor to my childhood and everything that came after. She validated all the life experiences I chose to write […] Read More
Theo Nestor is my go-to manuscript coach. With her guidance and critique, I crafted a personal essay and writing sample that resulted in my acceptance to Columbia University’s MFA program in creative nonfiction. Around the same time, I came to her with an essay I had written about a traumatic event just after the […] Read More
Not only does Theo bring strong academic credentials and experience as a published writer to her role as writing coach, perhaps most importantly, she brings her generous humanity. Theo offers original insights and practical suggestions for your writing which cohere with your own vision. As a skilled and experienced coach, Theo guides you towards […] Read More
I took a self-styled “sabbatical” from my psychotherapy practice so I could work on my memoir. But after writing about 150k words I was at an impasse about how to make it all fit together. Around then, I read Writing is My Drink, which I loved. I got the idea to contact Theo for […] Read More
During our coaching sessions, Theo tended to each of our submissions with feedback that ranged from pacing to diction, to voice, all of it given in a way that acknowledged our strengths and encouraged us to dive into the next revision. Always positive and supportive, she did not hesitate to identify unclear passages and […] Read More
Theo’s enthusiasm, professionalism, and sincerity helped take my writing to the next level. She is so wonderfully kind and caring, with an eye for editing. The connection I built with Theo gave me the ability to write more vulnerably, and ultimately more engagingly. I highly recommend working with Theo, especially as a memoir writer.Read More
I found that, like any good coach, Theo is there for you. She is totally in your corner. What that means is that she is pushing and prodding you, asking you the tough questions about your writing and helping you reach deep, stretch, and grow. She will give you direct, clear feedback that you […] Read More
I turned to Theo in the latter stage of revising my memoir, at a point when I needed a frank assessment from someone who knew neither me nor the story I was trying to write. She delivered in spades. Her questions about the story arc and her suggestions with regard to craft allowed me […] Read More
For years I wanted to write a memoir about my divorce but never could focus on my goal. After a year with Theo I had a completed manuscript and a well written proposal that sold my book for publication. She guided me all the way. Could not have done it without her! Author, There’s […] Read More
I contacted Theo ten years into writing my memoir while I was struggling with structure. She did a “turbo” read and gained knowledge of the entire plot. After our Skype-like discussions, which were as pleasant as they were productive, she recommended I cut the first 120 pages! It was her explanation—her reasoning about why […] Read More
I contacted Theo for support in completing a marketing plan for my first book (initiated during her memoir course!) As a writing coach, she asked me to consider what I wanted from the experience of publication; what was my personal mission statement? Such is the wisdom of a woman who writes and teaches about […] Read More
Theo was the very first person outside of my sisters to read my manuscript. I wanted a professional and honest critique of my work from someone who I could trust. After reading her work and doing my research, I found Theo to be the perfect fit. My session with Theo was beyond my expectations. […] Read More
Reaching out to Theo when I was in the initial stages of figuring out a voice and direction for my most recent book was the best decision I could have made. She brought to our relationship (and my project) her gift of seeing the bigger story, understanding the potential of my vision and voice, […] Read More
I’d been daydreaming about writing a memoir for nearly 20 years, but it was Theo’s inspired teaching that finally showed me the shape the memoir needed to take. Her patient and insightful coaching enabled me to hone my draft into publishable form. More than anything else, I appreciated her willingness to work with me […] Read More