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 event had occurred. Her advice to me was to step back and take time to process and gain perspective. Theo was right—I’ve only recently come back to that essay and am now able to explore the event with literary and emotional honesty in a way I couldn’t have before. More recently, I sought her expertise on an essay for which I could not pin down an ending. She diagnosed the problem—I had tried to address more than one issue in an essay requiring a singular focus. During revision, I followed her advice and wrote not only a stronger essay but also the once elusive ending. I am deeply grateful for her insight, kind but direct feedback, and actionable suggestions. More than any other writing teacher, Theo has helped shaped my writing and, therefore, my life.