Writing Coach

I offer writing coaching to writers working on memoirs, nonfiction book proposals, MFA program applications, and personal essays (with a focus on Modern Love essays). Writing coaching sessions are available on an one-time or ongoing basis, depending on the needs of the individual writer.

My students and writing coaching clients publish memoirs and other nonfiction books with small and large publishing houses. Their personal essays have appeared in Yoga Journal, Salon, Self, the New York Times, the Washington Post, The Establishment, Brain, Child magazine, and many other places (See examples here)

Individual Coaching Sessions

15-minute sessions

Are you stuck on a writing question and want a quick consult? Schedule a 15-minute appointment using the calendar below. After you book your session, send your question to theonestorprods@gmail.com so I can prepare for your session. Or, if you prefer, just show up and ask your question.

Your 15-minute session will be held through GoToMeeting. You will receive a link to this online meeting via email after booking. After our meeting, you’ll receive a video recording of our conversation.  $30.

30-minute sessions

Want a full 30 minutes to discuss your question? Schedule a 30-minute session w/o pages in the calendar below. $60.

Are you in need of a review of pages and 30 minutes to discuss an issue you’re having with your memoir, personal essay, book proposal, agent search, or query letter? Schedule 30-minute session using the calendar below. After you’ve booked your session, send up to 2000 words of written material (personal essay, opening of memoir, overview of book proposal, outline of memoir, for example) for review in a Word document to theonestorprods@gmail.com.

Your 30-minute session will be held through GoToMeeting. You will receive a link to this online meeting via email after booking. After our meeting, you’ll receive a video recording of our conversation. $120.00

60-minute sessions

Do you need global feedback on the opening of your memoir or business pages of your book proposal? Schedule a 60-minute session using the calendar below. After you’ve booked your session, send up to 6000 words of written material (opening of memoir, overview of book proposal, outline of memoir, for example) for review in a Word document to theonestorprods@gmail.com.

Our 60-minute session will be held through GoToMeeting.  After booking, you’ll receive a link to our online meeting. After our meeting, you’ll receive a video recording of our conversation. $240.

Schedule a Session:
  • Appointment Info

  • Your Info

Ongoing coaching

Coaching meetings are held online via GoToMeeting, which allows for us to meet face to face. 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. I don’t proofread unless a client desperately needs me to because it’s not my strength, but I’m happy to refer you to an excellent proofreader. My rate is 120 dollars an hour. If you’d like to know more about the coaching process or to go ahead and set up a session, send me an email at theonestorprods@gmail.com.

Selected nonfiction titles from former students and clients:

New York Times Modern Love columns by former students and clients:

Forthcoming nonfiction from former students:

Untitled memoir from Noe Alvarez forthcoming from Catapult (2020)

Setting the Wire by Sarah Townsend forthcoming from Lettered Streets Press (2019)

Washington Post essays by former students:

My son’s father killed him for insurance money. Full justice hasn’t been served by Hera McLeod.

We’re failing the immigrant kids who show up alone on our border by Noe Alvarez

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

Bio:

author-photo-1 Theo Pauline Nestor is the author of Writing Is My Drink: A Writer’s Story of Finding Her Voice (And a Guide to How You Can Too) (Simon & Schuster, 2013) and How to Sleep Alone in a King-Size Bed: A Memoir of Starting Over (Crown, 2008), which was selected by Kirkus Reviews as a 2008 Top Pick for Reading Groups and as a Target “Breakout Book.” An award-winning instructor, Nestor has taught the memoir certificate course for the University of Washington’s Professional & Continuing Education program since 2006. She also teaches at Hugo House in Seattle and has taught two master classes at Hedgebrook. She holds an MA in English Literature from San Francisco State University and an MFA in Creative Writing (Fiction) from the University of Washington. Nestor also produces events for writers such as the Wild Mountain Memoir Retreat, Bird by Bird & Beyond, and the Black Mesa Writers’ Intensive, featuring talks by writers such as Anne Lamott, Cheryl Strayed, Julia Cameron, and Natalie Goldberg.  You can follow her on Facebook here, Instagram, and on Twitter @theopnestor.  Read testimonials here:A

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 about, and in so doing affirmed that I had a voice worth sharing with the world. The following year, two students from Hugo House and I entered into a coaching program with Theo. We met twice a month to share and critique our pieces, often with Theo recording our sessions so we could play them back at home in case we didn't catch everything that was said. Theo consistently approached our work with respect, honesty, and compassion, encouraging us—with razor-sharp insights—to go deeper and unpack the meaning behind our pages. Not only was she a fabulous mentor, she went out of her way to introduce me to magazine editors who would publish my work and gave me the opportunity of a lifetime to apply for a Hedgebrook scholarship. And did I say she has a wonderful sense of humor? I have taken many writing workshops since that UW class, but I know I won't find a teacher as generous and open-hearted as Theo Nestor. She is one of a kind. I owe her a deep debt of gratitude.
Reni Roxas
Children's book publisher & editor
Theo was extremely prepared for our coaching session which she demonstrated by clearly knowing my manuscript. She creates a collaborative dialogue and headspace that inspired me to finish. She was generous with her feedback giving specific and concrete steps for me to do work through sections of my book that were not well integrated.
Carly Bergey
Theo is a gifted teacher. She is so incisive and helpful in steering me in the right direction that I can’t say enough good things about her. I highly recommend!
Shigeko Ito

11 Responses to Writing Coach

  1. Margaret Coombs Farris says:

    Dear Theo-Thank you for everything you have taught me this past year. It has really contributed to my recovery and has helped me find my current passion (I hope it continues). I spoke to you a while ago about meeting with you privately. In particular I’d like to get some suggestions for my “Stratus” entry as well as some tips on the writer’s conference in July. I’ve never attended anything like this, and I want to get as much out of it as I can. If you could give me an idea of good times for you, I’ll let you know that I’m flexible and can drive during the day, but can also meet at night if that’s better. I look forward to hearing from you. Fondly, Margaret Coombs Farris

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  4. Theo is a highly-skilled teacher and coach. I owe much of my publishing success to her instruction.

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  7. I’m a nonfiction writer wanting to write a memoir…

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