So You Think You Might Be Writing a Collage Memoir…

Telltale signs

You’ve recently read Claire Dederer’s Love and Trouble and Maggie Nelson’s The Argonauts AND the deeper-in-the-catalog Bluets. You love Abigail Thomas’ Safekeeping and Terese Marie Mailhot’s Heart Berries. You own multiple copies of Terry Tempest Williams’ Refuge. These are signs.

Your manuscript is built of teeny tiny chapters. Can you even really call them chapters? Your book possesses multiple narratives. Some pages contain more white space than words. These too are signs.

Except sometimes you also wonder: Am I writing a collage memoir or is this just a hot mess? May I offer…

A Quiz:

Answer the following questions to the extent your knowledge, humility, and sense of self-worth will allow: 

  • Does an organizing principle unify the manuscript?

  • Does the narrative require a collage form to express its message?

  • Is the prose sharp enough to slice steel?

  • Does the manuscript contain at least a snifter of narrative arc, allowing readers to wring some semblance of emotional satisfaction from discovering the narrator’s outcome?

Maybe you couldn’t honestly answer “yes” to all of these questions yet. But is it reasonable that–with some help and revision–you could get there? 

Perhaps you are asking, “Must the book do ALL of that??”

Let’s look at some examples.

Unifying principle

The metaphor of interrogation provides the unifying principle for Natalie Singer’s California Calling, thus the book’s subtitle, “a self-interrogation.” Questions from the chapters and sections are demarcated by the stages of interrogation. Elissa Washuta’s Starvation Mode is organized by commonly known  dieting rules. Terry Tempest Williams’ Refuge is unified by the central question “How does one take refuge in change?”

Form expresses content

The dieting rules in Starvation Mode illuminate the ways the narrator has been controlled by cultural narratives about the female body. The lake levels and individual birds that define the chapters of Refuge underscore the importance of the rising lake and demolition of the bird refuge. The interrogation questions throughout California Calling echo the questions the narrator herself is asked before she takes the witness stand (Read the book! It’s terrific!) and the way a woman’s experience can be brought into question by ancient male-dominated power structures. 

Steel-slicing prose

The collage structure minimizes the impact of plot, the big kahuna of literary elements. When plot is obscured, the onus of responsibility for creating literary pleasure falls on the other literary elements, namely theme and language. For a collage memoir to succeed (i.e. find a readership outside of blood relatives and best friends), the language must sing. Witness: Dederers Love and Trouble, Williams’ Refuge, Singer’s California Calling and the other books listed in the recommended reading list below. 

This is not a form for bloated prose. The sections of these memoirs are tight, economical, and tend to end with a POW. (Craft exercise: reread some of these memoirs with a focus on the final lines of each chapter and section. Boom. Mic drop).

Some semblance of narrative satisfaction

No matter how lyrical and off-road these successful collage memoirs may appear, they do still offer a basic problem, struggle, resolution pattern. Within the first page of Refuge we learn that the narrator’s mother is dying and the bird refuge is being flooded. By the end of the book, the narrator has learned to find some peace, some refuge, in change. In Safekeeping, we follow moments from the narrator’s thirty-year relationship with her former husband. Even though we get the story of their relationship in snapshots, most of those shots are lined up in chronological order. 

Need help with your collage memoir? I can do that. I can offer a quick read of your manuscript to determine which of these elements are missing and suggest how you might develop them or alter your approach. Have questions? Email me at theonestorprods@gmailcom. 

Recommended Reading: 

The Sparkling-Eyed Boy by Amy Benson

Starvation Mode by Elissa Washuta

My Body Is a Book of Rules by Elissa Washuta

Bluets by Maggie Nelson

California Calling by Natalie Singer

An Earlier Life by Brenda Miller

Reality Hunger by David Shields

Citizen by Claudia Rankine

The Argonauts by Maggie Nelson

Safekeeping by Abigail Thomas

Love and Trouble by Claire Dederer

Refuge by Terry Tempest Williams

Heart Berries by Terese Marie Mailhot

The House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros

An Encyclopedia of an Ordinary Life by Amy Krouse Rosenthal

Posted in More Stuff for Writers, Writing Tips | 4 Comments

Lessons from Success: Bet on Yourself

Happy New Year! Welcome to the final post in a four-post series on the writing lessons I’ve learned from my students’ successes. Today I’m sharing a post I wrote on New Year’s Eve 2015 about doubling down on yourself. A common thread I’ve noticed among students who’ve sold their memoirs: A decision to bet on themselves–to commit some of their time, money, and focus on their writing. This line from Transparent creator Jill Soloway sums up this turning-point choice up perfectly: “I want to double down on me.”

“I Want to Double Down on Me.”

jill soloway
Jill Soloway

I’ve been pretty obsessed with Jill Soloway’s  series Transparent this winter break, which led me to reading Ariel Levy’s interview with Soloway in The New Yorker titled “Dolls and Feelings.”

In the interview Soloway shares that when her career was at its lowest point, she made the decision to “double down” on herself. Even though the sensible thing for her to do at that moment would have been to pay off debt, she decided to bet on herself instead.

An excerpt from the The New Yorker profile, “Dolls and Feelings”:

In 2011, after almost two decades as a television writer, Soloway was broke, with two kids, trying to recover from the recent writers’ strike and the recession. Then her old friend Jane Lynch, who was starring on “Glee,” told her about a job on the show, and Soloway went to meet with the producers. “Finally, here’s this moment where I’m meeting on ‘Glee,’ ” Soloway said. “Ryan Murphy wants to hire me. I’ve been best friends with Jane Lynch for about three decades—we’re sisters. It’s happening.” As Soloway drove home from the meeting, her agent called to say, “Pop the champagne—they loved you.” A week later, he called again: Murphy had heard that Soloway was “difficult,” and wasn’t going to give her the job. The agent said he’d send a check to tide her over.

That night, Soloway sat in the bathtub, while her husband, Bruce Gilbert, a music supervisor for film and television, brushed his teeth. She remembers telling him, “ ‘I don’t want to use the money to pay off our debt. I want to be a director, and I want to make a film with it and get into Sundance. I want to double down on me.’ And Bruce was, like, ‘O.K.’ ” Then, just as Soloway was making the leap to directing her own material, her father called one afternoon and came out as transgender.

Interestingly, Soloway had already been working with the theme of gender identity for years. But at this juncture of her life, her themes met opportunity. I’ve heard this story repeatedly when authors share their books’ origin stories with my classes:
A prior decision to commit to their subject and themes prepared them to seize an opportunity or an insight when it arose.

Often times these writers, like Soloway, first had to overcome a cultural dismissal of their subjects. In a recent interview I did with Cheryl Strayed, she talked about how in grad school the cool topics to write about were drugs, sex, and rock and roll, but the thing she wanted to write about was the decidedly uncool topic of being sad about the loss of her mother. Accepting that her grief was her material was an essential part of her process of doubling down on herself.

What would it look like for you to double down on yourself in the coming year? I’ve been answering that question for myself this past week, and I challenge you to wrestle with it too. Let’s double down together.

Looking for a writing coach? I’m relaunching my coaching business in the new year and have appointments available on Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays, and Sundays. Learn more or book an appointment by emailing me at

Posted in More Stuff for Writers | 4 Comments

Lessons from Success: Take a Note (or Two!)

Welcome to the third post in a four-post series on the writing lessons I’ve learned from my students’ successes. Today’s lesson: Be open to critiques.

I absolutely do NOT want to admit this, but on the chance you’ll see yourself in my experience I will share this dark secret: I did not use critiques when I needed them the most.

The writer–before she knew how to take a note.

In my early workshops I looked congenial on the exterior, but inside I was shouting, “Shut up! I hate you! La la la la, I can’t hear you.” Metaphoric fingers in ears. Metaphoric feet stomping on the ground.

I was, in fact, paying tuition then and so therefore spending hard earned dollars to deflect each of these helpful notes.

Most of my students and clients are not like this. I know they aren’t because their revisions reflect a response to critiques received. In other words, they are adults. Adults who know their first draft (or second) isn’t perfect and can improve. Adults who know writers need another set of eyes on their work.

When I see them being all adult about workshop notes, I can’t help but try to understand why I wasted so much time pushing away what I so needed to hear. The answer I come up with: I subscribed too heavily to the idea that talent reigns supreme. I believed that these critiques meant I didn’t have enough talent to BE A WRITER. Another issue: I then lacked the skill to take a comment and revise, so I found critiques overwhelming. How on earth was I suppose to use these comments? How could I pry open this formed thing and begin to rebuild?

Eventually, my avoidance caught up with me–when I turned in my first book to my editor. She had notes. A lot of notes. And there was nowhere to run, no way to discount her comments (She’s super smart and was pretty clearly right on the money with 99.9 percent of her comments*). And so there, under the gun of a deadline, I listened. And then I learned to revise. It was brutal because I had to learn revision so quickly and in a professional setting. I’m embarrassed now to think how I must have exhausted her patience. But you know, it’s part of learning. It’s part of growing up. It was part of my growing into myself as a writer.

But now I feel a gratitude when I see a student or a client absorb comments. It feels something like grace. Like karma is letting this one slide. A few years ago I read a draft of a client’s memoir and I knew immediately she needed to cut the first 120 pages. It was clear to me the story started on page 121. I dreaded to tell her this. Would she be crushed? Dismiss my critique? But I had to tell her. She was, in fact, paying me to tell her what I know. Yes, she was taken aback, but she took the note and revised. And then she revised some more. And then I got an email from her one day saying a university press wanted to buy her book. Happy ending.

Yet, once in a while, I come across my younger self, the writer mightily fighting off what she needs to hear. I try to have compassion for her and for my younger self. I tell her, “These comments don’t mean you can’t get there, that you’re not talented. It just means there’s some work to do.”

Sometimes those words are enough.


*Caveat: Not all critiques are created equal. I’ve heard terrible advise handed out in workshops. You do have to make an executive decision about which critiques you will use. But try not let that be an executive decision and not a toddler one.

Looking for a writing coach? I’m relaunching my coaching business in the new year and have appointments available on Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays, and Sundays. Learn more or book an appointment by emailing me at

Posted in More Stuff for Writers, Writing Tips | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

Lessons from Success: Commit to Learning the Craft

Welcome to the second in a four-post series on the writing lessons garnered from student success. Today’s lesson:

Writing Is a Craft. Commit to Learning it.

You know when an ex wants to communicate with you, but they don’t really want to commit to the vulnerability of actually communicating and so they send you a meme? Maybe this hasn’t happened to you. I hope it hasn’t. One of the dumbest memes I’ve been sent by an ex said something to the effect of, “Writing is easy. Just sit at the typewriter and bleed.”

The intent of the sender I’ll never know as he ONLY SENT THE MEME and no original language construction, but the message received was: Your area of success requires no skill. The only criterion for excellence in your chosen field is being ultra confessional and having no personal boundaries, dignity, or shame. (I do realize that there IS more than one way to interpret this quote and the sending of this quote, but I’d already endured memoir-shaming comments from this ex including an enthusiastic recounting of a Toni Morrison interview in which she said something like I’d never write memoir as I want to write the truth).

Admittedly, writing memoir does require vulnerability (some bleeding, if you must), but it also requires skill, skill that comes from years of writing and reading. Yes, folks, READING. If you want to master or even just halfway master a genre, you’ll need to READ THAT GENRE.

It is also important to read outside of our own awareness bubble as that’s how we, in fact, learn and grow. Following the book recommendations on social media from writers I admire has led me to a lot of books I might not have found on my own. Roxane Gay seems to read 24/7 and posts reviews on Twitter regularly. (Find a list of some of her favorite books here). One of the best books I read in 2018, Sonya Renee Taylor’s The Body Is Not an Apology, crossed my path as I aimlessly wandered the aisles of the Elliott Bay Book Company. (You can see some of the other books I read this year here and find me on GoodReads here). (You can find a list of some of my favorite books here).

Breaking out of our bubble can be one of the gifts of education. And, many of the writers I’ve seen succeed are ones who’ve committed to taking classes. Coaching can give you what you want to learn, but an education should offer you what you need to learn.  

Almost ten years ago author Natalie Singer took my UWPCE memoir class. In that class she started to write the stories she tells in her memoir California Calling. After she left my class, she continued to take writing classes and eventually decided to pursue an MFA in Creative Writing & Poetics at UW Bothell, an interdisciplinary writing program with an emphasis on language and experimental forms. 

In that program she read theory, poetry, and all sorts of writers she normally would not have been exposed to. It was partway through that program that she discovered the structure of the interrogation and started to crack open her California stories; her narrative evolved into a more complex and layered story, a self-interrogation, as the book is subtitled. Her commitment to learning the craft–to educating herself about literature, theory, and storytelling–cost her time, energy, effort, and U.S. dollars, but in the words of the great B.B.King, “Education is the one thing that no one can take from you.”

I know not everyone can do an MFA program, but we can all push ourselves to learn what we don’t know and even what we don’t even know that we don’t know. To read. To put in the time. To take a class here and there*.To approach writing as a craft. To be willing to apprentice in that craft.

Because we know sitting at the typewriter and bleeding is not enough. 

And if you want to communicate with an ex, maybe send a letter or even a handmade card.


Looking for a writing coach? I’m relaunching my coaching business in the new year and have appointments available on Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays, and Sundays. Learn more or book an appointment by emailing me at


*Places that teach writing classes IRL and online: Hugo House, Lidia Yuknavitch’s Corporeal Writing, WritingxWriters, Grub Street, Creative Nonfiction,The Loft, the continuing ed program at your local university or community college.

Posted in More Stuff for Writers | 1 Comment

Why I’m Relaunching My Coaching Biz in 2019

My career as a writing coach began by chance in 2005. I was a broke, newly divorced mom trying to scratch out a living as a writer and part-time creative writing instructor. An acquaintance asked, “Hey, if I give you 20 bucks will you look at something I wrote?” Is that legal? I wondered. Is that even a thing? But okay, yeah sure, “Let’s take a peek,” I said, slipping the twenty into my pocket. And like that, a business had launched.

Coaching became the work I crammed into my schedule as I continued to teach, write one book and then another, freelance, and raise my kids. I even squeezed some coaching in the year I had a full-time job and a part-time teaching gig. That year I ran into a client I’d delayed responding to mid-flight coming home from a family vacation. We did some seat trades and did a coaching session right there somewhere over the Pacific. Single parents, we make it work!

But my life has changed. My kids grew up. My life slowed down, and in that slowing my commitment to teaching and coaching deepened. Client and student successes jolted me with pleasure (see examples here!). Witnessing their growth and accomplishment renewed my awe for the creative process. And, I began to realize that coaching had become central to my sense of purpose, that my best work these days often happened in collaboration with a client who was in the midst of a memoir or a personal essay. So why not move coaching to the middle of my life?

From my journal–a bit messy, yes.

So what’s changing with this relaunch? Not my rates (still charging 120/hour as I have since 2014). Not the work itself. (I still have the same brain).

The change is in my deepening commitment and in my availability. I’ve taken on fewer standing work commitments for 2019. And, I’m reserving Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays, and Sundays for coaching clients. As always you can email me at to explore the possibility of coaching.

So okay, but why relaunch?

I’m relaunching to announce my commitment to coaching writers.

I’m relaunching for a fresh start, to remind us all that we can always realign our priorities and begin again.

I’m relaunching for all the clients who waited sometimes way too long for me to get back to them because coaching wasn’t my top priority. I’m sorry!

I’m relaunching to say, “I’m truly grateful to for this work and I’m going to dig in this year.”

I’m relaunching to hold myself accountable.

I’m relaunching to say, “I’m here. I’m still here.”

Posted in More Stuff for Writers | Tagged , , , | 7 Comments

Lessons from Success: Achieve Your Writing Goals in 2019

A memory from my MFA program: The professor looking around the room at our small group of nine and proclaiming: “You’re all talented. It’s impossible to know which ones of you will make it into print. The ones who make it will have tenacity. They won’t let anything stop them.”

His words thrilled me. If tenacity were The Magic Factor, I actually stood a chance. I didn’t believe I was especially talented, but I burned with ambition and as long as I could keep that fire stoked, I was certain I could keep writing and submitting work.

Fast forward two decades: As a writing instructor and coach, it is my joy to witness students and clients breaking into print each year. And like my professor from days of yore, I hypothesize which factors are The Magic Factors of Success. Tenacity is one, for sure. But other it factors include a tenacity-on-steroids mentality of “Whatever it Takes,” a commitment to learning the craft, a willingness to listen to notes and USE THEM, and a decision to bet on yourself. In the coming week, as we head into the 2019, I’ll be writing about each of these factors.

Whatever it Takes

Yes, occasionally a writer sails into publication. (Annoying!) But for the most part, successful writers are ones who’ve decided to DO THIS whatever it takes. I can sense when a writer has made this decision. Their eyes telegraph a resolve. Their actions bespeak of that resolve. They solicit feedback and listen to that feedback. They revise. They put in the time. They anticipate rejection and get support to weather it. They expect success, but they do not expect instant success. They are willing to work and they are willing to endure a bruising or two along the way.

Cecilia Aragon, Author of FLYING FREE

Cecilia Aragon is one of my former students who embodies Whatever it Takes. Cecilia would often prompt me to give her harsh and direct critiques, reminding me that she could take it and that she wanted to make her book the best it could be. I wasn’t surprised to receive the news from her this month that her memoir Flying Free: How I Used Math to Overcome Fear and Achieve my Wildest Dreams had been bought in a preempt by Blackstone Publishing. Watch for it in bookstores everywhere in 2020!

Of course, you can’t force a decision or induce resolve. Sometimes, you’re just too early in your project or your career to feel this sort of unwavering determination. Small successes can help though. Take a chance or two–submit your work here and there, do an open mike–and one day soon you might be ready to say, okay, let’s DO THIS. Whatever it takes.

Looking for a writing coach? I’m relaunching my coaching business in the new year and have appointments available on Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays, and Sundays. Learn more or book an appointment by emailing me at

Posted in More Stuff for Writers | 10 Comments

What I’m Digging Right Now #7

Through the magic of my Roku device, I’ve been gorging on biographies of people who kick serious ass. These films equate to a nonfiction lover’s Avengers series. In each one our hero goes against some serious odds and comes out the other side penning Supreme Court dissents, producing stunning music and art, or scorching the tennis court. I can’t think of any better therapy right now.


Are you kidding me? Who ARE you, Ruth Bader Ginsberg? Working till 4 in the morning and showing up at the court at 9—in your EIGHTIES? Your quiet rage is everything. Favorite moment: Justice Ginsberg planking next to her personal trainer. “She’s a cyborg,” he says, describing her relentless will at the gym. Bonus: The doc lends a face to the voice we know as Nina Totenberg. There’s never been a better time to watch this documentary. Available now on Hulu.

badBad Reputation 

Joan Jett is the RBG of the rock world, just steadily killing it and paving the way for other women with rare modesty and humility. Favorite scene: Joan singing “Smells Like Teen Spirit” at Nirvana’s induction to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Here we are now, entertain us. Bad Reputation is in theaters right now. I rented it through FandangoNow for 6.99. Worth it.



Fascinating walk through the life of a musician and producer who broke through so many barriers. Many juicy behind the scenes peeks at his marriage to Peggy Lipton (The Mod Squad!), his relationship with Michael Jackson, the production of “We Are The World” and more. Favorite moment: Quincy walking on stage at the opening of the National Museum of African American Art and History at the Smithsonian with his daughter Rashida Jones. Netflix.

serena.jpgBeing Serena

I have a temporary HBO subscription so I can wolf down Season 3 of Insecure and found Being Serena there. Mesmerized by Serena, I’d watch her in anything and this series is compelling in its portrayal of her determination to come back to tennis after her pregnancy. However, Being Serena felt a little bit like an infomercial and I preferred the grittier view of her offered by the 2016 documentary Serena

dianaDiana Vreeland: The Eye Has to Travel

Interesting look into the work of a woman with a limitless imagination and a tremendous sense of style. Pay equity issues fought, glass ceilings cracked.Amazon Prime.

Image | Posted on by | Tagged | 1 Comment

What I Read this Summer

In no particular order:

there thereOrange, Tommy. There There (This book is exquisite).

Kaling, Mindy. Why Not Me? (Not quite as good as her first book Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? but that’s an awfully high bar).

Albertine, Viv. Clothes, Clothes, Clothes, Music, Music, Music, Boys, Boys, Boys.

Taylor, Sonya Renee. The Body Is Not an Apology. (Essential reading for owners of a female body).

Reber, Deborah. Differently Wired. (If you have a kid who marches to their own beat, this book is a wonderful differentlyresource).

Coulter, Kristi. Nothing Good Can Come From This.

Simon, Tami. The Self-Acceptance Project.

Brown, Brene. Braving the Wilderness.

Painter, Nell Irvin. Old for Art School.

Hurston, Nora Zeale. Dust Tracks on a Road.

Jerkins, Morgan. This Will Be My Undoing.

they can'tAbdurraqib, Hanif. They Can’t Kill Us Until They Kill Us.

Rich, Adrienne. Essential Essays. (To be honest, I skimmed the literature essays and read the ones about her life and politics with rapt attention. The essay about motherhood is at least two decades ahead of its time).

Rowling, J.K. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. (This book was read aloud to me by my daughter Grace. I’m still counting it).

Image | Posted on by | Tagged | 3 Comments

Book Giveaway!

I’m hosting a giveaway of California Calling: A Self-Interrogation this week tCover_CaliforniaCalling_finalo celebrate my friend Natalie Singer’s birthday. Yay! To enter for a chance to win, click on the link here and follow Natalie’s Amazon author page. The giveaway will end on June 1st or when the two giveaway copies have both been awarded. Sorry, only 18 and over and U.S. residents may enter the drawing.

Already read California Calling? The best birthday gift you can give an author is a nice review on Amazon or Goodreads.

theo and nat

Me with my friend Natalie

Image | Posted on by | Tagged | Leave a comment

How to Write a Personal Essay (That Stands a Chance)

writing in mexico2The live event has now passed. Purchase the digital recording of the webinar and its handouts by paying via Pay Pal below. A compelling personal essay transports the reader into the writer’s life and offers up a chance for the reader to see her own life anew. At its best, the personal essay is a form that illuminates the universal in the individual, that wrestles with the questions that haunt us all.

But, before you’ve written an essay that’s done all that, you’ve written a first draft resembling the scribblings of your teenage journal.

So how do you get from here to there? How do you transform your draft into something publishable, something compelling? Something that might have a hope of moving readers the way you’ve been moved by writers like Roxane Gay, Junot Diaz, Kiese Laymon, Cheryl Strayed, Leslie Jamison, and Ann Lamott?

In the class How to Write a Personal Essay (Sunday June 10th at 11am Pacific), I will guide you through the steps of writing, editing, and submitting a personal essay (that stands a chance of getting published). I will share in this two-hour webinar everything I possibly can about how to write that essay you’ve been trying to write (or avoiding writing altogether).

Buy Now ButtonTo register, pay $49 via Pay Pal now. Shortly after receipt of payment, I will send you a confirmation. (The confirmation email is not automated so “shortly after” means “after I see your email.) The live event has now passed. You can still purchase the digital recording of the webinar and its handouts by clicking on the Buy Now button above.

How to Write a Personal Essay will cover:

  • How to generate material compelling to both you and your readers
  • How to build up that material step-by-step into a essay
  • How to revise your opening paragraph so it catches an editor’s attention
  • How to build a story and an argument
  • How to land the final paragraph
  • How to find markets for your essay
  • How to write a zinger pitch

Webinar participants will receive:

  • A packet of recent example essays
  • A formidable list of publications currently seeking personal essays
  • Examples of actual pitches
  • A recording of the webinar
  • a Power Point slideshow with detailed instructions for writing a personal essay

Webinar format:

100 minutes of live instruction plus 20 minutes Q &A.

How to Write a Personal Essay starts at 11am Pacific Time on Sunday June 10, 2018.

author photo 4How to Write a Personal Essay Instructor: 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.” Her personal essays have been published in the New York Times, New Mexico magazine, The Establishment, The Rumpus, ParentMap, Happenmag,, Alligator Juniper, Huffington Post, and numerous other places. See examples here. An award-winning instructor, Nestor has taught for the University of Washington’s Professional & Continuing Education program since 2006 and also teaches at Hugo House in Seattle. Nestor has produced a number of writing retreats, such as the Wild Mountain Memoir Retreat, Bird by Bird & Beyond, and the Black Mesa Writers’ Intensive, featuring keynotes from Anne Lamott, Cheryl Strayed, Julia Cameron, and Natalie Goldberg. You can follow her on Facebook here and on Twitter @theopnestor.

Frequently Asked Questions:

How does it work? At 11AM Pacific Time on Sunday June 10th, you will log into the GoToWebinar webinar by clicking on the link emailed after payment and registration. Even self-proclaimed technophobes have said they found the user experience of the GoToWebinar classes pretty straightforward.

The logistics: Shortly after you pay the class registration fee, you’ll be sent a confirmation email with a link to register on the Citrix webinar page. Citrix (GoToWebinar) will then send you a link for the course. Just before 11am on June 10th, you will be able to click on the link to enter the class. If you miss the class (or want to watch to it again), the recording will be available for you to watch at your convenience.

What if I miss the class? Shortly after the live webinar has ended, you’ll receive a link to a recording of the webinar, which you can watch anytime.

What if I know I can’t attend the live event but want to ask a question during the Q & A? Register for the class and email Theo your question at

What if I want to ask a question about the class before I register? Email Theo at

Can I pay via check, money order, or Venmo? Yes, email Theo at for instructions.

Can I purchase recordings of Theo’s other webinars via Pay Pal?

Yes! See details below.

Shortly after completing your purchase via Pay Pal, you will receive an email with a links to the recordings. (The email is not automated so “shortly” means “as soon as I see your email.”)



Posted in More Stuff for Writers, personal essay, Webinars, Writing Tips | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment