One-hour Coaching Session with Theo Pauline Nestor


Want to discuss an issue you’re having with your memoir, personal essay, or memoir book proposal? Meet with Theo for an hour-long coaching session. After payment is made, email Theo at to set up a time for your session. Coaching sessions are held via GoToMeeting.

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I coach writers working on memoir manuscripts, nonfiction book proposals, MFA program applications, and personal essays, meeting on a one-off or ongoing basis depending on the needs of the individual writer. My coaching clients have published memoirs and cookbooks with small and large publishing houses and have been published in Yoga Journal, Salon, Self, the New York Times, the Washington Post, Huffington Post, and many other places (find links to selected examples below).

Coaching meetings are held online via a meeting platform that allows for us to meet face to face. My rate is 120 dollars an hour, and I’m willing to meet for very short, focused meetings and charge by the minute (minimum 15 minutes). 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 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. If you’d like to know more about the coaching process, send me an email at

Selected memoir titles from my former students and clients:

The Alchemy of Loss by Abigail Carter

California Calling by Natalie Singer (Forthcoming from Hawthorne Books, March 2018)

Differently Wired by Deborah Reber (Forthcoming from Workman Books, 2018)

Dopefiend: A Father’s Journey from Addiction to Redemption by Tim Elhajj

The Chicken Who Saved Us  by Kristin Jarvis Adams

There’s Been a Change of Plans by Amy Koko

Starved: A Nutrition Doctor’s Journey from Empty to Full by Anne McTiernan

My Fluorescent God by Joe Guppy (Named one of 2015 Best Books by Kirkus Reviews)

Bering Sea Strong by Laura Hartema (Forthcoming from Skyhorse, March 2018)

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

A World Away, A Wish Answered by Natalie Appleton

As a Father, I Was Hardly a Perfect Fit  by Tim Elhajj

The Messy-Kitchen, Parking-Spot War by Judith Gille

Labels of Married Life, in a New Life by Margot Page

In the New Year, More Cuddling by Kristine Lloyd

Washington Post essays by my 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-Velush

Self magazine essay by a former student:

Running helped me cope with my husband’s sudden death by Allison Ellis

Salon essays by my former student and client:

Dating after the mastectomy by Wendy Staley Colbert

Why bigger breasts eased my cancer recovery by Wendy Staley Colbert

Brain, Child magazine essays by my former students:

Nearly Drowning by Vera Giles (selected by editors as one of the magazine’s best essays of 2015)

Movie Night by Natalie Singer-Velush

Coffee Cake and Kindness by Reni Roxas

Full Grown People essays published by my former students:

On my Watch by Joyce Tomlinson

BabyShusher by Natalie Singer-Velush

MFA and MA programs my students and clients have gone on to attend:

Goddard, Pacific University, Lesley University, Emerson College, Columbia University,  University of Washington, American Institute of Indian Art (IAIA), and City University of London.


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 at twice 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. She lives in Seattle with her family and their cat, Rory. You can follow her on Facebook here and on Twitter @theopnestor.


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