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.