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Theo Pauline Nestor
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Theo Pauline Nestor is the author of Writing Is My Drink: A Writer's Story of Finding Her Voice Voice (and a Guide to How You Can Too) and How to Sleep Alone in a King-Size Bed: A Memoir of Starting Over (Crown), which was a Kirkus Review Top Pick for Reading Groups and a Target Breakout book.

Theo Nestor Productions produces events for writers that focus on craft, inspiration and community such as Bird by Bird & Beyond with Anne Lamott (1/18/14), Wild Mountain Memoir Retreat with Cheryl Strayed, and Black Mesa Writers' Intensive with Julia Cameron and Natalie Goldberg. Learn more about her events at

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Entries by Theo Pauline Nestor

How to Write About Yourself Without Being a Jerk

(0) Comments | Posted January 7, 2014 | 10:30 AM

"What do you write about?" I'm often asked. The answer, um, is I, uh, write about myself, which automatically puts me in the company of Kim Kardashian, Paris Hilton, and others who exude the belief that their lives are of inherent interest to others. My life is not that interesting...

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Find Your Writer's Voice in 2014

(5) Comments | Posted December 27, 2013 | 4:42 PM

Voice is one of those elusive qualities like love or irony that everyone knows the meaning of until it comes time to define it. A sucker for trouble, I just wrote a book about finding my voice--Writing Is My Drink: A Writer's Story of Finding Her Voice (and...

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The One Question Every New Writer Wants Answered

(8) Comments | Posted April 22, 2013 | 10:04 AM

On the last day of the quarter, I often ask students in my memoir class to write down on an anonymous slip of paper a question about writing. When I did this recently, I received a number of questions about the legal implications of writing about others, how one finds...

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Why Writing Memoir Might Actually Make You Happier

(2) Comments | Posted February 12, 2013 | 2:39 PM

When How to Sleep Alone in a King-Size Bed came out, people would sometimes say to me, "Writing this must have been very therapeutic for you." And I would, I have to admit, cringe.

Why the cringe? I cringed because I see the book as a story that...

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4 New Year's Resolutions for Memoirists

(1) Comments | Posted January 2, 2013 | 11:29 AM

Want to finish and publish your memoir this year? Here are four resolutions to knock your writing up a level to create a memoir of enduring value that readers want to read and publishers will want to buy.

1. This year I will make myself vulnerable on...

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Bloom: Supporting Debut Novelists Aged Over 40 Years Old

(1) Comments | Posted December 5, 2012 | 5:39 PM

Theo Pauline Nestor , author and host of the Wild Mountain Memoir Retreat, spoke with Sonya Chung, author of the novel Long for This World and founding editor of Bloom, a newly launched literary site devoted to featuring authors whose first books...

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Why Do We Need Divorce Memoirs Anyway?

(18) Comments | Posted November 30, 2012 | 1:05 PM

Heartburn, Nora Ephron's roman à clef based on her own divorce, kicked off the what we know as the divorce memoir genre. Although Heartburn was technically published as a novel, every reader going through a divorce of their own knew that this heartbreakingly funny book held far more fact than...

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Sycophant in Seattle Bids Farewell to Nora Ephron

(2) Comments | Posted June 26, 2012 | 10:53 PM

Today marks the loss of Nora Ephron, a great American comedy writer -- as versatile as she was sharp-witted. As a longtime Nora uberfan and devotee, I feel compelled to pay tribute to this fabulously funny and astute woman and her work.

When someone tells me they love Nora Ephron's...

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An Interview With Laura Barcella, Editor of Madonna and Me

(0) Comments | Posted March 12, 2012 | 7:20 PM

Most women of a certain generation or two remember the time when their consciousness first lit upon Madonna. I was 23 -- an arrested development 23, a 23-year-old waitress, floundering for a future -- when I first became aware of Madonna. I immediately liked everything about her -- the bracelets,...

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James Frey Took the Memoir Bullet

(1) Comments | Posted May 17, 2011 | 3:00 PM

I was two months into my book contract for my first memoir when the Frey controversy broke. I was riveted to the TV much as I had been on 9.11.2001. I know it's heresy to compare a memoir scandal to the events of 9/11, but I'm just being...

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Bossypants: The Rise of Tina Feyminism

(5) Comments | Posted April 28, 2011 | 4:08 PM

There are three of us now -- my two daughters and I -- competing for one copy of Bossypants at my house. I started reading it in the DMV, waiting for my teenage daughter to take the written test. I guess she kept glancing past the glass partition between the...

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Actually, Memoir Is All About You

(3) Comments | Posted April 25, 2011 | 4:37 PM

Last week when Claire Dederer, author of the new memoir Poser, was the guest speaker in my Writing the Memoir class at the University of Washington, she articulated something about memoir that I believe should be taught in elementary schools where tomorrow's memoir writers are quietly...

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Divorce: Nature or Nurture?

(8) Comments | Posted January 25, 2011 | 10:34 PM

The central mystery of my life hasn't been Is There a God? Or What Is The Meaning of Life? Instead it's been: What's Wrong with My Family? As a child on the playground, I'd recite my family's history in quick succession, my first stab at creating order of the chaos:...

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The Day My Marriage Blew Apart

(19) Comments | Posted January 19, 2011 | 7:55 PM

Some marriages grind to a halt; two tired people lock down into a final frozen position like the wheels of rusty gears that refuse at last to mesh again. Other marriages, like mine, blow apart mid-flight, torn asunder by forces larger than themselves, viewers watching numbly as the networks broadcast...

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If It's an Even Year, It's Jewish Christmas.

(9) Comments | Posted December 24, 2010 | 10:11 AM

I've long had an uneasy relationship with Christmas. When I was eighteen, my stepsister died on Christmas day. Of course, everything about that one sentence story is horrible. It's horrible to be a college freshman and lose a sibling (yes, a stepsister is a sibling) to cancer; it's awful when...

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The Day I Decided My Children's Schedule for the Next 13 Years

(5) Comments | Posted December 15, 2010 | 9:04 PM

It's five days after the split, and I am waiting to meet with my attorney--the Divorce King of Seattle, from what I can tell--to discuss the parenting plan, child support, and how the bounty of my marriage is to be divided. He told me on the phone to bring the...

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Fighting for Custody of My Stepfather

(46) Comments | Posted December 1, 2010 | 2:09 AM

A year or so after he walked me down the aisle, my beloved stepfather disappeared. My parents--that's what I'd always called my mother and my stepfather--hadn't quite called it quits. But my stepfather--my dad, the only man I'd ever thought of as Dad--had dropped out of my life.


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7 Things No One Tells You Before You Get Divorced

(9) Comments | Posted November 23, 2010 | 5:00 PM

There is much about the free-floating misery of divorce that is public domain knowledge. Like the logistics of the JFK's assassination or the phrasing of the Golden Rule, no one owns the rights on these nuggets of wisdom: divorce will likely make you poorer; custody battles are bad for kids;...

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