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by Hedgebrook Guest

Hi Hedgebrook Followers,

I am very much looking forward to teaching the Master Class “Form Is Content: Finding and Developing Your Memoir’s Structure” this November. Teaching is one of my greatest joys, and Hedgebrook is a dream location for teaching, learning, and writing. If you’ve read the course description and you’re considering applying, let me tell you a little bit more of what you can expect during your weeklong stay.

Let’s start with Hedgebrook. As you’ve no doubt read, Hedgebrook offers “radical hospitality” to its writing visitors. Gloria Steinem has said of Hedgebrook, “It’s as if women have taken our 5000 years or so of nurturing experience, and turned it on each other.” This radical hospitality shows up in a hundred tiny and huge ways: the simple beauty of the baskets we will carry to our cottages each evening filled with jars of snacks, breakfast items, and a prepared lunch; the gorgeous grounds maintained with love; the gourmet-quality dinners; the wood chopped to fit perfectly in your small cottage’s woodstove; the entries that fill the cottages’ journals from decades of writers who’ve faced their own writing challenges at the very desks that await for you; the way Hedgebrook at once welcomes you and leaves you alone to do the work you came to do. This radical hospitality combines with the beauty of the wooded setting, the perfection of the cottages, and the history of a place designated exclusively for women writers. This combination inevitably has a calming and quieting effect on us writers. The noise of the outside world is tuned out, allowing us to hear our own thoughts and focus on the writing.

So, yes, the work: During your weeklong stay, there will be lots of uninterrupted time for you to write and to use the ideas we’ll be discussing during our daily class. My goal as a teacher is to exceed your expectations by offering my own version of radical hospitality. I strive to be an open book and to offer, as openly as I can, my own experiences as a writer and my knowledge as a teacher and coach. I am committed to helping you discover the deeper story you need to tell and to help you find a way to tell it that feels like a true fit for the narrative. I look forward to meeting with each of you in our one-on-one sessions, in which we will work together on any challenges you’re facing with your manuscript.

Not all teaching spaces are equal, and Hedgebrook offers a space where women’s writing is valued, where women’s stories matter. It’s a place like none other I’ve seen. Let’s meet there and see where it takes us.

Looking forward to this amazing week of learning and writing!



Check out Theo’s Master Class, “Form Is Content: Finding and Developing Your Memoir’s Structure,” taking place at Hedgebrook’s retreat November 13-20, 2015. We encourage you to apply well before the priority deadline of September 14!


About the Author:

theo for webTheo 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 and also teaches at Hugo House in Seattle. 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 literary leaders such as Anne Lamott, Cheryl Strayed, Julia Cameron, and Natalie Goldberg. You can find her on Facebook and on Twitter @theopnestor.



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Hedgebrook supports visionary women writers whose stories and ideas shape our culture now and for generations to come. The opinions expressed here are not necessarily representative of the opinions of Hedgebrook, its staff or board members.

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