Deposit on June 2020 Memoir Developmental Edit with Theo Nestor

Regular price $200

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After payment has been received, you'll receive an email from Theo with a June deadline and instructions for submitting your manuscript. Your payment of 200 dollars now is a deposit for a developmental edit from Theo on a memoir or personal essay manuscript up to 75k words* in length. You will be invoiced for the balance of 400 dollars after our June online meeting. If you change your mind after paying the deposit, you can receive a full refund up until 10 days before our scheduled meeting by emailing me at No questions asked. (Once in a while we all buy something and then immediately realize why we shouldn't have).

 *If your manuscript is longer than 75k words, you'll be charged an additional 100 dollars per 10k words.

How does the process work?

After you pay your $200 deposit, you’ll receive an introductory email from me with a deadline and instructions for submitting your manuscript. Your deadline will be between June 1 and June 30th. (If you're one of the first to sign up, you'll have a choice of deadlines). After I’ve received your manuscript, we will find a mutually agreed upon meeting time for our online meeting. Before the meeting, you’ll have the opportunity to send me a list of questions. After our meeting, I’ll send you a one-page summary of the points we discussed, a list of recommended readings, and a link to the recording of the meeting.

 Who are you and why should I trust you with my manuscript?

Since 2006, I’ve been working with memoir writers through the University of Washington’s Professional & Continuing Education department. I also teach at Hugo House in Seattle and have taught Master Classes for Hedgebrook. I was the Winter 2018 and Fall 2019 Visiting Distinguished Writer at Seattle University.

You can read about some of my former clients' and students’ accomplishments and read testimonials here.

I’m the author of two memoirs both sold on proposal: How to Sleep Alone in a King-Size Bed (Crown) and Writing Is My Drink (Simon & Schuster). My personal essays have been published numerous places including the New York Times, The Establishment, The Rumpus, Seattle Times, and ParentMap. See examples here. I have advanced degrees in literature and creative writing from San Francisco State University and the University of Washington.

What is a developmental edit?

A developmental edit is an in-depth analysis of the structure and overall content of a manuscript. I give writers feedback on how well the book's situation and the story are developed; what to leave in and what to take out; how well the opening pages set us up for the rest of the book; how well the book delivers on the promise of the opening pages; how well the structure is serving the narrative; the quality of the ending; and much more. Each developmental edit is a bit different, but with each one I aim to help the writer forge a plan for revision that will get the manuscript closer to the writer's vision for the book. 

What if I only have 40 or 50k words but would like feedback on what I have so far? What if I want feedback on a memoir book proposal?

I’m happy to give feedback on a partial draft or a proposal for the same 600-dollar fee. 40/50k words is actually a great place to get some input. If you have less than 40k words and would like some coaching now, feel free to email me at to set up an appointment at my regular hourly rate of 120/hour. I also offer a rate of 99/hour for people with disabilities and/or low income. You don't have to prove it. Just say, "I qualify for your 99/hour rate." If you're writing a story about having been incarcerated or a family member being incarcerated, I might be able to read your work free of charge, depending on other demands on my time. Please email me and ask. 

What if my manuscript is longer than 75k words?

For each additional 10k words, I will charge 100 additional dollars. For developmental edits on a manuscript of 95k words, for example, I will charge a total of 800 dollars.

Will I receive line edits on my manuscript?


Still have questions?

Email me at