Hi, I’m Trista, a writer, artist, and teacher. I believe everyone has a story to tell, and it’s important to get that story out into the world. I love true stories about how people live their lives. I have a Bachelor’s degree in Literature and a Master’s degree in English—specifically in “composition theory,” which is all about how people write, why people write, and methods of writing. After earning my degrees, I taught English at the college level for fifteen years. I taught Creative Writing, Essay Writing, and Literature classes. Helping students find their confidence and discover their unique voice was deeply gratifying. Now, I divide my work between my own writing and artwork, and helping others write their stories.
You can read more about my writing here and why I love memoir and creative nonfiction so much.
I work with Memoir and Creative Nonfiction, helping people get their true stories out onto the page.
Option One: Getting Started
We talk about your ideas and how you feel about writing. Then, I create short, achievable writing exercises specific to your goals. You share the results with me, I provide feedback—especially pointing out what is working well—and then give you a few more exercises.
We repeat and adapt this process as you find your confidence, discover your voice, and generate material.
When you feel ready, we’ll brainstorm what to do with the material you’ve generated. Maybe a book-length memoir, maybe one long essay, a collection of essays, or a collection of vignettes. When you’re ready, I can help you write a rough draft.
Option Two: Writing a Rough Draft
We talk about your vision and goals, and what you’ve written so far for this project. Then, I break down the drafting process into steps that you can work on one at a time with feedback and support from me along the way. We’ll talk about organization and structure as the draft comes along. When you’re finished, you’ll have a complete rough draft—your story captured on the page from beginning to end.
Option Three: Revising, Developing, and Finishing
Once you have a rough draft, I can help you develop and revise. We talk about your vision, goals, and how you feel about the rough draft. Then, I read your draft and give you a “reader’s response”—typing comments throughout the draft about what’s working great, any places that are confusing, any repetition, any places where you could add more detail or tell more of the story, and so forth.
You can use this feedback to revise, sending me sections to review as you feel you need it.
Once you feel great about your project, your work with me is done. However, I will happily help you daydream of next steps, and share any resources I might have that could help with your project. Maybe you want to find an agent and publisher, maybe you want to self-publish, maybe you decide to artfully bind a few copies for friends and family. No matter what direction you choose at this point, you’ll have your story written and ready to share with others.
I came to Trista with a rough draft of my memoir, feeling completely stuck. With expertise, enthusiasm, and kindness, Trista has helped bring my book to life. Working with her has been an incredibly supportive and smooth process. Her questions and comments are deeply insightful and provide clear direction. Trista has given me so much confidence in my story and in my abilities as a writer. I truly could not imagine a better writing coach – she is a gift!
Dr. Suzanne Manser, Psychologist, author of forthcoming I Hate You: a love letter to my mother.
I have worked with a wide range of writers. No matter how you describe your age, gender, race, physical or writing abilities, I will be glad to meet you and hear about your project. I hope you will feel comfortable connecting with me to see if I’m the right fit for you.
Costs for Services:
My fee is $75 an hour.
Online/in-person work sessions are 45-60 minutes.
Responding to your work is about 15-20 pages an hour.