Welcome

Here at the Vest Conservatory for Writers, I provide coaching, manuscript critiques and personal consults to unpublished and published writers. Both in-person and by-phone sessions are available. If you are in the greater Milwaukee area, I also provide small workshops designed to offer you an introduction to me and to give you a taste of coaching so that any hesitation you may have about entering into private work can be resolved in advance. I also offer the special topic workshops and master classes. My focus, however, is on giving you that individual attention that you will not experience in group or online work—in a quiet, creative space. Your time with me will be like a small retreat in which you withdraw from the world and focus on your writing.


“…while circuits and screen are ideal conduits for certain kinds of data… they are entirely inhospitable to the more subjective materials that have always been the stuff of art. That is to say, they are antithetical to inwardness.”

-Sven Birkets, The Gutenberg Elegies

I offer services in literary fiction, poetry, nonfiction and memoir writing and am open to discussing work in other genres. If you are a mostly unpublished writer, you will learn how to start projects or solve artistic problems in the ones you have. We will take your works in progress through the revision process to publications. If you are a published writer already, even a post graduate one, we will take your work to the next level. As Flannery O’Conner would say: Excelsior!

Why the Vest Conservatory for Writers?

Think about it:  Has your experience taught you the limits of group critique, the lack of objectivity that may come from too many hours alone at your desk or disillusionment with online instruction? If your answer is yes, the Vest Conservatory for Writers, is where you belong.


“I believe that the best literary writers are trained in the classic coaching tutorial: one-to-one, artist/teacher to emerging artist– as well as artist/teacher to established artist–in the manner of fine composers and musicians– and as writers were, traditionally (Pound and Eliot come to mind). What I have to offer comes from my own experience as a published writer, seventeen years of teaching at the graduate and undergraduate levels, and two decades of working individually with writers. I give sensitive attention to the development of your craft and the achievement of your goals. In this relationship, we can work in depth and with confidentiality.”

– Debra Kay Vest, PHD

The Vest Conservatory for Writers
2125 N. Newhall St.
Milwaukee, WI 53202
414-278-8933