Praise for Mary's Coaching . . .

I have worked with Mary Carroll Moore as my editor and mentor for almost two years. Over that time, my formless food and travel journal has evolved into a manuscript, on its way to becoming a book. It simply would not have happened without Mary. She is the perfect teacher— patient, firm, empathetic, clear-sighted, experienced, and full of strategies for moving stories forward. Her particular expertise in shaping the narrative arc of a story, novel, or memoir has changed the way I think about writing, and made me a better writer in every way.
—Steve Hoffman, award-winning writer, Minneapolis Star-Tribune

By a stroke of luck, I reconnected with Mary after many, many years, and was delighted to discover her talents as an editor, teacher, and mentor. Mary combed through my manuscript and her insights and suggestions helped me tease out the buried story threads. She helped with me with chapter transitions, plot lines, interior and exterior settings, character growth, pacing … I could go on!
Nancy Wood, author of Due Date

Mary Carroll Moore brought to my first book her unique combination of expert editing and patient teaching. Now, years later, I still use many of the specific, valuable skills she taught me, and I still seek her expert editorial advice.
—Judith Hendin, author of The Self Behind the Symptom

I found Mary's workshops and one-on-one critique to be both insightful and instructive in helping me to identify areas of my work that needed improving. Her suggestions enabled me to take material I'd been struggling with and look at it with new eyes.
—Anne Kelleher, author of the Shadowlands trilogy, The Highwayman, Silver’s Lure, and two other novels




Your Book Starts Here

Your Book Starts HereCreate, Craft and Sell Your First Novel, Memoir, or Nonfiction Book. Published author and long-time writing coach Mary Carroll Moore gives you the tools you need to get your book in print. Now available as audio book.  Learn More

More Praise . . .

I took online classes from Mary and worked with her privately through the long process of drafting and revising my first novel, EDEN. Now that EDEN is published, award-winning, and successful, I can say that her help with structure, editing, and chapter building was invaluable to my journey as a writer.
—Jeanne McWilliams Blasberg, author of Eden: A Novel

I learned more from Mary’s classes, coaching, and book than I did in my entire MFA program.  I was struggling with plodding prose and narratives going nowhere, and Mary helped me find the dreams lurking beneath the surface, then find form for them in a book that people can’t put down.
—Katherine Flannery Dering, author of Shot in the Head: a Sister’s Memoir, a Brother’s Struggle

Mary's coaching was vital in helping me shape a winning proposal. She helped me better understand the mind-body-spirit genre and to craft a book appealing to agents, publishers, and readers. Her feedback was always meaningful, prompt, supportive and direct. I only wish that I had contacted her sooner in my process. I would have saved a lot of time. I really can't thank her enough!
—Ron Frederick, PhD, author of Living Like You Mean It





Mary Carroll Moore: Writing Coach

Update:  I will be retiring in winter 2022 and my schedule is full until then.  It's been wonderful to work with so many amazing writers and see so many great books come to be.  I am referring writers to one of my trusted colleagues.  If interested, please email me at mary[at]marycarrollmoore[dot]com and describe your book project.  Thank you!


Mary taught me what a successful narrative structure is and how to craft my story within one, both the overall arc and each chapter. Her feedback was always encouraging yet honest, so I could trust her notes. I recommend Mary's support to improve your projects and get things finished.

—Jennifer Louden, bestselling author
and writing teacher


Mary gave me what I needed--encouragement, honesty, accountability, and clear direction--to move through major revisions.  She pinpointed what worked and (gently) shared what didn't.  Her explicit assignments helped me build structure and address my writing weaknesses.  I viewed our work together as my 1:1 MFA.

—Kathleen West, author of
Small Catastrophes & Other Dramas

Do you have a dream book you want to write? A writing project you're longing to finish? A book proposal or a sample chapter that's due?

A natural part of the writing process is partnership with an experienced editor and coach. As a writing teacher at the Loft Literary Center, Grub Street, and other schools, I've worked with hundreds of writers on both nonfiction and fiction projects. My clients have gone on to secure publication with major publishing houses and small presses, as well as successfully self-publishing their books.

My goal as a coach is to allow the unique voice in your writing to emerge, and help you become more conscious of both the strengths and weaknesses in your writing. My expertise is in structure—the "make or break" of great books. Without good structure, even the best wordsmith cannot create a publishable book.


Mary’s edit of Turn Here Sweet Corn taught me how to make the written word vulnerable and life changing on the page. She showed me how to create containers of emotions and to structure a story line that pulls the reader in. She has acuity for what to keep, to cut, or to shape, and how. Mary is a gem of a teacher, editor, and human being. I would not have published an award-winning book without her.

—Atina Diffley, author of Turn Here Sweet Corn,
Minnesota Book Award winner


Mary’s insights and guidance helped me tame the first draft of my memoir into a story that had the shape and purpose I'd been after.  Without her, I'd still be meandering through the labyrinth I'd created. Best of all, the next time I'm in a literary loop, writing away but getting nowhere, I'll have the tools to guide my story--and myself--home.

—Ana Hebra Flaster, NPR commentator and author of Radio Bemba (forthcomng)



Hiring Me as Your Writing Coach or Editor

Having worked as a professional editor for twenty years, I know how to evaluate a work-in-progress and give suggestions for fine-tuning. I enjoy watching the process of a piece of writing unfold, and I value the help a kind and thoughtful editor can bring to a work. I've helped dozens of writers in all genres develop and finish their book proposals and manuscripts. And I believe in encouragement as well as critique, so you always come away from our conversations with enthusiasm and motivation for moving forward.

I only work with twelve writers at a time, so I book about 3-4 months ahead. My retainer program includes:


Mary's retainer program took my novel to the next level. To have her one-one-one help with everything from overarching structure to fine-tuning has been invaluable.  Mary has always known when to encourage and when to push, all the while keeping me in line with my truth as a writer.

—Amy Widmoyer Hanson, 2016 winner,
The Iowa Review fiction award



Mary Carroll Moore's Curriculum Vitae

Contact Mary: mary(at)marycarrollmoore(dot)com