Qualities of Light

A tender and lively coming-of-age tale told with delicate insight.
—Ann Bannon


Need one-on-one help from a knowledgeable author? Click here for manuscript review, editing, and personal coaching for your writing.

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Mary featured in the The New York Times
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Watch the
Writing the Container of Your Story

Your Book Starts Here

        Winner 2011

  NH Literary Awards

Readers Choice Award

Also available on audio

The consummate How-To Guide for everyone who has a book percolating inside them. —Nancy Slonim Aronie


Photo credit:
Bruce Fuller Photography




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Retainer program
Get personalized help with your writing project


"Your help and excellent counsel has helped me persevere to write my first book.  I can't thank you enough." “You've given me so much—to not only jump start my rewrite in response to the agent feedback I received, but also to keep improving my writing on future projects." "My work has grown exponentially.  Your comments were right on point."  "You opened up for me a whole new realm of possibility that I couldn't seem to figure out!"

—past retainer clients


Eight weeks of private coaching with weekly check-ins by email, customized assignments, and evaluation of up to 250 d/s pages of your book-in-progress.  Also available for newer writers who want help and accountability to start writing regularly.  Email Mary for details:  mary(at)marycarrollmoore(dot)com.  Now booking for winter 2018.


Winter writing retreats and independent study
Your Book Starts Here:  How to Plan, Write, and Develop Your Memoir, Novel, or Nonfiction Book

at Tanque Verde Ranch, Tucson

January 14-18, 2019

at Hilton Historic Plaza, Santa Fe

March 25-29, 2019


Best creative week ever! My book took a leap forward. Wonderful community, relaxed, yet productive. I can see why writers return every year.

—past attendee


Give yourself—and your creativity—a week away, where you can focus on your book, have plenty of time to write, plus gain craft skills at your level through workshops and daily coaching sessions with Mary. Excellent accomodations, beautiful locations, where you can get quiet enough to hear your own words. For writers at any level with a book project in any genre.  Click on dates above to find out more.  

Fall online classes
Start October 24 for eight weeks
sponsored by The Loft Literary Center online


You have a gift for discovering the heart of each writer's story, coaxing it to the surface, and allowing each of us to learn from our classmates.

—student in 2017 summer online class


The Art of Theme and Voice in Fiction and Memoir

Every writer craves authentic voice and strong themes--two key elements that make writing stand out. But how does a writer identify her or his unique voice, develop it, and use it to craft themes that matter? Find out more >

Story-in-Progress:  A Workshopping Class for Fiction or Memoir Writers

Gather to serve up your first pages, muddled middles, unsatisfying characters, and more in this weekly workshopping forumFind out more >

Fall in-person workshops
at the Loft Literary Center, Minneapolis

Your Book Starts Here: Learn to Storyboard Your Book!

Friday, October 26, 10:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m.
All books need strong structures to keep readers engaged and turning the page. This workshop taught by the author of thirteen books in three genres will lead you through the steps to explore your book idea and its possible structures, get feedback on your idea, and come away with a visual map to help you plan, write, and revise your book. Find out more >

Writing Authentic, Amazing Dialogue for Fiction and Memoir:  An Afternoon Intensive

Thursday, October 25, 12:00.-5:00 p.m.
In this afternoon intensive, we'll analyze amazing dialogue by famous writers, then craft or refine our own using a variety of fun techniques. Dialogue isn't easy, but once you learn the rules, develop your ear, and attune to dialogue's rhythms, you can write amazing, authentic dialogue for your fiction or memoir. Find out more >