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.

Free Weekly Writing ExercisesSign up here. 

Mary featured in the The New York Times
Read here >

Email Mary:
(To reduce spam, this site does not use direct email links)







Free weekly writing exercisesSign up here. 

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




         The Latest . . .

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.

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 forum. Find out more >

Summer in-person workshop
at the Loft Literary Center, Minneapolis

Writing Your Life: How to Plan, Write, and Develop Your Memoir, Saturday, July 28, 10:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m.
Whether you are trying to write the story of your life for publication or as a family legacy, this class by the author of two memoirs will show you how to organize your stories into a readable, interesting work. Find out more >


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

on Madeline Island, Lake Superior

July 30–August 3, 2018

at Tanque Verde Ranch, Tucson

January 14-18, 2019

at Inn and Spa at Loretto, 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.