Qualities of Light

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


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Watch Mary's new YouTube video:  Writing the Container of Your Story

Mary interviewed on WNPR!
Mary talks with Faith Middleton on WNPR (90.5 FM) about writing and her novel Qualities of Light.
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Mary featured in the The New York Times
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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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         The Latest


New!  Retainer Program

Get personalized help with your writing project

"My work has grown exponentially.  Your comments were right on point." --past retainer client

Two months 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.  Email Mary for details:  mary (at) marycarrollmoore.com

One-Day Workshop

Loft Literary Center, Minneapolis

Saturday, September 26, 10:30-4:30 p.m.

Dialogue Skills to Bring Characters to Life

Good dialogue is a mark of an experienced writer. But writing dialogue is much more than copying the spoken word onto the page. Learn the three basic rules for great dialogue in fiction and memoir. We'll explore how what we don't say speaks louder than what we do say, and why gestures, body sensations, and surrounding "container" (setting) in a scene works hand-in-hand with dialogue. Find out more>

NEW! Winter Writing Retreat and Independent Study

with MISA West, Tanque Verde Ranch, Tucson

January 18-22, 2016

Your Book Starts Here:  How to Plan, Write, and Develop a Book

Get away from winter chill!  Spend a week with your book and Mary's expert coaching at this beautiful resort in the Rincon Mountains.  Daily class time, plenty of writing time, one-to-one coaching on your book project at any stage.  For those at intermediate and advanced levels, use the week for Independent Study with a customized program from Mary and daily checkins.   Find out more>

Fall Online Classes 

with the Loft Literary Center, Minneapolis

starts September 21

Your Book Starts Here:  How to Plan, Write, and Develop a Book

Get to know your book—what it is about, how to structure it, and how to plan to finish it! You’ll learn a step-by-step plan, including flexible timelines, chapter grids, storyboarding, and other techniques. You’ll look at ways to flow chapters, find holes in your material that need filling, organize research and concepts, construct plots, and bring your book into manifestation. You’ll also learn what editors and agents look for and gain essential tips on editing and evaluating your book in all its stages. Designed for writers who have a book concept or work in progress—be it a nonfiction book, a memoir, or a novel—or for any writer who needs a fresh look at his or her material.  Find out more >



"How to bake a book:  Start with a big love of words, add a generous helping of Mary Carroll Moore, mix with leavening from your peers, knead vigorously for twelve weeks, and voila!  Your book has risen!" 

                                    -- Eric Utne, founder of Utne Reader