Qualities of Light

A heartfelt story of family, friendship, and against all odds, budding love.

--Jonathan Odell, author of The Healing

Moore traces the contours of shadow without ever letting us forget the transformative

power of light.

--Kaethe Schwehn, author of The Rending and the Nest


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


"I love how my book is finally taking shape, with your remarkable guidance and amazing gift for eliciting my best work." "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!"  "I was aware of many of the problems you identified in your report but not sure how to address them--now I have great tools to move closer to completion!"

—past retainer clients


Five 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. Limited spaces available.  Now booking for spring and summer 2019. Email Mary for details:  mary(at)marycarrollmoore(dot)com. 


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

at Hilton Historic Plaza, Santa Fe

March 25-29


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.  

Winter/spring online class
Starts March 6 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


Writing Authentic, Amazing Dialogue for Fiction and Memoir

Dialogue makes or breaks your fiction and memoir.  Although some writers have a natural ear for writing authentic-sounding dialogue, most have to learn the technique:  how to translate spoken dialogue (real life) to the page, bring in enough subtext to create tesnion, find voice and rhythm, and carefully employ tags and interruptions and stage directions.  Find out more >


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

Your Book Starts Here: Learn to Storyboard Your Book!

Friday, April 19, 12:00-5:00 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 >

Afternoon Character Intensive:  Bring Your Characters to Life on the Page

Thursday, April 18, 12:00.-5:00 p.m.
Characters are the heartbeat of story—whether imagined or real, they must come alive on the page. Author Marilynne Robinson says that great characters create an almost "emotional entanglement" with a reader. But how do you, as a writer, work with characters? What if they are too mysterious or bore you? What if you can't imagine how to bring them to life? Find out more >