Mary Rakow, Ph.D. offers one-to-one tutorials and coaching, creative writing workshops, classes and editing of full or partial manuscripts for new and experienced writers working to be published or to self-publish in the novel, story, memoir or personal essay form.  She is interested in editing academic work, a new venture. Currently, her second novel is under review. When moved to do so, she writes about art. She works with local writers in-person and with international and out of state writers via skype, email and phone conferencing.

Recently moved to San Francisco, she also quarterly teaches a one-day creative writing workshop for The Harvard Club of San Francisco, open to Harvard Club members and non-members. Writers of all levels are welcome. (See She also occasionally offers classes or lectures on writing at Mechanics’ Institute in San Francisco. (See

Rakow comes to fiction from theology (Masters, Harvard University Divinity School, Ph.D., Boston College) and parenting, arriving late in the discipline, as through a sieve. Her debut novel, The Memory Room, “addresses the big question—how do we live with our knowledge of evil?  And then…how can we reconcile it with an equally profound awareness of the depth of the world’s beauty and the possibility of faith?”(Janet Fitch, White Oleander, Paint It Black.)

She is the recipient of two Lannan Foundation Residencies and a Lannan Foundation Literary Fellowship. The Memory Room, was shortlisted for the Stanford University Libraries International Saroyan Prize in Literature, a PEN USA/West Finalist in Fiction and was listed among the Best Books of the West by The Los Angeles Times. When in Los Angeles, Mary was a Mentor with PEN Emerging Writers’ Program, an instructor with UCLA Extension Writers’ Program, and taught private students with whom she is still engaged.  Her students have gone on to publication and literary recognition.

When moved to do so, she writes about art.  She was commissioned to write a book length essay for Poligrafa:  Enrique Martinez Celaya, Working Methods with Preface by Dimitri Ozerkov and Introduction by Matthew Biro, forthcoming Fall, 2012.

Mary Rakow is a breathtaking writer and passionate teacher.
Sam Dunn, author of Failing Paris and Not By Accident