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Nosara, Costa Rica
Santa Fe, New Mexico
Nosara, Costa Rica
Santa Fe, New Mexico
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Novelist, entrepreneur, life coach Doug Kurtz is founder of
The Story Coach
and Breakthrough Writing Retreats. He's helped hundreds of writers at every level of experience finish books that hold readers' attention from the first page to the last. He has undergraduate and graduate degrees in literature, philosophy and creative writing. He's worked as a copywriter for internationally recognized companies; published fiction and nonfiction in print and online; and served on the board of the Colorado Author's League. His novel,
, was published in 2007; his next will hit bookshelves soon
. Doug's coaching programs and other initiatives provide MFA-quality instruction to writers across the globe. He's a core faculty member at Lighthouse Writers Workshop, and a former adventure tour guide, planning and leading trips across the US, Canada and Mexico.
"Doug is one of the finest instructors I’ve ever had - including undergraduate and graduate school."
-Will Sullivan, co-founder, The Right Margin
"Doug has helped me every step of the way through establishing myself as an award-winning author. He very gently guided me in discovering my voice and learning to focus my point of view in a completely different way from my experience writing screenplays. He helped me flesh out characters and plot points by getting me more excited about the story I was creating -- he always seems to be as excited about my stories as I am. His coaching is positive and nurturing, and I cannot imagine writing a novel without his guidance."
- Julie Cameron, award-winning novelist
"I first heard Doug on a podcast and, liking his attitude, decided at once I wanted him as my coach. Since I was in rural Wales, this was probably a slightly unconventional choice and all of our sessions were by Skype. Yet how much I looked forward to them - and how useful they were! Doug is wonderfully attentive, perceptive, personable and encouraging. At a time when writing felt to me like an almost impossible task, he was brimful with constructive suggestions and much needed optimism. He is flexible and open and caring of his clients. I recommend him with warmth and gratitude."
Kiare Ladner, author of
"Doug helped me turn a compelling premise and 25 pages into a 300-page novel with a developed plot and emotionally rich characters. He was instrumental in everything from fleshing out backstories and structuring scenes to staying on track when life tried to derail my writing goals. Since finishing the novel, I’ve received interest from numerous agents including a manuscript request from an agent who has represented three New York Times bestsellers."
- Suzanne Moore, author of
The Y Factor
"From helping me maximize tension and conflict on every page, to asking the right questions that unlocked necessary plot and character changes, Doug was such an integral part of my novel's journey. He encouraged me, inspired me, and wasn't afraid to give me a swift kick when I needed it. I'm certain his guidance led to me securing an agent."
- Beth Christopher, author of
"Doug helped me navigate a first novel with patience and skill. When I was ready to give up on a complex plot, two first-person narrators, and too many flashbacks, he encouraged me to keep going. His experience, knowledge, enthusiastic personality, and teaching skills were such a gift. I enjoyed every session with Doug and learned more about the craft each time. Many thanks to my coach, a true professional and friend."
- Joey Porcelli, author of
Into the Waves
"Doug's comments on my novel were tremendously helpful, providing me just the sort of insights and motivation I needed to plunge into another revision. He pointed out which scenes were working and which weren't, and his thoughts on the big picture—structure, plot and subplot—were especially perceptive. Doug showed me where to heighten the subplot during moments when the main plot was quieter, and helped me think of ways to deepen character motivation. Writing and revising a novel can be daunting, but Doug's comments gave me a map that guided me toward success."
- Jenny Shank, author of
"My project would not be where it is today without Doug's guidance. His grasp of literary constructs and tools, his knack for divining what the author is trying to say is truly unbelievable..."
- Nancy Kern, author of
Light and Shadow
"I’m an introvert, through and through, and to step into a classroom to have my work scrutinized is akin to torture, no matter how often I’ve done it. With Doug, though, there was an immediate sense of trust. He is, as my East Coast colleague would say, “wicked smaaht.” He has an uncanny ability to zero in on trouble spots in my work, and with perceptive questions, has guided me to dig deeper and find those light bulb moments when things come together. He respects you as the writer and trusts your ability to do the necessary work. As a teacher and coach, Doug is that rare combination of support, intelligence, creativity, and kindness. Under his guidance, I’ve just had my first story accepted for publication."
- Lynne Stoecklein, author of
I recognized immediately that Doug was a perceptive reader, able to pinpoint the exact location where my writing was stuck, and to offer steps for moving forward. I was so amazed by his abilities that I signed up for coaching. But before our first session, my life turned upside down. My wife announced she wanted a divorce, and I quickly lost everything that I loved, other than my passion for writing. Doug offered heart, unwavering support, and a whole series of tools to help me cope, while also encouraging those first few tentative steps forward. Less than two years later, I have finished my debut novel, built a new community of friends, found love again, and feel more alive than I have in years! Doug is a truly a special person, a gifted coach, and I am honored to call him a mentor and friend.
- Matt Moore, author of
All the Ravens
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