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Kathryn Kay


Hi, I’m Kathryn Kay, the founder of A Writer Within. My story is a long and winding one, but I thought I'd share a few high points and significant stops along the way.

The seeds of inspiration were sown ...

Shortly after my 21st birthday, I moved to Florence, Italy, to study antique restoration, and it was there I began to write … letters. During those five years in Florence, friends and family started saying, “Your letters are wonderful; you should be a writer.” I enjoyed writing in college and had been a voracious reader all my life, but I was young, I was in Italy, and I had other things on my mind, and a career in writing wasn’t one of them. However, the seeds were sown, and that little voice urging me to write only became stronger as the years went by. You know what I mean?

One of the scariest things I’ve ever done …

I’ve always said that going back to school as an adult was one of the best and scariest things I’ve ever done, and it’s true. Shortly after my daughter went off to college, I summoned my middle-aged courage and decided to take my writing seriously. I enrolled in an MFA program for writing and began to work on my novel, "The Gilder."

The guidance and support I received from my professors in graduate school and mentors over the years have been invaluable in my growth as a writer, and I’m dedicated to sharing everything I’ve learned about the craft and the creative process with writers of all genres. I understand what it’s like to be starting a writing project or stuck in the middle of one without a clear way forward. I know the challenge of finding time to write, and I’m familiar with the resistance that keeps me from sitting down at my desk. Sound familiar?

I understand what it's like to be stuck ...

I was looking for support and inspiration ...

What inspired me to create my writing workshops all those years ago was—I couldn’t find everything I was looking for in one place. Without a doubt, I learned and grew from every workshop I attended, but most workshops were too large, and we spent too much time talking and not enough time writing (if you work with me, you’ll be writing a lot). Over the years, students taking my workshops began to ask me for ongoing support, and my coaching and editing services took shape.

I dreamed of a villa in Tuscany ...

After I left Florence, I lived on the island of Nantucket for many years , and that is where I began to offer my writing workshops for women. Italy, however, had a hold on my heart; it’s where my daughter was born, where I set my novel, "The Gilder," and where I return every chance I get.

As my workshops flourished, I began to dream of hosting retreats in a beautiful villa where women would feel safe, nurtured, and inspired. Ever dream of a place like that? It took many years for this dream to become a reality, but somewhere along the line, I started saying, “yes,” and before I knew it, there I was in Tuscany with my first group of fearless writers. I now host retreats in Tuscany in the spring and fall, and when I return home, it is to Pasadena, CA. Now, I’m dreaming of a California retreat, so make sure to stay in touch.


If you believe you have a writer within, let’s set her free!



Here's a clip from my book tour:

Author Kathryn Kay in gray sweater with cover of her novel, The Gilder.

Professional Bio

Kathryn Kay is the founder of A Writer Within, a published author, writing coach, and retreat leader who supports and inspires women writers. Her focus is on getting writers into the creative flow and beyond their internal critic to complete projects and refine their writing. As an author, she knows what it's like to start a project or be stuck in the middle of a writing project without a clear way forward.

Whether working privately with Kathryn or attending one of her retreats in Tuscany, she has the uncanny ability to get to the heart of each writer's needs. Kathryn's forte is finding creative solutions that inspire confidence and forward momentum.

Kathryn has an MFA in creative writing. The guidance and support she has received from teachers and mentors during her 25-year career as a writer and teacher has been invaluable and inspires the teaching she shares today.

As her motto suggests, Kathryn believes that freeing your writer within can lead to the writing life you've always wanted.