At the heart of every story lies the gold of discoverya nugget of truth, beauty and transformation that changes both writer and reader forever. 

What's not always clear is how to translate our lived wisdom to the page.

Do you have life-changing experiences you yearn to share, but no matter how hard you try to write your wisdom it seems to slip through your fingers mid-sentence? 

Maybe you’re crystal clear what you want to say, but crave that extra dose of courage to speak your truth. The words are rumbling around inside if only you could spill them out. 

Or perhaps you simply have no idea where to begin, are lost somewhere in the middle of a manuscript or are intimidated by the prospect of writing. 

But while you may not be sure how to write that book, you do know that you want to claim your truth, speak those words and know the profound  satisfaction of holding your manuscript in your hands.

Whether you consider yourself a writer or simply someone with gems to share, there is one thing for certain: the world needs your storiesnow. 

From a Nugget of Truth to the Gold of a Finished Manuscript

In my two+ decades as an award-winning author, ghostwriter and book coach, I’ve crafted a process for mining the beauty and darkness of our sometimes messy lives for that flash of insight or the slow burn that one day becomes revelation. This is the work of Literary Alchemy: to dig and sift and work with both obstacles and elements to reach beyond the story you think you’re writing to unearth the essential story that is only yours to tell. And when you're done, you will not only hold a finished manuscript in your hands, but you will confidently call yourself a writer and emerge stronger, wiser and profoundly changed by the process.

alchemy: ˈal-kə-mē

noun. the process of transmutation by which to fuse or reunite with the divine or original form.


THE BEST OF 20+ YEARS OF WRITING AND BOOK COACHING EXPERIENCE: I will serve as your guide to offer insights into the structure of narrative, boots-on-the-ground know-how to get you from outline to a strong first draft, craft tools, exercises in meditation and mindful awareness to explore your role as narrator, deadlines and encouragement every step of the way. 

CRAFT CLASSES and READING WORKSHOP: We will meet 2-3 Thursdays a month on Zoom from  4-6pm PST/ 7-9 pm EST for two Craft Classes and one Reading Workshop where you share your pages and get feedback from fellow Alchemists.

1-on-1 SESSIONS: Each month you will submit up to 15 pages for review. We meet for a one-hour, 1-on-1 session to discuss your work and writing process in depth. 

CREATE a WRITING PRACTICE (and more if you're inspired) for your Memoir or work of Literary Non-fiction: I will help you to create a regular writing practice with the goal of writing 200-250 pages in 6 months to complete a very strong first draft of your work. Literary Alchemy is structured to support memoirists and writers of literary non-fiction. There are exceptions for general non-fiction depending on the project.

EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW TO WRITE A BOOK: Classes will be structured to guide you on everything from outlining, information organization and research, honing your vision, finding your voice, scene study, character development, the role of awareness in writing and more.

THE CONFIDENCE TO CALL YOURSELF A WRITER: Literary Alchemy will help you to gain an understanding of the scope of your vision, the process and path to express it, insight into working with inner and outer obstacles, support when you want to quit, an inspired and committed community of writers and, at the end of it all, the profound satisfaction of holding a strong draft of your manuscript in your hands.     


Literary Alchemy mixes these primary elements:

  • Personal Narrative

    Whether writing memoir or creative non-fiction, the terrain of Personal Narrative is much broader, more layered and more integral to our work than we expect when we begin. Our story often lives just beyond familiar territory and we are called to venture to unexpected places. I've been to these places with many writers many times—and they always return with gold. Literary Alchemy offers tools and practices for discovering the nuggets that will become the narrative building blocks of your book.

  • Awakening Awareness

    Writing a book is much more than committing words to the page in the order in which events occur. It has to do with seeing old stories with new eyes. Meditation, mindful awareness and creativity exercises challenge assumptions about what we believe to be 'true,' help us move beyond the limits of our ordinary experience and into the realm of mythic imagination. Age-old practices and lessons learned from years of ghostwriting for spiritual teachers and my own decade-long practice of Tibetan Buddhism are woven throughout Literary Alchemy.

  • Straight-up Writing Craft

    The craft tools of writing are so satisfying to use when we understand what they are and how and when to use them. Whether forging a voice as unique as our own DNA or nailing the idiosyncrasies of dialogue, feeling how a story suddenly springs to life with a powerful narrative arc or at last knowing what it means to write a scene or smooth a transition, Literary Alchemy offers Craft Classes that allow you to commit your story to the page and finally write the page-turning book that is yours to write.

  • Cultural Narrative

    We are living in a time of unprecedented change when the stories we have assumed to be true about identity, what has value and whose story matters are undergoing radical revision. Our words matter. The stories we tell ourselves and each other matter. And every writer has a role to play shaping the evolving narrative of our times. Literary Alchemy explores our basic assumptions and invites us to drop the stories that no longer serve to write the stories that we most need to hear.

  • Community

    Of all the tools offered in Literary Alchemy, our community of writers might just be the most powerful. Writing a book requires courage, endurance and perseverance--traits much easier to cultivate in the presence of others on the same journey. Whether untangling fraught family stories or exploring ways to craft hard-to-express experiences on the page, Literary Alchemists are devoted listeners who offer encouragement and comradery as we create an intimate and safe space to explore the terrain of your book.

Hi, I'm Kristin Kaye...

Writer. Teacher. Lover of alliteration. Meditator. Tree Dreamer. Alchemist.

My love of story has spanned decades, coasts and industries—from theater in New York and writing interactive TV pilots in San Francisco during the tech boom to completing an MFA in Creative Writing and penning a few books along the way. My work as a writing coach and ghostwriter has covered a wide array of topics from business and design to spirituality, self-help and Tibetan Buddhism. Ghostwritten articles have been placed in Fast Company and Business Week among many others and books have been accepted for representation with literary agents. I have also taught workshops and events at schools, colleges and organizations across the U.S. including the American Library Association, National Science Teachers Association, California Academy of Sciences, California Association of Environmental and Outdoor Educators and the Young Artists Institute at Southern Oregon University. (Photo by Margot Duane) Learn more at

WINNER 2018 International Books Awards: YA Fiction

FINALIST 2019 Indie Book Awards: Regional Fiction


One of 5 Books to Read to Prep for Earth Day – BuzzFeed

One of 10 Books to Keep You Woke in 2018 – Bookstr

In brilliantly onomatopoeic prose . . . [Kaye] relates the protagonist’s tale of redemption in delightfully sparse language, like a long poem in which small details matter, every word counts, and images are so cogent that they anchor readers in the fictive reality like tree roots . . . A superbly written tale filled with realistic, engaging, and quirky characters. Kirkus Reviews 

Kaye’s first novel captures the way a teenager sees the world while also giving Jade a unique voice….Jade’s tree dreams weave her reverence for nature with the fraught and tenuous webs that connect all of us to it. Through her, readers feel the sway of the big trees, how they move “with so many other things, like another language.”     — Booklist

Kristin Kaye’s coming of age novel artfully places her young heroine in the midst of the burning questions facing the entire world, such as climate change and culture wars. At the same time, she manages to weave her into a discovery of the ancient human connections to both trees and dreams. This is a work of wit and imagination that informs as it inspires; it also marks a trail of encouragement for the mutual lives of people and trees. —Michael Meade, author of The Genius Myth and Why the World Doesn’t End

FINALIST 2006 Oregon Book Awards: Creative Non-fiction

The history of women's weight training rounds out this sassy, poignant memoir. ~ Utne Reader 

Not long out of college and trying to figure out what to do with her life, Kristin Kaye found herself writing and directing a Broadway show about female bodybuilders. In telling the tale of this show and the women who were in its cast, she persuades us of their humanity while at the same time showing the less appealing aspects of women’s bodybuilding. Kaye tells her own story honestly and amusingly, but always keeps the bodybuilders at the center of the stage. ~ OBA Judge Jonathan Yardley

Kaye weaves together the story of her bittersweet directorial debut/meltdown with a darkly humorous look into the world of female bodybuilding [and has] ended up creating the most up-to-date journalistic history of the sport available. The Willamette Week

transmute: tran(t)s-ˈmyüt

verb. to change or alter in form, appearance, or nature and especially to a higher form.


This was one of the best decisions I've made for myself. 

~ Sattva, California.

Literary Alchemy came at a pivotal moment in my life when I was in the thick of a personal transformation. Kristin held space for me and gave me really good advice when I hit writer's block halfway through the course. She cares about her students, knows her craft well, and she has put a lot of care into the syllabus and presenting the material, content, and guest speakers. And her 1:1 private sessions are a gem. The course itself is chock full of good content and illuminating information without overwhelming you. I recommend Literary Alchemy to anyone who is curious about writing a book, but not sure where to start or is perhaps intimated by it. I loved this course so much. Thank you, Kristin!

Kristin embraces the whole of you, to manifest the stories within, and gets you ready to share them with the world.

~ Rozanne, Brooklyn, NY

One of the most rewarding experiences of 2020 for me was as a student of an extraordinary teacher, Kristin Kaye, in the company of a small group of writers, in a uniquely compelling program called Literary Alchemy. If you've always wanted to write a book but don't know where to begin; if you have dozens of pages written but unsure of next steps; if you are looking for a post-graduate MFA program to nurture your skills and workshop your work, then this is absolutely the right course for you. Kristin, an award-winning author and writing coach, embraces the whole of you, to manifest the stories and glories within, and gets you ready to share them with the world. An invaluable gift for yourself.

So much to draw inspiration from. 

~ Carolyn Anne, Vancouver, Canada

I had no expectations and am thrilled that I discovered Literary Alchemy. Kristin's guidance is poignant and helpful in a mindful language that I never knew would be available in this kind of setting. Different techniques and tips are delivered in such a powerful way that helps to connect to one's deeper truth and story. Everything offered inspired me.  
An awe-inspiring experience.

~ Maura, California

Magic and craft came together to create story larger than our small (limited) selves. I witnessed my heart's raw longing and hidden wisdom unfold upon the pages. Thanks for the love and support from Kristin and fellow amazing Alchemists.
     I couldn't have asked for a better experience.

~ Karen, Arizona

It's amazing to look back six months and see how far I've come in my writing process. Kristin has a real gift for guiding aspiring writers. Her positivity and intuitive ability have taken me to such a different place than I originally had in mind. I'm grateful for all of it. I  highly recommend this course to anyone who is considering writing a book and learning about the elements that go into creating your first draft.

Literary Alchemy gave me tools, accountability and confidence to make being a writer a reality.

~ Tressa, Oregon

I don't usually buy online courses, but there's much more here than just a course. Literary Alchemy not only gave me the tools, accountability and confidence to finally make becoming an author a reality, but it changed how I hold my power and the way I see writing. You'll be guided into the actual pages of your book. You'll finally get it done and be ready for publishing. You will grow as a human being and connect with other people you didn't realize you needed until you are cheering each other on through writing, reading and learning together. I've made lifelong friends here. Take this course and anything else this goddess offers.

So much more than I could have dreamed of or expected.

~ Ardith, California

Kristin is creative, eloquent, super-organized, resourceful and a positive genius! I loved every module, all the reading selections—especially as they illuminated the lessons at hand, which built upon one another beautifully. If one truly wants to write a book, one needs tremendous emotional, psychic and structural support. Kristin is an unbelievably magical teacher, a kind of flashlight shining light in dark places and coaching you through the process.

       Literary Alchemy changed my world.

~ Barbara, Sydney, Australia

Like the alchemy practices of old, turning base metal to gold, this class turned my base thoughts about 2020 into the gold of growth and learning. This class is a life changing experience and Kristin is a masterful teacher.


    1. The Story Your Are Forging

    2. Your project, your vision, your path

    3. 1-on-1s and Reading Workshops

    1. Small self, Higher Self and The Nature of the Narrator

    1. Narrative Structure & Working Outlines

    1. UPLOAD your pages by 3pm EST.

    1. Schedule Your Session

    2. Upload Pages on SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 6



    3. Scenes, Exposition & Transitions

    4. How to Write a Scene

    5. TheBeautifulStruggle-Ta-NehisiCoates

    6. Inheritance-DaniShapiro

    7. SCENE PRACTICE: Film Study

    8. SCENE PRACTICE: Photo scroll

About this course

Scholarship Opportunity

I am very happy to partner with Conscious City Guides to offer a full scholarship through their Bharani Exchange program for one spot in Literary Alchemy. Details coming soon. Check back here for information about scholarship spots or join the mailing list below for updates. 


  • What is the time commitment?

    Literary Alchemy is for writers who are committed to writing the first draft of their book. The goal is to write 200-250 pages in six months, which is roughly equivalent to writing a page a day. The course is structured to support you in setting goals and providing step-by-step guidance. You will need to carve out time to write, whether it is each day or in dedicated chunks of time during the week. Deadlines and consistency are key.

  • How big is the class?

    Class size is kept intimate at 10 - 12 students.

  • Will you read my entire manuscript?

    Literary Alchemy offers step-by-guidance, tools and support to guide you on your book writing journey. I will read up to 15 pages of your work in preparation for each of our 1-on-1 sessions, but the course is not designed for a full manuscript review or edit. Additional 1-on-1 sessions and a full manuscript review can be booked for additional coaching and support.

  • What is your cancellation policy?

    Cancellations are accepted until 14 days before the start of class for a full refund. If you need to cancel after the cancellation period, but before class begins, and I am able to find a replacement for your spot, I will be happy to refund your course payment. If I am unable to fill the spot, then you can choose between the course fee applied as credit toward future Alchemy courses or a 50% refund. (All refunds will be issued minus applicable credit card fees.) After the course begins no refunds will be provided (including for fees scheduled on payment plans), except in cases of medical necessity or emergency.

  • Do you offer financial assistance?

    Literary Alchemy offers a limited number of financial hardship discounts on a first come, first serve basis. Please contact me directly if you are interested.

ADDITIONAL QUESTIONS? Email Kristin with questions about Literary Alchemy, 1-on-1 Coaching or Developmental Editing services. 

Please add your name to the email list for every-so-often updates on Literary Alchemy and events with Kristin Kaye.

Thank You