“The Writer’s Writer”

Gary Provost

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“Until his death in 1995, Gary Provost was one of the most beloved writing instructors in the United States. He taught tens of thousands of writers through his seminars, books, articles and videos.”
--Writer’s Digest.

During his lifetime, Gary Provost (1944-1995) had become one of America's leading writing-for-publication instructors as well as the author of 24 books in genres ranging from how-to instruction for writers (of course!); full-length adult and young adult fiction (literary, mystery, romance); and full-length nonfiction (biography, true crime, sports how-to, business). He doctored manuscripts, worked as a ghostwriter, and along the way published thousands of articles for magazines and newspapers--including columns, humorous pieces and celebrity profiles.


Hello there! So happy to have you drop by. I guess you can consider this the official website for preserving Gary's legacy. You may have landed here by pure chance, but if you've already learned from Gary I suspect you felt as so many of us did: that when you heard or read his words, it was as though he were speaking to you, alone. He affected us that way.

These days, if you're a high school or college student, you may have recently been given samples of his work to study. Gary authored five instructional books for writers, so you may have read one, or some, or all of those. Or his countless instructional articles and columns in the trade magazines for writers.

Or maybe you were fortunate enough to have participated in one of our nationwide WRITE IT/​SELL IT weekend seminars for fiction and nonfiction writers. Possibly you attended a writers' conference, in which Gary had been a wildly popular speaker. He was a bit of an anti-establishment cult hero to freelance writers.

You'd probably be interested to know that back in 1987 we co-created the WRITERS RETREAT WORKSHOP, a two-week intensive, in-residence program for a small group of serious fiction and creative nonfiction writers so they could learn directly from Gary. (After the first year's sessions, we culled the program to ten days.) Almost immediately, however, we affectionately referred to our program as "The WRW".

Although we continued to limit participation for the sake of ample personalized attention from Gary, more and more of the students who registered were returning students. WRW was always a true labor of love, for all of us. We and our students shared a vision and passion for the work we did together, and our clear sense of "family" took hold and blossomed.

Then, one Sunday in 1996, we discovered that USA WEEKEND had honored our WRW program as THE writing "vacation that can change your life." Sadly, that tribute came after Gary's passing. This 2 minute video explains why it is so awesome.

However, WRWers who had learned from him continue(d) to share his wise and generous instruction, insight, and approachability. The program evolved and, with new generations of WRWers, the legacy has endured for more than 25 plus years.

Our next WRW is coming up: May 12-19, 2016 in our new home for our program. The Oblate Retreat Center is located in the heart of San Antonio, Texas and its magical gardens are only a hop, skip and jump from the San Antonio airport. (To learn more about WRW, please visit our 'GARY'S COURSES' section.)

Now, if it's not in the cards for you to attend WRW's in-residence program, you might seriously consider learning from Gary via his courses designed specifically for at-home viewing and study. (Click on our 'GARY'S COURSES' section to learn more.)

Finally, if you'd like to learn more about Gary's personal story, its relevance to you and your dreams of writing excellence and publishing success, I invite you to read on. (If you can't do that now, please bookmark this page for another, more convenient time.)

Meanwhile, keep on writing and learning, progressing and growing as you continue along your journey. One day, your dream will come true. Persistence, that's the ticket!

May you dream your dream on,
--Gail Provost Stockwell


Instruction for Writers

Gary’s invaluable, easy-to-use handbook helps you solve any and all writing problems — whether you are a student, business person or professional writer. Timeless!

Another timeless guide to help you fashion your own creative style by avoiding weak and wasted words.

“A crystallization of Gary Provost’s writing wisdom... philosophy made practical.”
—Writer’s Digest Books

Strong Characters. Conflict. Surprise. Master the cornerstones of great writing.

Master techniques of ripping stories from the headlines for fun and profit.

The Freelance Writer's Handbook contains a wealth of information on leads, query letters, markets and making money off of writing.

Gary's voice shines through in this, his final work of fiction -- which was to have been the first of a new comic mystery series, starring "the most likable--and unlikely--sleuth to come along in years."
(References to BAFFLED are also in Make Your Words Work as well as in Gary's DVD / MP3 Course, the VIDEO NOVEL WORKSHOP.)