Welcome to the Launch of My Website on Memoir Writing

This champagne is bubbly and quite delicious. Can’t you almost taste it? Even if you can’t, I’m glad you’re here to help me celebrate simply by reading this post.

Welcome to my new home on the Web. If you’ve been a regular visitor to my former abode, the blog for Days Road Writers’ Workshops, you’ll know that my passion is encouraging people to tell their life stories, whether as memoir or life-based fiction. Thank you for your loyalty as this new space was being designed and built, and for looking me up here at this address.

You’ll see right away that this place is more spacious than the old one. And I feel at-home here already—well, now that the boxes are unpacked and things mostly put away. The paint is fresh, and the colours are, I hope, inviting, and I’ve hung some recently acquired art on the walls.

Best of all, the rooms are filled with my collection of memoir-related things, some that I’m fond of moved over from my former blog, some brand new: under “Interviews,” thoughtful conversations with authors including  Rona Maynard and Emily Listfield, and publisher Leila Joiner; under “Ideas,” essays by colleagues, friends and former workshop participants on the experience of life writing (e.g., “Letters to My Children,” “Researching Of Eloquent Blood,” “So You Want to Start a Blog,” and “The Reveal” ); as well as tips, reading suggestions, and other resources. While I’m primarily an editor and writer, I also teach and you’ll find upcoming offerings listed in my Workshop Schedule.

For this website, a long time in the dreaming and the making, I owe a fulsome debt of gratitude to fabulous designer Joe Nittoly of Sidetrail Media Inc., who gave the place curb appeal and figured out where to put the load-bearing walls and doors and windows, and made my move here relatively painless despite some heavy lifting. His patience and flexibility, as my requests rained down upon him, were remarkable. Joe helped me to bring to life not only the website I wanted but also the one I had yet to realize I needed.

Thanks too to my talented niece Meghan Dene Latta, of Vancouver, BC, for allowing me to use in the banner a detail from her oil painting Clifton Place, based on a photo of me as a child in the backyard of our family home in Edmonton, Alberta. I have forgiven her completely for giving away the first edition of the painting to her roommate: the second now hangs in my dining room.

My appreciation also goes out to Mary McIntyre—she took my first online memoir course at Ryerson University in 2004 and is now a published writer and a good friend—who did a pre-launch comb of this website to ensure that the links in fact linked and that the essays and interviews read as they should. Mary also recently assisted me in compiling and designing a 70-plus-page anthology of short memoirs by writers who participated in my two-week workshop series at Los Parronales Writers’ Retreat in Santiago, Chile, in February of this year.

My first blog post will follow momentarily. Some future posts will explore aspects of memoir writing; others will profile literary achievements among my former workshop participants and students. And watch for an occasional newsletter, Light and Shadow: A Newsletter on Life Writing, offering memoir-related thoughts-in-brief and updates on my activities. Better yet, subscribe to receive notification of posts by e-mail.

The door to my new home will always be open and I encourage you to drop in anytime and stay awhile. I might be busy elsewhere and not hear you come in, but I hope you will take the time to comment on blog posts or to give me a shout at mailto:lattamemoirs@gmail.com. If you have an idea for an original essay on a topic pertaining to memoir or experience-based fiction, send me a brief proposal.

Now, make yourself at home. I hope you’ll find something here that moves you to sit down in a quiet spot and begin writing your own stories.


Allyson Latta

Note: All blog posts under “News” prior to August 23, 2010, are from my former blog, Days Road Writers’ Workshops.

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