ALLYSON LATTA is a writer and independent literary editor who has worked with many of Canada’s most respected authors on award-winning fiction and nonfiction books for adults and young adults. She edits for several of Canada’s largest publishers, as well as for the University of the West Indies Press in Jamaica.
Allyson has a special interest in memoir, and since 2004 has encouraged new writers to explore this subject, first online for Ryerson University and later through her own company, Days Road Writers’ Workshops. She is now an instructor for the University of Toronto’s School of Continuing Studies in partnership with the New York Times Knowledge Network (“Memories into Story,” an online credit course toward a Certificate in Creative Writing) and she can be requested as an Online Mentor. She recently partnered with Koffler Centre of the Arts to teach creative writing in 2010/11, and also runs workshops on a range of topics for writers’ organizations, literary festivals and libraries, as well as online. She has led writers’ retreats in the U.S. (Arizona), Chile, and Costa Rica, with one tentatively planned for Grenada in 2013.
After earning degrees in criminology and later journalism, Allyson worked as a newspaper reporter, freelance features writer, magazine editor (for trade, literary, and business publications), film reviewer, and university media relations officer for both Queen’s University and University of Toronto. During three years in Japan, she taught college-level ESL and wrote personal essays on Japanese culture for Canadian newspapers.
Through 2010 Allyson was guest coordinator for “Portraits on Paper,” the memoir and biography episodes of CKLN-FM radio’s In Other Words. She has also judged several short fiction and memoir contests, including OASIS Journal, an annual U.S. anthology. Many of her students have gone on to win literary competitions or to be published. She writes short fiction and memoir herself, and is at work on a longer memoir.
Allyson lives in the Toronto area, and is a member of the national Creative Nonfiction Collective, Writers’ Community of Durham Region, Writers’ Community of York Region, and the U.S.-based National Association of Memoir Writers.