Here’s what some of my clients are saying …

Allyson, your University of Toronto course was wonderful! Thank you for creating such a warm, nurturing environment. You managed to critique without being critical, and your deep respect for our writing brought out the best in us. My only regret is that I didn’t find you years earlier. — Plum Johnson, author, They Left Us Everything (Penguin Random House Canada)

Allyson’s comprehensive approach to editing a novel, coupled with her collaborative spirit, made her a genuine pleasure to work with. Her feedback was insightful and constructive. I truly felt that she cared deeply about the story I was trying to tell. Her eye for details caught things that others had missed around plot and character motivation. Just as important, Allyson is a lovely person! She is kind, reliable, and professional. I look forward to working with her again. — Ann Y.K. Choi, author, Kay’s Lucky Coin Variety (Simon & Schuster)

Between 2014 and 2019, Allyson took me on a journey from a somewhat frustrated academic with a secret desire to write a creative non-fiction book to the author of a forthcoming critical memoir, What the Oceans Remember: Searching for Belonging and Home. Along the way, I took two courses from Allyson, asked her to mentor me for my final project for the University of Toronto Continuing Studies Certificate in Creative Writing, and then asked her to work with me further as I wrote and rewrote the manuscript that would become this book. Throughout this time, I’ve found Allyson to be endlessly patient, thoughtful, critical, encouraging, and supportive. She has been enthusiastic about my writing and generous with her time and energy. What the Oceans Remember — both the book and the five-year journey that led to it — have benefited immensely from her contributions. — Sonja Boon, author, What the Oceans Remember: Searching for Belonging and Home (Wilfrid Laurier Press, forthcoming Sept. 2019)

Among editors she’s the best I’ve seen. — Richard B. Wright, author, Clara Callan (HarperCollins Canada) and others

I was so proud of myself when I finished the first draft of my memoir, but had no idea what to do next. What I needed was an objective assessment of the manuscript. Allyson provided just that. She offered clear, specific advice on how to restructure the narrative for greater impact, as well as welcome stylistic feedback. The result? Sea Over Bow: A North Atlantic Crossing, which was accepted by the first publisher I sent it to. She said she’d never seen such a polished manuscript. Thanks, Allyson! — Linda Kenyon, author, Sea Over Bow: A North Atlantic Crossing

Allyson is uncannily perceptive about where a novel needs improvement. I have come to greatly value her input on my young-adult adventure novels before they go to my publisher, and I highly recommend her. Top in her field, she is recommended by Canada’s best literary agents and publishers. — Pam Withers, author of 20 young-adult adventure novels

After meeting Allyson at a wonderful memoir workshop series in Toronto’s North York Library, a few years ago, I invited her to visit to Santiago, Chile, to lead a two-week residential gathering for local writers. We all thoroughly enjoyed her cleverly-crafted, round-table morning sessions and the lively ideas she suggested on trips to Valparaiso and Isla Negra, homes to poet, Pablo Neruda. Her frank approach to memoir writing, exercises and suggested techniques have been put to excellent use. Many of us have since been published books, some with her kind help and editing. — Susan Siddeley, founder, Los Parronales Writers’ Retreat, Santiago, Chile

Not only is Allyson a thoughtful editor, she genuinely loves her projects; she is special in that way and digs deep into ideas with enthusiasm. She has the insight and experience to push writers to their fullest potential. With Allyson’s mentorship, my University of Toronto SCS final project for the Creative Writing Certificate became the basis of a soon-to-be-published memoir.Alexandra Risen, author, Unearthed (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt [US)] and Penguin Random House Canada)

Once Allyson came on board, my complex, two-year project offering historical drama and literary fiction spanning seven decades, found the shape it needed. The way forward became more obvious and the result equally clear. I pitched the finished manuscript to one publisher and they snapped it up within 24 hours. Could not have hoped for more. — B.A. Thomas-Peter, author, The Kissing Fence (Caitlin Press, forthcoming 2020)

It is gratifying and uplifting to work with Allyson. — Lawrence Hill, author, The Book of Negroes (HarperCollins Canada) and others

I spent this past weekend at a writing retreat put on by the incomparable Allyson Latta. These past few years she has been my teacher, editor, and mentor and has instilled in me a love for life stories, a gift I will cherish for the rest of my days. But best of all, we became friends. Allyson’s velvet glove and kind but firm approach made a room full of writers reach high for their best work this weekend. The shared respect for this woman was the original tie that bound us in an all-too-fast intimate moment in time. But it fast became about new friendships, mutual respect for the craft and for each other, and about the creation of powerful new stories written and read aloud. Not for the faint of heart (okay, not for my faint heart). I loved every minute of it. — Judy Bullis, writer

The early drafts of my first novel Apparition fit uncomfortably in the YA genre, and my agent recommended that I approach Allyson to do a substantive edit. The manuscript had too much detail, the pace was sometimes slow, there was too much internal dialogue, and there were too many points of view for the YA audience. But Allyson understood what I was trying to do. I was thrilled with her edit notes. She validated and reinforced my vision and helped me strengthen my characters and the story I wanted to tell. The notes were challenging, but they helped me make dramatic improvements to the manuscript, and I have no doubt they directly facilitated Apparition’s publication. — Gail Gallant, author, Apparition and Absolution, and a memoir, The Changeling (Penguin Random House Canada)

I sat in on Allyson’s workshop as one of several at the Ontario Writers’ Conference, planning to be there 10 minutes, but I stayed to the end, riveted. She’s a natural. I hope she keeps doing what she’s doing. — Wayson Choy, author, The Jade Peony (Douglas & McIntyre) and others

Allyson’s input was extremely helpful in developing my novel for submission to publishers. She gave excellent advice on plot and character development, as well as providing help with voice and style and those tricky grammatical issues that crop up now and then. It was a pleasure to work with her. — Alan Gibney, author, I’ll Carry You Home

Allyson is an enthusiastic, knowledgeable and confident speaker/teacher who uses interaction, group work and Q & A to her advantage. More importantly, participants commended her ability to “take the fear out of writing…make learners feel like equals…through her hands-on exercises and lively, appealing manner.” After her first workshop, many called for more time to spend with Allyson and urged us to bring her back in subsequent years, which we did. — Barbara Hunt, past president/director, Ontario Writers’ Conference

Allyson commits to your story. She works her way inside and with a strong intuitive sense of both what is needed and how you are viewing your own work, she starts opening doors and windows and revealing the secrets you have gotten in the way of showing yourself. — Mark McGivern, writer

Allyson Latta spoke to members and guests of the Writers’ Community of Simcoe County (WCSC) with an engaging talk on how to write a compelling story. She followed her talk with a workshop on crafting a strong beginning. Allyson was generous and gracious, her presentation both illuminating and constructive. Her years of experience in facilitation and editing coupled with her delightful personality created a memorable event that gave participants a fresh slant on creating story. — Deepam Wadds, former president, Writers’ Community of Simcoe County

I contacted Allyson at a time when I needed good, honest advice about my memoir. I had several bits and pieces written that were strong and I had a good idea about what I wanted to say with my story, but the structure wasn’t working and it lacked cohesion. Allyson identified the things I was holding onto that clearly weren’t working and pointed out elements that were important to the story but needed more emphasis. My consult with her was extremely motivating and was a significant step toward completion of my manuscript. Meeting with Allyson was the best thing I could have done at a pivotal point in my writing. — Kendall Hunter, photographer, travel writer, and founder of Culture Dock

Dear Allyson, Thank you for the superb workshop you presented at the San Miguel Writers’ Conference. It will please you to know that your evaluations were virtually all “Excellent.” Participants’ comments ranged from “I learned a lot!” to “She’s an excellent teacher,” to “Very well organized,” to “Very substantive. Great material.” We emphasize the quality of teaching at our Conference, and your workshop was among those that help us maintain this reputation. Thank you very much for your wonderful contribution. — Susan Page, executive director, San Miguel International Writers’ Conference, Mexico

I had a private consultation with Allyson to help sort out some story structure issues. It was time and money well spent. Allyson is a great listener and coach. She draws on her rich professional background and experience as a senior editor and teacher to provide wise, thoughtful, and direct advice. She is supportive and encouraging and makes writers feel that she is invested in their success. I highly recommend Allyson for private consultations, in addition to recommending her for teaching and workshops.  — Janet Culliton, writer

Contact Allyson

Toronto, Ontario
Canada

writing@allysonlatta.ca