Introducing Writing Coach Ailsa Bristow
When Ailsa was a little girl her mother gave her a beautiful book, full of creamy blank pages.
Inside it said, “for stories.” She never looked back, falling in love with the way that words allowed her to connect with worlds beyond herself.
Ailsa went on to study English Literature, gaining her Masters in Modern and Contemporary Fiction. Though she loved this opportunity to immerse herself in the world of words, she came to realize that academic settings had stifled much of the wonder and openness that she had brought to writing. Harsh critique and competition made her wonder if she was even a writer at all.
When she first moved to Toronto from the UK, she quickly discovered Firefly Creative Writing. It was around that table that Ailsa was able to rediscover the magic of weaving stories and sharing with others, and to first find the confidence to send her work out into the world. She has since published a handful of short stories, and is currently working on her second novel.
Ailsa has travelled along the same road as many writers – charging headfirst into a new story, and then taking unexpected detours, tumbling down plot holes, and sometimes even abandoning the journey altogether. She knows the ups and the downs; she also knows that every writer’s path is unique. As a writing coach, she is able to bring deep curiosity and compassion to both the work and the process, and an intuitive appreciation for what is distinctive and strong in a writer’s work.
When she isn’t immersing herself in words, Ailsa can be found calming her busy-brain through knitting everything from sweaters and socks to cozies for crooked teapots. Her ideal day would involve driving out of the city, walking in crisp bright sunshine, discovering a tucked away brewery, and then snuggling up with a book when she gets home.