12082015_ALLISON_PRINT-0048A quick bit about me (Allison McDonald). I am many things to many people, including mom to a little spitfire named James, but the core of who I am is a writer and storyteller.

My career began in the publishing world as a Developmental Editor at houses such as Pearson Education, Oxford University Press and McGraw-Hill Ryerson. And that was great! But what I really wanted to do–what I’ve always wanted to do–was be a writer. So I packed up my red pen and green visor (not really, but it’s a good visual, right?) and set out to fulfill my dreams. I became a freelance writer and was fortunate to write for a variety of Canadian publications on topics I loved while also starting and finishing a full length novel set in France during the Second World War (yet to be published).  After James was born, I needed something where I could be at the helm but still allowed me to write. One day while perusing a greeting card store, I couldn’t believe that not one single card I picked up was made of recycled paper. Ta-da! I had my Oprah moment and decided to try my hand at making eco-friendly greeting cards that were high quality, not harmful to the environment, and whose messaging was all about things I actually wanted to say to people I love and care about. And thus, September Project was born. My work as a writing workshop facilitator came to be as a natural extension of my writing life. I began to study the field of expressive, therapeutic writing and was fascinated by the research. I trained as a writing workshop facilitator with the fabulous people at Toronto Writer’s Collective and from there set out to develop my own writing workshops. And that’s what brings me here!

So what’s with the name?

September Project is a metaphor for my life and my work. It seems as though everything wonderful that’s happened in my life tends to happen in the month of September: I got married in September, I began my writing career in September, my son was born in September, and I launched my greeting card line and writing workshops in September. For me, September is a time full of anticipation, energy and possibility; not quite summer, not yet fall. And it’s within that space where the magic happens.