Will Allison

Will Allison – Editor

I specialize in literary fiction (novels, stories) & creative nonfiction (essays, memoir). Acclaimed author, editor 20+ years.


Since 2011, I’ve served as a contributing editor and teacher for the award-winning, Brooklyn-based literary magazine One Story. Before that, I served as an editor-at-large for Zoetrope: All-Story and as the executive editor of Story, where I began my editing career in 1996. I’ve taught creative writing in the MFA program at Columbia University, at The Ohio State University, and elsewhere. I am a longtime guest editor at the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference. I am the author of the novels What You Have Left, a Barnes & Noble Discover pick and a San Francisco Chronicle notable book, and the New York Times bestseller Long Drive Home. My short stories and creative nonfiction have appeared in Zoetrope: All-Story, Glimmer Train, Shenandoah, The Cincinnati Review, American Short Fiction, One Story, Slate, and elsewhere.

I work with a range of new and established authors as an editor/ writing coach specializing in literary fiction and creative nonfiction. I edit authors the way I hope to be edited as an author myself. I have two goals as an editor: to help improve the manuscript while respecting the author’s vision and sensibility, and to help the author become a better editor of her own work. I enjoy working with authors who seek honest, rigorous feedback and are able to set aside their egos for the sake of their manuscripts. I don’t think of myself as a manuscript “fixer” but rather as an author’s collaborator, coach, and/or teacher, as the circumstances call for. Testimonials available on request.

Biographies & Memoirs
Literary Fiction Short Story
English (US)
  • MFA in creative writing, Ohio State University
  • MA in English, Ohio State University
  • BA in English, Case Western Reserve University

Work experience


Sep, 1996 — Present

As a freelance editor, I've edited books that won prizes (e.g., The Iowa Short Fiction Award) and were published by a range of small and large presses (e.g., Celadon Books/Macmillan, BOA Editions, Serving House Books, Wayne State University Press, etc.). Stories I've edited have appeared in prize anthologies (e.g., The Pushcart Prize, PEN American Best Debut Short Stories, etc.) and in collections published by Simon & Schuster, W.W. Norton & Company, Twelve (Hachette Book Group), and elsewhere.

One Story

Jul, 2011 — Present

Since 2011, I’ve served as a contributing editor and teacher for the award-winning, Brooklyn-based literary magazine One Story, where I've edited fiction by authors such as John Biguenet, Bonnie Jo Campbell, Emma Donoghue, Erika Krouse, Erin McGraw, B.J. Novak, Tom Paine, George Singleton, Shawn Vestal, and others.

Zoetrope: All-Story

Jan, 2000 — Jan, 2002 (about 2 years)

Editor at large for Zoetrope: All Story, winner of the National Magazine Award for Fiction.


Oct, 1996 — Oct, 1999 (about 3 years)

Executive editor for the United States' top literary quarterly of its time, a five-time finalist and two-time winner of the National Magazine Award for Fiction. Edited fiction by authors such as Richard Bausch, Judy Budnitz, Peter Ho Davies, Junot Diaz, Tony Earley, Nathan Englander, Percival Everett, Peter Gadol, Andrew Sean Greer, J. Robert Lennon, Bobbie Ann Mason, Joyce Carol Oates, Jenny Offill, ZZ Packer, Chuck Palahniuk, Carol Shields, Hannah Tinti, and others,


Douglas Watson's debut story collection is chock-a-block with deaths, births, sea and land voyages, excursions to the library, philosophical asides, and things like wolves. People fall in and out of love, walk in and out of buildings, take two steps forward an... read more
A lyrical and deeply affecting novel recounting the seven days a father spends on the road with his daughter after kidnapping her during a parental visit. Attending a New England summer camp, young Eric Schroder-a first-generation East German immigrant-adopts ... read more
“Darkly beautiful stories about love and loss and every gradation between. Each one is suffused with astonishing wit and tenderness. Well worth the wait!” —Jenny Offill, New York Times bestselling author of Department of Speculation “Reminiscent of George Saun... read more
“Bonnie Jo Campbell is a master of rural America’s postindustrial landscape.” ―Boston GlobeNamed by the Guardian as one of our top ten writers of rural noir, Bonnie Jo Campbell is a keen observer of life and trouble in rural America, and her working-class prot... read more
“More good poems, essays and stories are found in these presses than any other place on the planet.” Richard Ford This 43rd edition of the annual Pushcart Prize – the most celebrated literary series in America – is further proof that these days the heat and he... read more
“A stalwart and staple of American letters.” Kirkus Reviews Winner of honors from the National Book Critics Circle, Publishers Weekly, Poets & Writers / Barnes & Noble and others, and acclaimed by readers and reviewers internationally, The Pushcart Prize serie... read more
THE ESSENTIAL YEARLY GUIDE TO THE NEWEST VOICES IN SHORT FICTION "A book of gems, each one carrying its own particular clarity and cut, that teaches students of writing how limitless the short story form can be." —Marie-Helene Bertino, author of 2 A.M. at The ... read more
It’s Father’s Day 1972 and a young boy’s dad takes him to visit a string of unimpressive ex-girlfriends that could have been his mother; the unconventional detective work of a koan-speaking, Kung Fu–loving uncle solves a case of arson during a pancake breakfas... read more
By turns haunting, hilarious, and heartbreaking, Charles Haverty’s debut collection charts the journeys of men, women, and children cast out of familiar territory into emotional terra incognita where people and things are rarely what they seem. These twelve st... read more
Story Magazine [Winter 2000]

Peter, Lydia Millet and Darcey Steinke, signed.] Lois Rosenthal, editor (, contributors.) [Turchi

Notes (Lois Rosenthal); North of Mt. Shasta (Alison Baker); The Man Who Lived Above Us (Peter Turchi); The Great Inauguration (Lydia Millet); Paper Son (Melissa Hardy); Blood Work (Bonnie Jo Campbell); The Bear Who Could Not Sleep (Melanie Rae Thon); The Voyeu... read more
One Story magazine features one great story every month. Because One Story never publishes an author more than once, you’ll discover a great new writer in every issue. Launched in 2002, One Story has quickly become one of the top American venues for short fict... read more
When a contemporary writer turns her imagination loose inside the images of an iconic artist of the past, the result is storytelling magic at its best. Here are nine tales that bring to vivid life the early decades of the 20th century as witnessed by one of Am... read more
Three days after her twentieth birthday, a young woman who grew up in Germany during World War II crosses the Atlantic to start a new life. Outside Is the Ocean traces Heike’s struggle to find love and happiness in America. After two marriages and a troubled r... read more
In this quirky, humorous, and deeply human short story collection, Pushcart Prize-nominated author R.L. Maizes reminds us that even in our most isolated moments, we are never truly alone.In We Love Anderson Cooper, characters are treated as outsiders because o... read more
In this New York Times bestselling psychological thriller, “a gripping morality tale that raises questions about race, conscience, and the responsibilities of parenthood” (People), a happily married man makes a split-second decision that sends his life into a ... read more
Thirty years after being abandoned by her father on the day of her mother's funeral, Holly struggles with her grandfather's suicidal tendencies, a pioneering woman racer, and other eccentrics while slowly reentering her father's life. A first novel. 40,000 fir... read more

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