We had the good fortune of connecting with Lesley-Ann Wanliss and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Lesley-Ann, we’d love to hear more about how you thought about starting your own business?
Since I was a child, I have dreamt of being a writer. I wrote my first poem to my mother on blue cartridge paper when I was 5 or 6. And as I got older, writing and theatre bugs bit- pulling me into teaching, directing, and performance. As the years progressed I realized that I was being asked questions about processes by creatives and that my responses added value to the work that was being created. While in St Augustine, doing my Masters in Fine Arts in Creative Writing, I edited a financial document, and a novel and was a dramaturge for a Hall production. It was here that I realized that I was being prepared to entire this line of business. Additionally, I was satisfied and gratified to do what I love and to find ways to earn from it. There is nothing better than to earn while helping people find their way to their best creative process and by extension themselves.

What should our readers know about your business?

In 2020, when COVID began, my company was just a hobby- one of the many things I did on the side to make ends meet. To be honest, I had always imagined that this would be my company but I was scared to start. And I had no idea how to start. I was an English major, what did I know about running a company.

However, in the heart of the pandemic and at the behest of a client who needed writing and editing support for the communication department of a financial institution I began to take the dream into reality. I tailored my company to meet the demand of her department as well as to find the gaps that many PR and marketing firms had at the time. As a boutique service, I am able to offer creative and personal support to teams and individuals whose workload is overwhelming. This has been invaluable for MSMEs and creatives within both the financial and creative sectors. I ended up working with government agencies and academics as well. It was a fast start and evidence that my company was needed even if no one else was doing it.

But this has not been easy; many still dismiss the value of the editor. And by value here I mean the financial value. Everyone wanted a lower rate or to pay me later than when the job was done. This was hard because I had no buffer of a 9-5. This was my bread and butter. Therefore I have spent an extensive amount of time ensuring that clients understood the value I provided and why my rates are what they are. But this also affected my confidence. I quickly began to adjust.

I took online courses to remind myself of the fundamentals of editing, listened to podcasts, and I began to reexamine what my initial dream was. I found that not all my clients were aligned with my dream. This allowed me to pivot into my dream and truly into the ideals of a company that wants people to grow and develop as communicators and to foster creative dreams and aspirations.

As a result, I have been working assiduously at creating digital products as part of my creative passions and helping clients produce content while writing and editing as well as manuscript evaluations. My company is more than grammatical errors. I support our writers, build their confidence, and motivate them to see projects through to fruition.

By doing this I will never have to explain my pricing to anyone or deal with delays in payment. Instead, I can focus on structuring the business processes as I develop creative processes for our clients. My greatest desire is to remind writers that they are not alone they are a part of a community where they can be supported with the tools they need to say what they mean.


Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?

Jamaica is a melting pot of culture

Monday Dubwise at Kaya

Devon House for fish patties pizza and ice cream

Gloria’s in Port Royal for fish

Live music at 22 Jerk on Thursday night

Friday nights at Holy Smokes or Ribbiz in Barbican

Cafe blue in Irish Town

Cane river for a dip in the river

Dub club on Sunday

Frenchmen in Portland


Who else deserves some credit and recognition?

I have never been void of help. I stand in a community in the Caribbean that cheers on those who we believe in and whose promise inspires or motivates us. So how do I answer this without seemingly privileging people and neglecting others?

Maybe by telling you of the core value of my life and the business: UBUNTU: I am because we are. My shoutout is wide

Firstly, the thing that makes this company my heart and soul is the experience I had as the dream of this company was birthed in St Augustine Trinidad. I watched lecturers, writers, and friends from the Caribbean and the diaspora find ways to keep me on my feet and at work as a writer. In this way I am no different than the writers in Harlem from Claude McKay to Langston Hughes who had a village of patrons and artists to keep them sane and fed; even Picasso in Paris had his community. I have been supported in like manner, friends who have invested in my work, in my education, in my sanity, and in my creative development. Even this interview is because my friend thought this is a good opportunity for me.

I cannot in good faith list names without feeling that, later when this is published and re-read, I would say I should have called so and so. My community sustains me. It has made me. To be a writer you are influenced by the place you are born, the experiences you have had, the people you encounter, and what you have read. These are the things that shape what you craft and how you craft. So my Shout Out has to be to my immediate family, close friends who proudly tell others I am the writer, and the individuals who send clients my way because they believe I have a good eye for the creative and believe in LA Wanliss Editing and Consultancy.

Yet when I sit at my desk and I am caught in the malaise and the tedium of being an editor I cast my thoughts to Edwidge Danticat, Nalo Hopkinson, Toni Morrison and Octavia Butler, Isis Semaj Hall, James Balwin, Wilson Harris, and Jacqui Alexander. I listen to hear their voices as I create, challenge and probe. I reserve a port of my Shout Out to them as well.

In the end, my Shout Out goes to the reason I do this: the emerging creatives who are in need of help. They, like the children I taught years ago, remind me that the work is not just about profit, it’s about creating the world we would like to see. My Shout Out is to the dreamers and the executors of these dreams.

Website: www.lawanlisseditingandconsultancy.com

Instagram: @lawanlissedits, @lawlismeds, @yourbeststoryja

Linkedin: @lesleyannwanliss

Twitter: @lawanlissedits

Facebook: @lesleyannwanliss

Youtube: L.A Wanliss

Image Credits
Logo for LA Wanliss Editing and COnsultancy made by Maya Wilkinson Logo for YOur Best podcast made by Shane Blake of Eye Candy Design Studioz Photos taken by Cesar Buelto of Alt Mutimedia

Nominate Someone: ShoutoutMiami is built on recommendations and shoutouts from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.