non-Fiction testimonials

- Including storytelling for business -

From memoirs to ‘how to’ books, family histories to company histories, I listen to your ideas for your project and help you get it done! Discover how these story tellers realised their goals with A Story to Tell.



Sarah Willoughby

Working with Ann Bolch has been an absolute pleasure. As a first-time author, I was unsure about the editing process. During our initial phone conversation, Ann immediately put me at ease.

I felt reassured that I had found the right person to guide me through the various editing stages, which she continued to do with flexibility and humour.

She has been reliable, compassionate and supportive. Honest in her feedback, this has been delivered with tact, knowledge and insight.

Offering a plethora of solutions to help the words come alive, she successfully honoured my writing style and message.

The quality of my writing has improved immensely over the past eight months of working together, which is a testament to Ann’s experience and her personal commitment to writing.

If you have an idea that needs fleshing out, have made some tracks with your story or even completed your first draft, I would have no hesitation in recommending Ann to help you bring your book to the world.


David Macintosh

I sent Ann a manuscript, expecting her to make some comments, and was surprised and delighted to find how thorough and rigorous she was.

We met and she had no hesitation in telling me what was good and bad about it and how I might improve it.

She was also firm in advising what should be left out.

Ann is a careful, compassionate and accurate editor and most importantly, successfully guided me towards eventual publication.


John Elliott

By some miracle I came across Ann at A Story to Tell by a wrong number. Luckily we connected because I was just about to start my first blog.  

Ann has been great assisting me to get the best out of my writing without changing my tone and style.  

It’s been a pleasure working with her and I would encourage any first time writer like myself to get in touch with her and have a conversation today.


Martin Wren

We really enjoy the variety of work NOVA has for us. This organisation certainly knows its stuff. Please read on for CEO Martin Wren’s comments about what we achieve together.

Ann Bolch has been a real asset to my organisation. She can turn her hand to all types of writing and editing, and does so enthusiastically, thoughtfully and in a timely manner.

She has skilfully pulled together a variety of projects for us, including individual and company profiles for our website and for LinkedIn, media releases, collating, interviewing and writing material for our success stories and blogs, and our fabulous Transition to Work website.

Ann listens to our needs and then goes off and does her thing … always coming back with something that utterly reflects Nova Employment. She does this in a friendly, compassionate and professional way.

Another of Ann’s skills that we draw on is collaborwriting for yours truly. She was instrumental in pulling my first book together The Ten Demandments

She also created and maintains my website and blog at Employment First.

Ann supports and challenges me to develop my thinking, patiently ensuring that my written communication is current and frequent.

Without her, this aspect of my work would get lost in the day to day.

Pick up the phone and call Ann if you are stuck for words, want to make sure your message is on the money and/or seek creative literary guidance.

We did this some time ago now and Ann’s certainly supported me and my organisation to improve and clarify our presentation.

She weaves words into stories to highlight our strengths, which is not only good for our reputation and branding, but also good for our morale.

Full of great ideas, Ann delivers on time and beyond brief – I couldn’t ask for more.


Sabine Raschhofer

Screw the Rules was my first ever attempt at a book – or a piece of writing as such.

Not knowing where to start, A Story to Tell came recommended to me by a self-publishing consultant who I had met at a readers and writers festival in Bali.

Both Ann Bolch, who did my first round of editing, and Jo Scanlan, who took on the job of the final round of editing some time later, very much exceeded my expectations.

Their approach was extremely professional (as much as caring) from start to finish.

From the get-go Ann and Jo ‘got me’ as a person and always made sure that their suggested changes would keep my writing authentic. 

My dealings with A Story to Tell were very inspiring and I have certainly learnt and grown a lot in the process.

I’m very grateful to Ann and Jo for all their support along the way; it made the whole experience of creating a book a very enjoyable one, to the point where I’m almost sad that it is all finished now.


Gabrielle Bergen

Gabrielle Bergan’s heartfelt memoir Return to My Soul was in very good shape when it came to us from across the seas. She’d been crafting the story and shaping the words. Now she needed a fresh pair of eyes. Here’s what she has to say …

I came across Ann Bolch’s website while looking for an Australian editor to read through the draft of my first book, Return to My Soul, prior to publishing.

I wanted to make sure that the manuscript was the best it could be.

I could see from Ann’s website that she has a genuine interest in the art of storytelling, and that rhythm is important to her; the rhythm of a story is important to me too.

Ann replied promptly to my email, and we agreed on a copy edit. She was the perfect person for me to work with.

I write concisely, but Ann showed me how to refine my writing even more, for which I’m grateful.

During our Skype calls, I was able to discuss areas of the text that I was unsure about. This was very important to me because I had worked on my own with the manuscript for a long time and I had many questions.

Because Ann had immersed herself in my story, our discussions were of great value.

Ann is an experienced and good editor. She gives a lot of herself.

She is honest in her feedback and when she’s unsure about something she’ll find out and let you know. She’s also reliable and keeps deadlines.

It’s been a pleasure to work with Ann. I recommend her warmly.


Alicia Kokocinski

It was a messy writing assignment – pulling together content from lots of sources in all sorts of formats and varying degrees of writing quality.

In fact, it could have been called tedious and boring.

But Ann tackled the drafting of writing three guides to support volunteers and volunteering in Victoria with great patience and skill.

Ann’s fabulous value-add is that she writes with her brain switched on – pointing out gaps and flaws in the products and providing suggestions on what might address them.

In addition, Ann has produced some lively and empathetic volunteer stories for our website.

She brought the right tone to the brief – telling stories which covered a lot of ground without losing sight of the character and story of each individual – why they do what they do, and what makes volunteering great.

Ann’s service is terrific. She delivers on time and according to the brief (including those that metamorphose during a project).

She offers insight and is a pleasure to work with – and you can’t put a price on that.


Danny McAllister

Ann took my first manuscript from wordy babble into a concise read that still reflected my aims and hopes for Frustration Point!

I loved our ‘chapter chats’. These were fun fortnightly sessions where Ann presented me with her thoughts on the strengths and areas for improvement for each of the chapters.

Although there was a lot to do, she helped me break the work into manageable chunks, always coaching me to think about exactly what I was trying to say then helping me say it clearly.

This method (of asking strategic questions and encouraging me to answer them) both kept the cost down and improved my writing.

She taught me about the skills, quirks and habits of writing, which has inspired me to keep going.

Before meeting Ann, I had feared that writing clearly and expressing my thoughts passionately might be beyond me. Now I know it isn’t.

As a personal trainer, I’m always thinking about how to get the best out of people.

Ann’s gentle but unrelenting questioning, and engaging nature means she does this intuitively.

Her advice on structure, flow and message guided the manuscript to become exactly the book I’d hoped for.

I’ve had so much great feedback from people reading the book then making a commitment to change their lives for the better. I’m eternally grateful for Ann’s part in that.

She’s a gem!


Dennis Gentilin

Though Dennis Gentilin describes his book as technical, I believe he has created an important addition to our understanding of ethics at a vital time. Based on his experience of working at the FX trading desk at the National Australia Bank, Dennis draws on the disciplines of psychology and philosophy to explain how we can all feel the temptations experienced by NAB staff during a significant trading scandal in the 2000s.

Even when writing a technical book, a great deal of creativity is required.

The success of the book is largely predicated on how well the author links the concepts and ideas within it, and provides the reader with a narrative.

Non-fiction writers, too, have a “story to tell”.

Doing this successfully is extraordinarily challenging, especially for a first time author.

It is therefore understandable that I approached Ann from A Story to Tell harbouring a lot of uncertainty about my writing.

Had I done my topic justice? Did I dive into the academic literature too deeply and risk losing my readers? Were the concepts presented understandable to the layperson? Did the book “flow”?

Most importantly, had I produced something that deserved to sit on a bookshelf?

Ann was able to allay many of my concerns, and not only provide me with the guidance that all first time authors require, but give me the confidence to take the next step in my journey as a writer – publication.


Mike Adams

I required strong guidance and coaching to bring my book The Intrepid CEO to fruition.

I had the raw manuscript ready but I needed some magic to structure the book and strip out the excess, fine-tune the writing and strengthen my voice.

Ann Bolch created a plan to achieve this and in her unique way steered me through the process.

Ultimately, Ann truly cares about writers bringing their work to life.

She is a pleasure to work alongside; fun, smart, incredibly knowledgeable and a genuine partner on your writing journey.

We will work together again. There are more books to come! Thanks Ann.


Ana Sewards

My grandmother’s story had been typed out and published in an old-fashioned format that was tatty and wouldn’t last much longer.

Ann had a look at the manuscript and we then discussed exactly what I had in mind as an end product.

To start with I went to Officeworks and they copied the manuscript onto a USB stick; this was then taken to the typist and passed on to Ann for copyediting. Lu Sexton then proofread and laid it out.

Ann and I discussed what size I would like the book to be and the image for the front cover; I found a photograph of my grandmother which was appropriately placed with the title Marsie.

Lu managed the project to completion, and throughout Ann was available to help me.

I made an order for six copies of the memoirs and am very happy with the result.


John Corrigan

Quite simply, I needed an editor.

I needed the editing to be done to a tight timeframe and with minimum pain. Both were achieved by the team at A Story to Tell.

Through this experience, I now understand the value of a good editor.

A good editor removes content that doesn’t fit, suggests where areas need to be further fleshed out and

gives an objective view on the shape of the whole book – all difficult for the author themselves to do.

I was particularly delighted by the team’s speed and efficiency.

Less surprising but equally valuable was their contribution to a better use of language and a good understanding of the whole shape of the book.

I absolutely recommend A Story to Tell.


Helen Pike

We were pleased to have Ann Bolch’s skills on board when we set up our Fernlea House Memoirs Program.

As a writer, editor and interviewer, she knew exactly how to ask questions of our guests to get their memories rolling and their stories flowing. And she backed up these concrete skills with patience, compassion and an interest in people.

As an example for other volunteers to follow, Ann recorded Fernlea’s first memoir with a man in his 50s who was dying of Motor Neurone Disease. Together, they laughed, cried and pondered their way through his life.

For around one hour per week for eight weeks, Ann recorded his story and transcribed the recording, then read back the details the following week, checking the tone and the facts, and making any required changes.

With very little editing (to keep our guest’s story exactly as told), Ann compiled the transcriptions in a bound A4 booklet with accompanying photos.

Our guest could enjoy the recognition of a life well lived and his family have a memento now that he is no longer with us.

As a further service, Ann trained other volunteers (alongside Leonie Scott and the late Frances Foletta) in the art of writing questions, creating a safe space to tell stories, and listening.

She helped our volunteers learn the technical skills of recording, transcribing and editing the text. All this was done with respect for each person’s skills and experience.

Ann’s professional and personal skills would be an asset to any individual or organisation wanting their story told.


Maria Lacey

Ann from A Story to Tell is a compassionate, organised and professional editor.

As an author sharing a very personal memoir One Path, Many Lights I felt sensitive and vulnerable, and Ann guided me through this journey with understanding, patience and thoughtfulness.

I can’t thank her enough for the lessons within the editing process, such as exploring some of the finer details of my story, cutting back on adjectives and writing in a more concrete way, while still maintaining my style.

I know I am becoming a better writer for the experience. I am presently writing another book and will not hesitate in engaging Ann to join me on this journey once again.

Thank you.


Kevin Hadley

Having served a five-year term as Victorian Executive Director of the Australian Marketing Institute I’m am often asked, “What is the most important skill required to produce an effective marketing strategy or campaign?” 

The answer no longer fills me with dread as my head rumbles through all the tasks encompassed by the word marketing.

In the end one word always stands head and shoulders above the rest: communication. By this I mean accessible and powerful communication to a target audience in need.

All too often great products and services fail to meet their potential in a competitive marketplace simply because the words failed to stimulate the imagination or even reach their target – physically and emotionally.

If the old adage is true that 50% of any marketing campaign goes down the drain why not improve the odds by engaging a creative and professional wordsmith genius?

In senior marketing roles over the past thirty years I have had regular need of writing and editing skills that include listening to and interpreting briefs of all types.

I have finally found the perfect crew to meet my diverse objectives and have great pleasure in vouching for the team at A Story to Tell.

Yes, they offer reliable, creative and supportive service but what mattered most was the time they took to truly understand my requirements.

I’m hardly a big corporate entity but I do feel important to their team, and that’s a nice relationship to have.

Take the time to talk to A Story to Tell for your communication needs. It’s an excellent investment in strategic, clear, effective communications. 


Pepi Ronalds

Ann Bolch generously cast her editorial eye over my essay ‘After Shock – Experiencing the 2011 Japanese Earthquake’.

She tightened my prose while encouraging me and respecting my writer’s voice.

At the end of the process I not only had a better essay but also a better understanding of my own writerly weaknesses and a list of things I can do to overcome them.

That list remains a presence at my desk and I refer to it in the review phase of all of my work.

Ann is efficient in so many ways. As an editor she applies her sensitivity to improve words, ensuring clarity and meaning.

Her IPEd qualification enables her to be consistent in editorial style.

Her project management skills get everything done in an organised and timely manner. And she can write too.

If you want to see her work in action, check out her mark-up of my post in this co-production, ‘On Writing Tight and Loving Hard Arses’.

Ann is a sensitive and capable editor as well as great writer. Hire her!