I work at Automattic, a fully distributed tech company. I’m currently a story wrangler at WordPress.com, our flagship product, and a senior editor at Longreads, our National Magazine Award-winning publication.
My Substack is 26 Hours, a very occasional newsletter on (not) writing, time, space, and home.
Browse the Best Of archives on my blog, which has been featured in the New York Times, the Atlantic, the Verge, and more.
Hi! I’m Cheri. I have a background in blogging and website building, creative nonfiction, journalism, and customer storytelling and education.
Brand & customer storytelling (WordPress.com)
Short profiles and video success stories of entrepreneurs and small businesses with focuses on sustainability and inclusion, on a website of curated content that I managed for five years.
- HeyMama: Building a Community of Working Mothers
- The Power of One: Cleaning Up the Coastline, One Person at a Time, with Barrel Bag
- Building a Dream Community: Daybreaker and Its Inclusive Global Dance Floor
- Planted Table: A Sustainable Way to Deliver Delicious Vegan Meals
Author & writer spotlights (WordPress.com)
Q&As and interviews with authors, bloggers, and artists in the WordPress community about their books, projects, writing journeys, and online collaborations.
- Where Food and History Meet: Michael W. Twitty’s Culinary Journey at Afroculinaria
- 10,000 Kilometers: Quintin Lake on Walking and Photographing Britain’s Coastline
- What the $@#%: Two Editors on Blogging About Swearing
- Mansfield and Me: Sarah Laing on Comics, Her Graphic Memoir, and New Zealand
Customer inspiration & education (WordPress.com)
- Should You Start a Newsletter?
- “It’s a Place for Writing and Thinking”: On Blogs and What It Means to Own Your Content
- Who Is Your Reader?
- Your Digital Diet in 2017: On Blogging, Reading, and Social Media
- Make Your Business More Accessible with New Blocks
- 10 Ways to Make Your Site More Accessible
- Writing: Finding Everyday Inspiration (20-day email course)
- Writing: Shaping Your Story (4-week workshop course)
Story curation (Longreads)
Curation of the best long-form storytelling on the web, including end-of-year reading lists compiled after combing through 900+ stories in 2020, and thematic lists on obsessions and interests.
- Longreads Best of 2020: COVID-19 Reporting
- Longreads Best of 2020: Arts and Culture Writing
- Longreads Best of 2020: Investigative Reporting
- Longreads Best of 2020: Business Writing
- Longreads Best of of 2020: Essays
- A Reading List on Travel Influencers and the Politics of a Place
- Really Good Shit: A Reading List
- A Reading List to Celebrate World Breast Pumping Day
- The Last Place Where No One Is Looking: Embracing the End Times of Snapchat
Longform nonfiction (Longreads)
Essays and reported features I’ve commissioned, edited, and produced, from illustrated stories to investigative journalism. Writers and artists I’ve worked with have secured representation, published books that have evolved from their stories, won a National Magazine Award, and have been included as notable mentions in the Best American Series.
- The God Phone: a reported essay on one of Burning Man’s oldest art installations
- Coachella, Underground: a reported feature on how the Latino communities in California’s Coachella Valley have adjusted to a life of fear and uncertainty under a Trump administration
- Motherhood on the Line: a reported feature on three women navigating motherhood, coronavirus, and climate change at the U.S.-Mexico border
- California Burning: an essay on home, belonging, and the 2018 Camp Fire in Paradise, one of the deadliest and most destructive fires in California’s history
- Baring the Bones of the Lost Country: The Last Paleontologist in Venezuela: a profile on the last vertebrate paleontologist in Venezuela
- Cut From the Same Cloth: an illustrated essay on mothers and daughters, fashion, and aging and maternal envy
Working with Cheri is a gift. She is an unusual and brilliant combination of an empathetic and incisive editor who always understands how to advance the broader goals of a piece or project, and an eagle-eyed editor with a sharp focus that ensures every detail will be polished. She’s also an exceptional writer who brings deep clarity, honesty, and humanity to everything she touches, be it an intensely personal essay or a press release or a tweet — she writes (and edits) things that people *want* to read.
Michelle W., former Editor-in-Chief at Automattic (2020)
With Cheri Lucas Rowlands, still waters run deep. I’ve had the pleasure of working with Cheri for the past eight years. I can guarantee you two things if you are lucky enough to hire her: She will not be the most vocal member of your team, but she will be the most thoughtful. A deep thinker, Cheri brings her writer’s heart and her photographer’s eye for detail to every project she takes on. She. Notices. Everything. “Good enough” is not a part of her vocabulary. Her best effort is what she gives and what you get, every time, no matter how big or small the project. She’s fuelled by creativity and her own initiative. You can give her direction, but I wouldn’t waste your time. She doesn’t need it. Explain the problem that needs to be solved and leave her to it. If she doesn’t know how to do something, she soon will. She’s a superlative writer, editor, and photographer and a fantastic colleague who never turns down a chance to lend a hand or to teach others.
Krista S., Senior Editor at Longreads (2020)
I have had the pleasure of working with Cheri for many years across different diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives. I am continually in awe of how Cheri takes a half formed idea and turns it into a compelling piece. She’s been a reliable go-to for brainstorming ideas, editing/refining posts, wrangling a project plan, and generally developing powerful content around diversity initiatives. Simply put, I am better and our work is better when aligned with Cheri’s creative, brilliant mind. She has a knack for finding great content and creating it in turn. Beyond that, she’s a kind and generous coworker who regularly has gone above and beyond to make diversity initiatives truly great. I highly recommend working with Cheri especially if you want someone who has experience working across a wide range of content.
Anne M., Developer Relations Wrangler at Automattic (2020)
Cheri is a rare find: a creative thinker with quiet competence. She’s an excellent editor and a hardworking, solid writer with a unique voice and perspective. During her time with Trazzler, our needs were constantly evolving and she was always able to roll with the changes and take on new tasks. She managed our social media presence on Twitter and Facebook, while also providing editorial support, writing and editing articles and blog entries. I would highly recommend her for any of these positions.
Megan C., former Executive Editor at Trazzler.com (2011)