Hi! I’m Cheri.
I work at Automattic, a fully distributed tech company known for its contributions to the WordPress project and the open web. I’m currently a story wrangler at WordPress.com, our flagship product, and a senior editor at Longreads, our National Magazine Award-winning publication. I do lots of different things — editing, writing, brand and customer storytelling, content curation, social media, and community engagement, to name a few.
My background includes online travel writing (which is how I met my husband!), writing for daily and weekly newspapers on the San Francisco Peninsula, proofreading for a marketing department at a women’s college in Oakland, working for George Lucas’ now-defunct education magazine at Skywalker Ranch, and teaching in K-12 classrooms in the U.S. and Thailand. I also love taking photos, especially while looking for street art, wandering new cities, and exploring the outdoors.
I have a BA in screenwriting from Loyola Marymount University and an MFA in creative nonfiction from Goucher College. I haven’t had as much time as I’d like for personal writing in the past decade, but you can browse samples in my blog’s archives or read a few pieces below:
- One Landscape Does Not Fit All: on finding a place to park my tiny house
- On (Un)organized Consumption: on productivity and the labyrinthine web
- That Thing I Wrote That Wasn’t True: On Facts, Memoir & John D’Agata: on handling facts when writing memoir
- On Everything and Nothing & Reading and Not Writing: on information overload
- The End of an Era, the Beginning of the Future (and the Long Moment in Between): on the unique connections made in the underground rave scene
I’m a versatile writer and editor with 20 years of print and web experience. Here’s a glimpse into my professional work and personal writing from the past decade.
There’s a lot to explore here! If you’re pressed for time, consider these examples:
- a feature on undocumented farmworkers in the Coachella Valley (editing)
- an illustrated essay on tea, traveling, and the search for home (editing)
- a Q&A with a food writer on identity cooking and culinary justice (writing)
- a profile on the founder of Daybreaker, a morning dance party (writing)
- a curated showcase of Saveur Blog Award-nominated food blogs (writing)
- a resource and how-to on web accessibility (writing)
- the WordPress.com Instagram page (social content)
Commissioning and editing longform nonfiction.
As a senior editor at Longreads, I commission, edit, and produce original narrative nonfiction — personal and reported essays, illustrated features, investigative features — as well as reading lists, author interviews, and book excerpts. Some writers I’ve worked with have published books based on their Longreads stories or have secured representation, and an essay I edited in 2019 recently won a National Magazine Award. I gravitate toward pieces about unconventional lifestyles, marginalized communities, or fresh takes on a topic. A few examples of pieces I’ve edited and produced:
- 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 the Trump administration
- The God Phone: a reported essay on one of the oldest art installations at Burning Man
- Chasing the Harvest: ‘If You Want to Die, Stay at the Ranch’: an oral history of the challenges and dangers a migrant farmworker faced while tending sheep in California
- California Burning: a personal essay on home, belonging, and the Camp Fire in Paradise, the deadliest and most destructive fire in California’s history to date
- Baring the Bones of the Lost Country: The Last Paleontologist in Venezuela: a profile on the last vertebrate paleontologist in crisis-ridden Venezuela
- Cut From the Same Cloth: an illustrated essay on mothers and daughters, fashion, and aging and maternal envy
Showcasing authors, artists, and creators.
My role as a story wrangler at WordPress.com is all about inspiring people to create and express themselves, empowering customers to launch their Big Ideas, and sharing important stories and amplifying voices that need to be heard.
I publish interviews with interesting people in the WordPress community: bloggers, authors, artists, publishers, small business owners, and even my colleagues. I love highlighting blog-to-book journeys, LGBTQ+ and BIPOC creators, and writers with unique yet relatable stories. Some examples:
- Draw The Line: Bringing Comic Artists Together to Effect Positive Political Change: an interview with a UK illustrator who founded a comics site that offers practical ways for people to take positive political and social action
- Where Food and History Meet: Michael W. Twitty’s Culinary Journey at Afroculinaria: an interview with The Cooking Gene author on identity cooking, culinary justice, and blogging versus writing a book
- Writer and Activist Sam Dylan Finch on Being Vulnerable, Creating a Supportive Space, and Going Viral: an interview with a trans writer on mental health and blogging
- Raising a Rainbow: An Interview with Author Lori Duron: a Q&A with a parenting blogger who writes about raising a gender-creative son
- Fairy Tales, Reimagined: A New Series from Jerry Mahoney: an interview with the author of Mommy Man about his modern series of fairy tales for children
Brand and customer storytelling.
I’ve featured countless writers, artists, entrepreneurs, and creative professionals on WordPress.com’s editorial and social channels. I’m drawn to featuring people whose values — like inclusivity and sustainability — align with that of our brand. Here are a few success stories of people who have used their WordPress websites to scale their businesses and effect change in their communities.
- Building a Dream Community: Daybreaker and Its Inclusive Global Dance Floor: a profile of Radha Agrawal, the founder of a morning dance party and wellness movement
- The Power of One: Cleaning Up the Coastline, One Person at a Time, with Barrel Bag: a feature on Tucker Grooms, the 18-year-old founder of a nonprofit that manufactures reusable bags to collect plastic at the beach
- HeyMama: Building a Community of Working Mothers: a feature on a woman-founded membership network for working moms
- Planted Table: A Sustainable Way to Deliver Delicious Vegan Meals: a profile of a zero-waste, vegan meal delivery service founded by two sisters
Community inspiration and product education.
Over the years, I’ve written how-to content, email courses on writing and photography, and resources for different segments of our target audience. Engaging readers and helping people succeed are a core part of my job.
- 10 Ways to Make Your Site More Accessible: a resource published on Global Accessibility Awareness Day with tips on making your website reader-friendly for everyone
- “It’s a Place for Writing and Thinking”: On Blogs and What It Means to Own Your Content: advice from influencers on the benefits of having your own online space
- Make Your Business More Accessible with New Blocks: a quick-start guide to using new features in the WordPress block editor
- How to Use Instagram to Promote Your Site and Extend Your Reach: beginner’s tips on using Instagram to promote your content, direct traffic to your website, and expand your audience
- How to Create a Website Logo: A Tutorial for Non-Designers: a step-by-step guide on making a custom logo, using Canva
At Longreads, I help curate the best longform stories published on the web. At WordPress.com, I’m constantly on the lookout for notable blogs and websites, curating the best of WordPress and sourcing content to create tailored experiences at events, in campaigns, and other marketing projects. You can browse my recommendations over the years or see examples of curated lists compiling this content:
- On Injustice, Inequality, and Being Black in America: A Reading List: reading recommendations to better understand systemic racism in the U.S.
- “Unite & Represent”: Asian American Writers on WordPress: a showcase of Asian American writers to promote the 2019 AAJA convention
- Ways to Participate Online for Earth Day’s 50th Anniversary — and Take Action Every Day: a site showcase of environmental organizations and publications
- What Do the Web’s Top Food Blogs Have in Common? They’re on WordPress.: a roundup of Saveur Blog Award 2019 finalists
- Blogging in the Time of Coronavirus: A Reading List: writing and art published by the WordPress community in response to the pandemic and lockdown
Social media management.
More recently, from November 2019 to the present, I’ve managed WordPress.com and Automattic’s social presence across seven channels, writing and designing content, managing our content calendar, planning and executing campaigns, and sharing monthly reports on organic audience growth and engagement. Explore WordPress.com on Instagram and Twitter or Automattic on LinkedIn for examples of posts.
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 Cytron, former Executive Editor at Trazzler.com (2011)
Cheri is truly one-of-a-kind! She currently edits, proofs, and provides quality control to a high volume of print and online publications that the College produces. She manages our editorial style guide, stays up on all the rules and their application to Mills, and is our go-to person for editing a variety of materials from catalogs to press releases to promotional brochures to web pages. Cheri is 100% reliable, a dedicated worker who just focuses on getting whatever job done without any drama, and is completely responsive to whatever we need. She moves in and out of every project with quiet efficiency while completing a mountain of work! I highly recommend her!
Judy Silva, Associate Vice President of Marketing at Mills College (2011)
Cheri Lucas has written book reviews for the Daily Journal for more than five years. Her writing style and level of expertise is superb. She is a self-starter with a high level of independence, creativity and skill and has been a true asset to our publication from day one. I am thrilled to receive her submissions and to include them in our newspaper.
Jon Mays, Editor-in-Chief at the San Mateo Daily Journal (2009)