Editorial / Content Marketing / Brand Storytelling


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.

Personal writing

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, working with K-12 students and teachers, creative nonfiction, journalism, and customer storytelling and education.

There’s a lot to explore here! If you’re pressed for time, consider these examples:

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:

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:

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.

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.

Content curation.

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:

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)