What’s new: Alcohol, art, travel + writing

Since January I have been hustling, learning a new full-time job and writing more freelance copy than ever. I’m feeling inspired, ambitious and hungry for more. There’s a fire in my belly to write new pieces, and more importantly, a drive to break out of my comfortable and habitual writing format.

Here are a few highlights from the past six months:

New job In January I made the very difficult decision to quit my job as Richmond mag’s associate editor and R•Home’s managing editor for a job as communications manager at the Visual Arts Center of Richmond. At VisArts I wear many hats: I do public relations, marketing and branding, ad purchasing, graphic design, website and social media updating, among may other things that come my way in the form of communications. I couldn’t completely say goodbye to my former job, so I’m writing for Richmond, R•Home and Richmond Bride magazines on the side. (This reminds me: You should pick up the Summer 2014 issue of Richmond Bride mag to read my Q&A with couture wedding dress designer Aimee Lauren. She is creating exquisite gowns!)

Southern Living stories For nearly two years I’ve been freelancing for Southern Living, and in the past few months I’ve been working on a handful of travel and style stories for the publication. My pieces are slated for publication at the end of the summer and early in the fall. This writing gig is such a blessing. When I was at Boston University’s journalism school I remember seeing a travel journalism class and thinking “What a dream job.” Some days, I take a step back and look at what I’m writing for Southern Living and my heart just explodes. I grew up with the magazine on my parent’s coffee table and my mom taught me how to cook out of SL’s cookbooks. It’s beautiful to have many chapters in my life with this publication.

Paste magazine stories In April I started writing stories on the alcohol industry for Paste magazine. My pieces include features, lists, recipes, reviews and hopefully in the future a few personal essays. To see what I’m writing for Paste, click here.

Virginia Press Awards In early April I attended the VPAs. I knew I won an award but wasn’t sure what for specifically. Turns out R•Home mag won first place for cover design. I’m so happy to share the award with two of my favorite Richmond publishing ladies, Brandon Fox and Lee Hawkins. Lee Hawkins is an amazing, talented graphic designer who is forward-thinking and always knocks it out of the park with her designs at the VPAs. If you’ve ever picked up R•Home off the local newsstand you’ll know what I’m talking about: all Lee’s cover designs are winners.

Art stuff With my new job at VisArts I have been taking art classes. I just finished up a six-week Intro to Woodworking class and next week am starting a graphic design class to better my marketing skills. I’m enjoying these extracurricular classes because I’m using my brain and hands in a new way.

A few other exciting projects are on the horizon. Stay tuned! xo, marissa

Shepherdstown, West Virginia travel story in Southern Living

SL_May2014cover

Pick up a copy of Southern Living’s May issue to read my travel story on Shepherdstown, West Virginia, a charming little town an hour-and-a-half drive from Washington, D.C. My story highlights the cool places to shop and tasty places to eat in the little town of 1,700 people. Also in this issue, my friend and fellow journalist Kristin Luna wrote a wonderful travel piece on Louisville, Kentucky’s East Market District. It’s always a treat to share some ink with writers you admire. Happy reading!

Virginia travel stories in Southern Living

southern living april 2014 coverHey friends,

I wrote a travel story on Lynchburg, Virginia, that is published in the April issue of Southern Living. Lynchburg always will have a special place in my heart. After leaving Colorado, I lived in Lynchburg for about two years and worked at the town’s newspaper as a page designer and copy editor. When I moved there I was lost and confused and ended up finding myself and a tribe of people I have come to love. So, having this travel story published means very, very much to me. Be sure to grab a copy or read the story here. My story is only printed in the MVA travel zones, which are distributed in Delaware, Maryland and Virginia.

Also, back in November Southern Living published a travel story I wrote on where to shop in Charlottesville, Virginia, on their website. Read that story here.

I have a few other travel pieces I wrote for Southern Living that I’m hoping to see in print soon. Stay tuned!

Cheers, marissa