Hometown and state: Grew up in Duncan, Arizona, and Provo, Utah. I currently reside in Pleasant Grove, Utah.
Staff position: Editor in Chief
Career: Before becoming a professor at BYU in 2005, I worked for 28 years as a full-time editor and writer for the Ensign and Liahona magazines, both of which are distributed worldwide. For more than half of those years, I was managing editor of the Liahona.
Major: English language
Hometown and state: Plymouth, MN
Career goals: Work as a freelance editor and dance professionally
Favorite Book: To Kill a Mockingbird
Favorite vacation locale: Anywhere in either Spain or the Virgin Islands
One vacation necessity: It’s boring, but a camera. I can hardly remember a trip without pictures from it. Pictures always seem to solidify the event in my memory, just like writing does.
I never leave home without: Obviously my phone, but also my Nalgene water bottle. I bring that thing everywhere, and I drink at least three a day; my day is literally ruined when I leave it at home.
Favorite quote: “The purpose of art is washing the dust of daily life off our souls.” Pablo Picasso
Major: English major; editing and music minor
Hometown and state: Tacoma, WA
Career goals: I hope to become magazine editor.
Favorite part of editing: The end product. There’s something so satisfying about making a good piece of work great.
One vacation necessity: Plan B
I have never . . . been to Disneyland.
Dream travel location: I would love to go to Chiapas, Mexico and visit the ancient Mayan civilizations.
Hometown and state: Mesa, AZ
Career goals: I would love to write and edit for a publication that allowed me to travel and meet people from various cultures.
Favorite book: Omeros by Derek Walcott
Favorite vacation experience: Discovering my roots in Ireland and Scotland
One vacation necessity: An open heart that seeks new experiences, cultures, and people.
Favorite quote: “Even the most unlearned of men knows that the truly most important matters of life are those for which we have no words.” –Chaim Potok
Major: English Language, editing minor
Hometown and state: Richland, Washington
Career goals: I want to work with words as an editor, or on a magazine staff, but mostly I just want to repair old books at the Trinity College Library in Dublin.
Favorite vacation experience: The summer I spent traveling through Ireland, Wales, England, Scotland, and France changed my life and has made me crave travel ever since.
One vacation necessity: don’t plan too much, let the trip take you where you are supposed to go
Favorite quote: “Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?” – Mary Oliver
I have never . . . packed exactly the right amount of clothing on a trip
Hometown and State: Clinton, Mississippi
Career Goals: Novelist
Favorite Part of Editing: Seeing a piece take life and become something real and exciting
One Vacation Necessity: Schedule/Planner/Phone
Quote I Love: “Moonlight drowns out all but the brightest stars”—Tolkein
Dream Travel Location: Australia and the Great Barrier Reef
Hometown and state: Omak, Washington
Favorite part of editing: Definitely collaborating with other passionate writers, there’s nothing I love more than helping something incredible go to print.
Favorite vacation locale: The sea. I grew up happily in the dry mountains of Eastern Washington but as soon as I reach an ocean, I wonder if it had always been calling my name.
One vacation necessity: Food. I tell people I don’t believe in souvenirs because I need the money for exotic meats and crusty artisan bread.
I never leave home without: My pocketknife. It comes in handy.
Major: Humanities, English emphasis
Hometown and state: Las Vegas, NV
Career goals: Besides opening a pizzeria with my husband, I eventually want to have enough editing and design experience that I can work on freelance projects that really care about.
Favorite vacation locale: Anywhere new. I’m most in my element when I’m thrown into an unfamiliar place that I have to figure out.
One vacation necessity: The promise of really good food. I begin planning my travel days with a map of the places I want to eat.
I have never… had a brain freeze. I don’t care if it’s snowing outside, I am most likely on the prowl for a frozen treat. One of my greatest talents is my ability to rapidly memorize ice cream flavors in any language.
Other interesting travel tidbit: I have fallen asleep on nearly every mode of transportation known to man.
Major: English major; editing minor
Hometown and state: Draper, UT
Career goals: I hope to be a literary agent so that I can work directly with authors to edit their work and then connect them with the publishing company that best fits their genre and needs.
Favorite part of editing: Copyediting. My perfectionism can finally be put to good use.
Favorite vacation experience: I got to spend my birthday adventuring in Oman. It was the most surreal experience being around such different people and such a different culture.
Favorite quote: “I am no man; I am dynamite.” —Friedrich Nietzsche
Other interesting travel tidbit: I collect an original painting from every country I visit.
Hometown and state: Bakersfield, California
Career goals: Although it changes just about every semester, I’ve pretty much narrowed it down to working in magazines or online publications writing, editing, or designing.
Favorite vacation experience: Cramming 12 people into one dumpy hotel room on a weekend trip from Utah to Disneyland.
Favorite quote: “In three words I can sum up everything I’ve learned about life: it goes on.” Robert Frost
Dream travel location: Cinque Terre, Italy
Other interesting travel tidbit: My most exotic trips have been without my parents—I guess the travel bug skips a generation.
Eve Hart Smith
Major: Communications with Advertising emphasis; editing minor
Hometown and state: Puyallup, Washington
Career goals: One day, I want to edit for a book publisher like Scholastic or for a magazine like National Geographic. My ultimate goal is to publish a novel—if I ever get around to finishing one.
Favorite part of editing: Copyediting—I’m a grammar guru!
Favorite vacation experience: My family used to visit my Great Grandma Woodbury in California. Going to her house always meant new adventures: going to Disneyland, riding the log flume at Knott’s Berry Farm, seeing Aladdin in the movie theater, and collecting rocks in her backyard.
Dream travel location: Biltmore Estate in North Carolina
Other interesting travel tidbit: I don’t like travelling unless I’ve heard something cool about the place I’m going to or I have family connections there.
Major: Humanities, English emphasis
Hometown and state: Peterson, Utah
Career Goals: I dream of reading, writing, and editing YA and romance novels, and of making them accessible to the public through librarianship.
Favorite book: I Capture the Castle, which takes me straight to the British countryside, one of my favorite places to visit. I adore the Lake District—while there I got to pretend I was William Wordsworth, overlooking gorgeous, misty Lake Windermere.
One vacation necessity: I’d never go on vacation without a good diary on-hand to catch any bursts of poetic whimsy that may strike.
Favorite quote: I love Georgie Anne Geyer’s wisdom: “Follow what you love! Don’t deign to ask what ‘They’ are looking for. Follow not your interests, which change, but what you are and what you love, which will and should not change.”
Dream travel location: India. The scenery, culture, religion, fashion, cuisine, and music are all exotic, enticing, and uniquely rich.
Major: Communications: Journalism
Hometown and state: Rochester, Michigan
Career goals: I’d love to work for a magazine someday or be involved in corporate communications for a company I’m passionate about.
Favorite Book: The Giver
Favorite vacation experience: I went to Israel with my family when I was 18, and I loved it. My family rented a car and drove all around with a GPS, and I’ll still never forget the night we got lost in Nazareth. Late at nighttime, it can turn into a pretty scary place! Overall though, from the Sea of Galilee to the Garden Tomb, it has been my favorite vacation yet.
One vacation necessity: Comfortable walking shoes.
Other interesting travel tidbit: I’ve traveled to over 18 countries, but I secretly have a fear of flying. Turbulence or any funny noises at all in the plane make me extremely nervous—but I am proof that you can still see the world and travel even with a fear of flying. I won’t let it hold me back!
Sara Grasley (Townsend)
Hometown and State: Alameda, CA
Career Goals: Freelance Editor
Book I Love: Man’s Search for Meaning by Viktor Frankl
One Vacation Necessity: SNACKS!
I never leave home without: clothes on
Quote I Love: “Give a man a fire and he’s warm for a day, but set fire to him and he’s warm for the rest of his life.”—Terry Pratchett
I have never: Been to the east coast, much less another country. But I hope this isn’t always true.
Major: Communications: Advertising
Hometown and state: Knoxville, Tennessee
Career goals: I want to work for an advertising agency as an account executive, and I want to have a lot of fun clients.
Favorite vacation experience: once while visiting NYC, my sister had to work a lot. So, I got to wander around the streets alone for a few days just observing sights and sounds and people.
One vacation necessity: John Legend
Favorite quote: “Y’all gonna make me lose my mind up in here, up in here.” -DMX
Other interesting travel tidbit: I rarely sleep while en route. I almost always stay alert to what’s going on around me.
Major: English with a Minor in Editing (received May 2013)
Hometown and state: South Jordan, Utah
Career goals: Currently a freelance editor and writer working on recent projects for Covenant Communications and Ancestry.com. But I would love to edit full time for a book or magazine publisher.
Favorite book: Dune by Frank Herbert or Seventh Son by Orson Scott Card.
Favorite part of editing: Developmental or Substantive Editing (But I love copyediting too.)
Favorite vacation locale: Mombasa or the Masai Mara in Kenya, Africa
Favorite vacation experience: I loved my visit to the Masai Mara National Reserve in Kenya. I was amazed by how close we could get to lions, giraffes, elephants, and hippos while on our safaris. However, my close encounter with a huge spider was not my favorite aspect of my trip.
One vacation necessity: A safety pin. I’ve learned my lesson in the past: whenever I don’t have one, I always find that I need one desperately when something—my pack or my tent—rips open or becomes unstitched at the seams during my trip.
Staff position: Web Advisor