About

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I’m Alaina Leary, a Boston-based “Swiss Army knife” of publishing and digital media skills. I’m a creator and a storyteller across all forms of media.

Since I was young, I’ve been asking the question, “How can I make this happen?” If something existed, I wanted to improve it. If something didn’t exist, I wanted to be the one to create it. In seventh grade, I began my own freelance business making graphics and web layouts, and I wrote, edited, and produced my own 365-page book, which ended up winning a local award.

My biggest achievement to date? Having my HelloGiggles essay shared by George Takei. And being published in Cosmopolitan, strictly because it was my mom’s favorite magazine of all time.

My goal as a publishing and media professional is on amplifying marginalized voices across all aspects of the industry, from the staff members we hire to the creative works we publish and create. In my social media work for We Need Diverse Books, I regularly plan and moderate Twitter chats about diversity in publishing with authors, illustrators, editors, agents, and other publishing professionals. I also co-hosted a #CripLit Twitter Chat in conjunction with Alice Wong (of the Disability Visibility Project) and Nicola Griffith. In October 2016, I was a panelist for Bookbuilders of Boston‘s panel, “How Do We Make Publishing More Inclusive?” about the state of diversity in the industry. I co-organized and moderated a Boston Public Library and Children’s Book Council event, “How an Idea Becomes a Book: Behind the Scenes of Publishing,” aimed at teens who want to join the publishing industry. I also received a Bookbuilders of Boston scholarship in 2017 for my dedication to diversity and marginalized voices in my work.

Personally, I dislike the traditional bio structure because it emphasizes professional experience, awards, and publications, but here it is for the curious folk. I’m a book and magazine editor, a publicist, and a social media assistant for We Need Diverse Books. I edit for Her Campus, Luna Luna Magazine, The Deaf Poets SocietyGerm Magazineand several other publications, and I’m a regular writer for Everyday Feminism, Ravishly, and Rooted in Rights. I’m also a sensitivity reader, and you can contact me to have work up to full-length book manuscripts read. I’ve had work published in Washington Post, Cosmopolitan, Teen VogueBoston Globe Magazine, Seventeen, Marie Claire, Chicago Tribune, Allure, BustleEveryday FeminismThe Rumpus, HelloGiggles, RackedBust, The EstablishmentRedbookGood Housekeeping, Woman’s DayBrooklyn Magazine, AfterEllenBlogHerCulture: the word on cheese, Ravishly, The Fem Literary Magazine, and more.

I have been featured in Autostraddle‘s Queer Crip Love Fest and this #DisabledAndCute photo gallery, on the Minorities in Publishing podcast, in SheUnplugged‘s “5 Disability Activists You Should Know,” in Her Campus‘s “7 Habits of Wildly Successful Women,” as an interview subject for The Odyssey, on an episode of Disability After Dark, profiled in Dear English Major, in Focus Magazine for my project advocating for a WSU Veterans’ Center, and in The Westfield Voice for my work with Dear Hope.

My work has been consistently featured in Top 10 best national lists, and HelloGiggles named my essay as one of their staff favorites. My social media and content campaigns have garnered up to 20K readers and 5K social shares within hours. My essay “My Dad Taught Me How to Shave My Legs” was featured on Cosmopolitan‘s Snapchat in July 2016. As an editor, I have managed up to 100 writers and 150-300 stories concurrently. I represented the nonprofit We Need Diverse Books at BookCon 2017 and 2016 as a social media and publicity assistant, live-tweeting our panels and participating in our diversity meet ups. As a publicity assistant, I have secured coverage for books and magazines in BuzzFeed, Bust Magazine, Rolling Stone, Vice, Publishers Weekly, Kirkus Reviews, The Boston Globe, AARP Magazine, The Millions, The Rumpus, The Washington Times, Paste Magazine and more. I have managed and publicized events with attendance of 500 guests.

Rather than listing all my accomplishments and responsibilities, my favorite bio method is a list of fun facts that you probably wouldn’t get from a simple introduction. Just a little something beyond, “Where did you attend college?” and “Where did you grow up?”

Fun Facts About Me: I was born without a sense of smell, and so were both my parents, making me an ideal candidate for any smelly tasks that need to be delegated. My favorite authors as a child were Joanne Rowling, Kate DiCamillo, Walter Dean Myers, Patricia Reilly Giff, Louis Sachar, Jacqueline Woodson, Judy Blume, and Barbara Parks. I wanted to be a veterinarian until my junior year of high school, and even studied vet science at an agricultural high school. I never know what my favorite book or movie is when asked, but my favorite television series is always Gilmore Girls. I’m allergic to plums and I don’t eat any red meat. In high school, I was famously known as “The Tutu Girl,” for wearing outrageously colorful outfits accented by a signature tulle skirt.

AMLIcontwoaI live with my girlfriend in the Boston area, and our book-loving kitties Blue and Gansey, who are generally curled up on the bookshelf beside me while I read. I’m passionate about decorating everything in my life,  from the outfits I wear to the interior decorating in my home to my Erin Condren life planner. I’m a creative combination of a Pisces, an ENFP, and a Gryffindor.  I spend most of my time writing, reading all the books, obsessing over fictional characters, putting glitter on everything, and wishing for summer.

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Love Always,

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