Testimonials

A collection of really nice comments people have made about me and my work.

ABOUT MY WORK ETHIC

I have been moved by every single piece you’ve written. Throughout our various interactions, your professionalism, thoughtfulness, and love for books has become very apparent so I have no doubt that you are a great fit for this industry.  – Molly Brouilette, Associate Director of Publicity at Macmillan Children’s Publishing Group

She is without a doubt one of the most hard working, most organized, and thoughtful persons with whom I have worked in my 30 years of working. When encountering a new task/assignment, she turns it around as though it was a globe in her hands. Inevitably, Alaina approaches her work with enthusiasm for excellence and creativity. – Beverly Army Williams, professional freelance writer and editor, professor at Westfield State University

Thank you for being so proactive as always! Love working with you! – Alice Chen, Senior Editor at Her Campus

I remember her as a committed student who wasn’t afraid to share her opinion, who took brave risks in her writing. She is smart and funny and compassionate and creative. I honestly have never seen a graduate go after her dream the way she is. It is inspiring. – Joyce Hayden, professional writer and artist, former Westfield State University Honors English professor

Alaina literally inspires me multiple times a day. I don’t know if I’ve ever met a more dedicated and hardworking individual. – Paul Falcone, founder and editor-in-chief of Dear Hope

Alaina, who’s one of our best writers, was my first thought when I started to pick columnists from our writers at Her Campus. She’s always full of ideas and can turn around thoughtful, cohesive opinion piece on current events extremely quickly. I know I can count on Alaina to cover even the most controversial topics gracefully, and her clear, persuasive writing needs only minimal editing. She’s very responsive to edits and is generally great to work with. – Katherine Mirani, News Editor at Her Campus 

She’s not afraid to take risks. She can move easily from one genre to another, and when she is asked to do something that might be outside her skill set, she just eagerly jumps in. – Janice Beetle, Owner and Principal of Beetle Press

I really can’t thank you enough for your journalistic eye and instincts. I’m always impressed by your use of experts–you always go the extra mile!  – Katie Naymon, Associate Editor at Her Campus

Alaina is a hard working, innovative and invaluable contribution to the Doll Hospital team who always goes above and beyond her duties in order to create something of overall excellence. Always open to feedback and constructive criticism, Alaina’s passion and talent for publishing is present in all she does. – Beth Lamont, editor-in-chief of Doll Hospital

Alaina is an absolutely delightful person to work with at Luna Luna Magazine. She is always very courteous, dedicated, resourceful, and professional when it comes to work and dealing with fellow staff members and writers. She has been tremendously helpful in curating quality and meaningful interviews and written pieces for our online niche journal. Likewise, she brings her own personal and Luna Luna worthy flair with her own excellent, thought-provoking, pioneering written work. Alaina has taken it upon herself to assist Luna Luna with the social media outreach by posting our pieces on Twitter and interacting with the readers in a meaningful way; retweeting trending news and articles in line with the Luna Luna brand; amongst others. – Nadia Gerassimenko, Assistant Editor at Luna Luna Magazine

You have such a strong voice and a knack for blending your personal experiences with current events. – Katherine Mirani, News Editor at Her Campus

Alaina is a fantastic editor who is a joy to work with. She always provides detailed feedback on what was done well, what can be improved, and how to make every article the best it can be. Her edits are thoughtful and comprehensive. She answers questions quickly and thoroughly. Alaina goes above and beyond her role as Career Editor. For example, she often assists other National Contributing Writers by providing relevant, personal quotes for various pieces. I would definitely recommend Alaina for any editor position. – Jamie Kravitz, Life Editor and Feature Writer at Her Campus

Alaina Leary is a hard-working, ethically-focused and insightful editor; her approach to team-work is two-fold: she focuses on success by analyzing metrics, while she innovates forward by coming up with new ideas. Alaina isn’t just a a pleasure to work with because she’s an idea machine – she is also thorough – she always does something on-deadline, and she does it really well. More than that, she’s super easy to work with, really friendly, and excited for the brands she works with. Having her on our team has been amazing and rewarding. – Lisa Marie Basile, Editor-in-Chief at Luna Luna Magazine and Editor at Hearst Magazines

She was on the ball from day 1, making sure to complete each task she was given without delay including some nicely composed writing assignments for bust.com. During her event shift, Alaina was punctual and ready to dive in. She was helpful to both our vendors and guests without needing much direction. I would highly recommend Alaina to any organization! – Jules Abraham, Event Manager at BUST magazine

You’re incredibly talented. Your work is so potent. – Lisa Marie Basile, Editor at Hearst Magazines

Her writing feedback for me was thoughtful and articulate, and was very constructive in helping me better my own craft. – Jennifer Skolney, sophomore at University of North Texas, Alaina’s NaNoWriMo editing partner

Working with Alaina is a pleasure. She always turns in excellent work, sometimes even days before her deadline. She writes thoughtfully, reaches out to top experts to weigh in on her articles and asks questions whenever necessary. Alaina balances an educated opinion on all things LGBTQ+ with a commendable level of cultural sensitivity. Her articles are both informative and entertaining, and she tackles even the trickiest topics with ease. – Iris Goldsztajn, LGBTQ+ and Style Editor at Her Campus

Thank you for being such a thoughtful editor! – Erin Crabtree, Assistant Editor at Her Campus

She’s the reason the phrase ‘I don’t know how she does it’ was invented. – Sarah Jo Enloe, colleague/classmate, Westfield State University Class of 2016

ABOUT MY PUBLISHED WRITING

Alive, Disabled, and Essential: How Leigh Bardugo’s Six of Crows Series Made Me Feel Real

Alaina has written so personally and generously about SoC. I’m truly honored and inspired. – Leigh Bardugo, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Six of Crows and Crooked Kingdom

An excellent article. – Lake County Library

Beautifully written article. – Loudon Library 

How ‘The Vampire Diaries’ Helped Me Deal With My Rape

You are beautiful. Thank you for your openness and your awesomeness. – Julie Plec, co-creator of The Vampire Diaries

This is stunningly brave and beautiful. – Leah Nielsen, Westfield State University professor

How This Fantasy YA Series Helped Me Better Understand What It Means To Be A Rape Survivor

This means everything to me. – Leigh Bardugo, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Six of Crows and Crooked Kingdom

This is so beautiful. – Nicole Jarvis, Marketing Manager at Bloomsbury 

I found [this] really moving. I particularly love the last paragraph and the line about being changed by trauma but also existing outside of it. Very resonant.  – Molly Brouilette, Associate Director of Publicity at Macmillan Children’s Publishing Group

why the publishing industry can’t get disability right

Insightful article. – Jabari Asim, executive editor of The Crisis and author, poet, and playwright

Excellent, excellent piece. – Sarah Katz, poetry editor at The Deaf Poets Society

Really thoughtful and well-written. – Alicia Thompson, YA and children’s literature author

LOVED THIS. – Cecilia Nowell, editoral fellow at The Tempest

You are brilliant. – Devon Rockafellor, The Establishment reader

4 Important Reasons Why Disability Visibility Matters

This is so important and I’m honored to be a part of it. – Leigh Bardugo, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Six of Crows and Crooked Kingdom

Leigh and I were both incredibly moved by your piece. It was impactful on a number of levels. – Molly Brouilette, Associate Director of Publicity at Macmillan Children’s Publishing Group

TAKING BACK THE SELFIE

Incredibly touching. – Danielle Corcione, BUST Magazine reader

Love this essay. – Laura @LMarieGi, BUST Magazine reader, book publicist for Harper360

Love this. Gives me that crying lump in the throat. – Jenn Givhan, BUST Magazine reader

Great piece! – Trista Edwards, BUST Magazine reader

SOME COLLEGE STUDENTS SUFFER FROM RORY GILMORE SYNDROME, BUT WE CAN CHANGE THAT

This article is really different from most published on Her Campus, and I love it. I identify with a lot of what the author writes about, but I’d like to comment more on how glad I am that this type of opinion journalism is finding it’s way to HC. This was very well written, slightly controversial, and in-depth; it seems almost off-topic compared to the articles I’m used to seeing on this site…and that’s wonderful. Please, keep writing more like this! I love the balance of study-break fun and serious journalism I see beginning on this site. – Emily Mazo, Her Campus reader

THE PROBLEM WITH PRIVATE COLLEGE ELITISM

That article was the most well written, powerful paean to WSU that I have read for a long time, and it is well worth everyone’s three minutes to read and contemplate. – Heather Dunfee, Westfield State University Library Assistant

It’s Not a “Blessing” When Mentally Ill People Die

Thank you for writing such a fantastic piece on this difficult, yet important, topic! – Sandra Mercer, Her Campus reader

This subject is so awful and you handled it with compassion. – Natalia Locatelli, Her Campus reader

I DON’T WANT TO SEE PHOTOS OF YOUR KIDS ON FACEBOOK

Thank you for sharing your story. You’re doing great work. – Christina Graw, Cosmopolitan reader

Your articles are always awesome and insightful and thought-provoking. Keep on writing! – Nadia Gerassimenko, Cosmopolitan reader, Assistant Editor of Luna Luna Magazine

The rhetorical choices you made in the piece are wonderfully effective! If I was teaching right now, I’d be bringing this piece into class to show students the many ways one can approach a topic. – Joyce Hayden, professional writer, Cosmopolitan reader

What a beautiful piece. – Madina Papadopolous, Cosmopolitan reader

WHAT LOSING MY MOM – AND THEN MY BEST FRIEND – TAUGHT ME

Wow. You just pulled at my heart strings. Beautifully written. – Laura Sauriol, Seventeen reader

MY DAD TAUGHT ME HOW TO SHAVE MY LEGS

I truly love reading your articles. You have a gift with words that really touches people. – Sheena Walter, Seventeen reader

MY MOM’S RAPE DESTROYED HER, BUT SHE INSPIRED ME TO SURVIVE MY OWN

You write a lot of amazing stuff, but I’d say this is your best. I’m speechless right now. You handle [the subject] so beautifully and gracefully when you write about it. – Sarah Jo Enloe, Cosmopolitan reader

Amazing article! – Tessa Newell, Cosmopolitan reader & freelance writer

THE DEATH OF THE FEMALE FRIENDSHIP

This is a beautiful piece. I absolutely love it. You always do amazing work! – Sarah Dollard, Luna Luna Magazine reader

In Memory of Alan Rickman & the Series that Changed My Life

Thank you so, SO much for this piece—it honestly had me crying! Fantastic job. – Alice Chen, Senior Editor at Her Campus

This really resonated with me. – Briehton Dempsey, Her Campus reader

WHY I CHANGED MY NAME AFTER I WAS RAPED

You are a pure example of absolute raw talent. I honestly cried reading this. – Sarah Zafiris, Marie Claire reader

I have to say, I think this is my favorite piece. It sends a strong powerful message that is rather new to the everyday reader. – Emmalee Mason, Marie Claire reader

This is everything. You ROCK. – Lauren Gold Harbury, Marie Claire reader

Loved this. – Samantha Callender, Marie Claire reader

It’s beautifully written and packed with tender and tough emotion. – Susanne Althoff, former editor-in-chief of The Boston Globe Magazine

I thought it was really beautiful piece for you to share and I really admire your bravery in telling your story. – Kayla Layaoen, Marie Claire reader

KYLIE JENNER’S ABLEIST WHEELCHAIR FASHION SHOOT IS NOT OKAY

This is such an important article you’ve written and a good platform to get this message out to people who may not already be familiar with ableism. – Michaela Osiecki, Her Campus reader

Love the article by HerCampus and agree with everything in it. – Peonies Passports, Her Campus reader

7 things they didn’t teach you in sex ed

Upon reading her article about LGBTQ+ things never taught in sex ed, my initial reaction was: wow. She can really adapt her voice and tone to fit the needs of the publication. That article had the perfect type of conversational, accessible, chatty language that I expect from a fun article like that, but it had none of the vapidity. – Sara Suzanne Lovotti, Her Campus reader 

WHAT “JESSICA JONES” MEANS FOR A QUEER RAPE SURVIVOR

Powerful article on a subject that desperately needs to be covered. Bravo! – Relish, AfterEllen reader 

Beautifully written. Thank you for this honest and insightful article. – Violaine, AfterEllen reader

Beautifully well-written! Kudos to you. – Sophia Edyl, AfterEllen reader

Thank you for sharing this. – @TVPopFizz

This is brave and beautiful. I admire your dedication to using pop culture as a lens through which to write about tough subjects and de-stigmatize them. – Beverly Army Williams, AfterEllen reader, professional writer and writing professor

HOW ROLE-PLAY KEPT MY SEX LIFE ALIVE

The writing was really sharp, conversational, and compelling. – Susanne Althoff, former editor-in-chief of The Boston Globe Magazine

I TWEETED AT MY DREAM EMPLOYERS FOR A WEEK & HERE’S WHAT HAPPENED

As a soon-to-be graduating undergraduate, this advice is very helpful! Social media is fastest growing way to get noticed now. Thanks for the post! – Oneisha Lee, Her Campus reader

Interesting way to get ahold of company contacts! I love working with startups, so will have to try this out. – Samantha Kelley, Her Campus reader

I just wanted to say I loved your article! – Kelsey Toyoda, Her Campus reader

I just read your HC article and I love the different approaches you used! Especially #2/3 because conversation is a major part of networking! – Laura, Her Campus reader 

about My creative nonfiction book, an angel’s wings

Alaina wrote a book about this experience when she was 12. I asked her if I could read it, and she brought me a typewritten manuscript that is just shy of 400 pages. She does good work for me. Her blogs were resonant, but I wasn’t sure what to expect in a book-length piece written by a grieving pre-adolescent.

What I learned was that Alaina’s wisdom would blow my mind. It amazes me how well someone so young captured her pain – and her healing – in a way that is incredibly poignant, full of crystal-clear moments of awareness, pain and reflection.

The most stunning moment in this book written by a 12-year-old, for me, was the moment when Alaina hid that journal under a pile of blankets, “because, without the weight on it, I was afraid it might come after me, begging me to read it.”

I am working with Alaina to see if we can get her book published. It would be a gem in the young adult market. I hope one day you can read it.

– Janice Beetle, author of Divine Renovationson her personal blog