The Team

Editor in Chief

Meg McDonnell

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Like so many of you, I’ve been a long-time reader, and also an occasional writer at Verily. When Verily came onto the scene, I was just getting started on a journalism project in Washington, D.C. My experience in the industry led me to believe that there was a real need in media for a women’s publication that was authentic to the actual experiences of women today. I have found solidarity and practical insights as I’ve read stories from women like me—sorting out the dating scene, their professional lives, their marriages, and mothering. I’ve drawn inspiration about how to add more beauty to my home, my wardrobe, and my life. I even still have the original print copies of Verily Magazine, because they were just so lovely and uplifting. I’m beyond thrilled at the challenge to continue this mission!

And now for some fun facts. I can’t get enough of the Virginia countryside, dinner parties with good friends and great conversations, time spent with my family, and This Is Us. 

Associate Editors

Emily Lehman

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I’m Emily Lehman, hailing originally from sunny Southern California but most recently from the not-so-sunny (but wonderful) Midwest. I discovered Verily when it was still a print magazine, and its solid, thoughtful content and elegant aesthetic have been a perennial companion to my growth as a young woman. There is a real need for Verily as an alternative to the often-toxic deluge of advice that confronts women in their twenties and thirties, and I’m thrilled to be a part of a publication that I’ve admired for so long.

I love tall trees, beautiful cats, black tea, and late-night conversations. When I’m not reading for my last few master’s classes or on a long, wandering walk, you’ll find me writing, editing, or designing by a sunny window at the nearest coffee shop.

Mary Rose Somarriba

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I’ve worked with Verily as a writer and an editor over the years, and I’m thrilled at the opportunity to continue to contribute to Verily’s work in providing uplifting and empowering content in women’s media. I’m now living in my hometown of Cleveland with my husband and two children. I particularly enjoy writing on cultural issues, unearthing powerful stories, and helping women share their voices on little-discussed topics.

You can find me working on my patio or in local coffee shops, especially in the one that has a play area for my kids! For fun, I enjoy Latin dancing, spending time near Lake Erie with friends, singing karaoke with my husband, and listening to my favorite local jazz band over wings and a Manhattan.

Laura Loker

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Hi, I’m Laura, and like many of you, I’ve been a Verily reader since its beginning. Back then, I had a brand-new bachelor’s degree; since then, I’ve added a husband and two little boys. But even though my life is more than a little different than when I first started reading, Verily has shown up for all of it, from articles about job hunting to relationships to fertility awareness. Even more importantly, I’ve always known that both the women behind it and its loyal readers were women I could relate to, women who pursue lives full of purpose and authentic beauty. That’s why I’m so excited to come on board as an associate editor: Who wouldn’t want to work among friends?

And now, for some rapid-fire trivia: I enjoy long runs; I love novels and memoirs; my favorite artistic media are words, closely followed by piano, distantly followed by photography. Smack in the middle between INFJ and INFP, if you’re into that. And finally: I’m so happy to meet you!

Verily Yours Editor

Kellie Moore

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After several years of writing for Verily, I’m thrilled to be part of the editorial team. Believe it or not, I first learned about Verily through my husband—he told me about it back when we were first dating. Over the years, Verily has inspired me to look for the good and the beautiful in the ordinary. The articles leave me feeling refreshed, and they often resonate with me so deeply, I feel like I’ve connected with a “kindred spirit.” When Verily Yours first launched and I was on the receiving end, I appreciated how it helped me think about the dinner hour, my home, my money, and my freelance work in a fresh way. Working with a team to develop content for Verily Yours, whether testing recipes, curating podcasts, collaborating with designers, or brainstorming with writers, has enriched my life so much.  

You’re most likely to find me with my two toddlers at the park or the library, though we also love going out for donuts. At home, I enjoy baking, taking online barre classes, finding nooks and crannies to reorganize, reading historical fiction (particularly about World War II), and watching Dancing with the Stars. 

Social Media Editor

Marquel Plavan

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 I'm Marquel Plavan, a photographer, graphic designer, and digital media specialist from Sacramento, California. After discovering Verily through my community of fantastic fellow women, I fell in love with its compelling voice and unique identity. Despite its diversity in perspectives, Verily's unified message of authenticity has provided me and so many others with the comforting feeling of companionship in whatever part of life we're experiencing. In a world where we are constantly encouraged to do all that we can, we can sometimes spread ourselves too thin; I, like so many others, have been longing for a voice to give me the green light to relax and be at peace with myself once in a while. I have Verily to thank for embodying that voice.

I graduated with a degree in English in May of 2019, which makes me not only an annoying poetry lover, but also an avid reader. Lately, thriller novels have been the recipient of my literary love, but you can catch me reading Elizabeth Bishop and A. E. Stallings poems most days of the week. Among too many others, favorite films are Ferris Bueller's Day Off, The Proposal, What's Up Doc? and The Prestige. I love running, yoga, and peanut butter, and I read A Tale of Two Cities every Christmas. One day, I hope to publish a children's book I wrote and illustrated about the life and works of Henri Matisse. It's so nice to meet you!