Features are my just desserts

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No one was surprised that I became a journalist. I’ve loved writing for as long as I can remember.

When I was in third grade, we made a student newspaper as a writing unit. My teacher named me the editor — even at 9 years old, I knew my stuff — in addition to writing a column. Me, an editor and a reporter?! I was honored, I was floored.

I freaking loved it.

I played “newspaper” when I was a kid. I made a paper no larger than a deck of cards just for fun. It even had a comics and puzzles page. I’d play on my mom’s typewriter, pretending I was a journalist from the Watergate era. I stamped out articles with RoseArt alphabet stamp markers to get a feel for what it was like to have a letterpress. I gave up that game pretty fast because I kept making mistakes I couldn’t fix.

At Jackson High School in Mill Creek, I wrote and copy edited for the student newspaper, The Stiqayu, then at Everett Community College for The Clipper, and again for The Daily when studying at the University of Washington in Seattle.

I graduated from the UW in 2008 with a bachelor’s degree in journalism — right in the middle of the Great Recession.

I was a temporary letters editor for The Seattle Times for a short time in 2008, after finishing an internship there. But, because of the recession, I had trouble landing a job as a journalist, so I took a job as a concierge at the University Book Store in Seattle.

I told myself, if I couldn’t write, I could at least surround myself with the written word.

Then I had my lucky break. In 2009, I was hired on by Beacon Publishing Inc. to write for the Mukilteo Beacon and Edmonds Beacon, covering the Mukilteo and Edmonds school districts.

A year later, I was promoted to editor of the Mukilteo Beacon. I was the editor there for six years, in charge of everything but covering sports and laying out the newspaper.

Since 2016, I’ve been features editor for The Daily Herald and editor of The Herald’s quarterly magazine, Washington North Coast Magazine. I write and edit for the Food & Drink, Health & Wellness, Arts & Entertainment, Home & Garden and Panorama sections, and oversee the production of each issue of Coast magazine, covering life in Snohomish and Island counties.

I had some great mentors who helped me get to where I am today. There’s Paul Clark, editor-in-chief of The Stiqayu when we were both students at Jackson High School, who convinced me I had the talent to become a journalist. Andrea Otanez, a former Seattle Times editor and my journalism instructor at Everett Community College. Her passion for journalism fueled mine. And also Karen Rathe, another Seattle Times alum who was a journalism lecturer at the University of Washington — of note, I took her course on feature writing.

Features are my forte. I love writing features so much that this job is best described as my “just desserts.”

I have three goals as a writer for The Daily Herald: I want to inform you and entertain you, but more importantly, I want to help build community. I do that by sharing your stories in the best way I know how.


Sara Bruestle is the features editor of The Herald and the editor of its quarterly magazine, Washington North Coast Magazine. Support Sara and the newsroom with a subscription or donation.

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