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The Sun Magazine


Sy Safransky

Editor and Founder

Staff - Sy Safransky

Sy was editor of his junior-high newspaper, his high-school newspaper, and his college newspaper. (Guess where this is heading.) He earned a master’s degree in journalism from Columbia University, then worked as a newspaper reporter until he discovered that the real news is what connects us. Miraculously, the magazine he founded in 1974 survives to this day.


Andrew Snee

Senior Editor

Staff - Andrew Snee

Andrew has been at The Sun since 1994. He has an undergraduate degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where he was better at editing other students’ short stories than he was at writing his own. He and his wife, Julie, have two sons and live in Raleigh, North Carolina.

Robert Graham

Art Director

Staff - Robert Graham

Robert joined The Sun in 2001, having previously worked as a graphic designer for a hospital, a mail-order bicycle catalog, and a plastic-skeleton manufacturer. His favorite pastimes are not meditating, not practicing guitar scales, and inventing new excuses for why he shouldn’t bike to work. He lives with his two daughters and two cats in Carrboro, North Carolina.

David Mahaffey

Digital-Media Director

Staff - David Mahaffey

David has been coaxing The Sun into the twenty-first century since 2010. He has degrees in creative writing and publishing, plus decades of practice tinkering with digital media. He has strong feelings about science fiction, serial commas, and epilogues. He and his partner live with two dogs and two cats in Durham, North Carolina.

Finn Cohen

Associate Editor

Staff - Finn Cohen

Finn grew up in Durham, North Carolina, and has a music degree from Duke University. He has been an editor and writer at The New York Times, Apple News, and The Moscow Times. His writing has appeared in Pitchfork, Vice, Complex, and The Independent Weekly. He teaches writing and reporting at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s journalism school.

Derek Askey

Assistant Editor

Staff - Derek Askey

After graduating from the University of Pittsburgh and working for a health-insurance company (he wasn’t the guy denying anyone coverage, but still), Derek left to earn his master’s at Colorado State University. He lives in Durham, North Carolina, with his wife, Madelaine. Though you wouldn’t guess it, he used to have hair down to his shoulders.

Nancy Holochwost

Assistant Editor

Staff - Nancy Holochwost

The daughter of an English teacher and a craftsman, Nancy grew up amid the rolling farmlands of northern New Jersey. She received her BA from Yale University and worked for ten years to end homelessness before coming to The Sun in 2017. She lives in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, with her husband, her cat, and a yard full of fireflies.

Rachel J. Elliott

Editorial Associate & Photo Editor

Staff - Rachel J. Elliott

Rachel has worked at The Sun since November 1997 and has contributed photographs and interviews to its pages. She enjoys playing sand volleyball and a bag-toss game called “cornhole” with family and friends in Carrboro, North Carolina, where she lives with her husband, Seth; her daughter, Ava; and her dog, Kodi.

Staci Kleinmaier

Editorial Assistant

STAFF - Staci Kleinmaier

Staci moved from the Midwest to the South in 2016 and still drinks her iced tea, a half gallon each day, unsweetened. She studied English, creative writing, and history at Bradley University, and earned her master’s degree at Northern Illinois University. When she’s not reading, writing, or making photographs, she enjoys indoor rock climbing, kayaking, and swearing. She lives in Apex, North Carolina, with her husband and their two daughters and two cats.

Seth Mirsky


Staff - Seth Mirsky

Seth began doing editorial work for The Sun in 1993. A graduate of Wesleyan University and Harvard Divinity School, he has published articles on men, feminism, and contemporary religion, and is a contributor to the Encyclopedia of Religion and Nature. Seth plays several musical instruments and lives on two Maine islands — one accessible by bridge, the other not.

Anna Gazmarian

Editorial Intern

STAFF - Anna Gazmarian

At the age of twelve, in summer camp, Anna won the Most Improved Swimmer Award, which she still refers to as her greatest achievement. She received her BA from Hope College, which she attended after learning that her favorite singer, Sufjan Stevens, briefly went there. For several years she worked in community mental health and is now an MFA candidate at Bennington College, and working on her first essay collection. She lives in Durham, North Carolina, with her husband and two dogs.


Rob Bowers


Staff - Rob Bowers

Rob started reading The Sun in 1996 as an antidote to his professional life in finance and commerce. He later left his career to start an organic farm and spent nine years toiling in the North Carolina dirt — an agrarian midlife crisis of sorts. Today he and his wife, Cheri, and daughter, Téa, live in Cedar Grove, North Carolina.

Krista Bremer

Associate Publisher

Staff - Krista Bremer

Krista is the author of A Tender Struggle: Story of a Marriage. Her writing has appeared in The Sun, The New York Times Magazine, O: The Oprah Magazine, and elsewhere. Her awards include a Pushcart Prize, a Rona Jaffe Foundation Writer’s Award, and a writer’s fellowship from the North Carolina Arts Council.

Holly McKinney

Director of Publishing Operations

Staff - Holly McKinney

Holly has a deep love of music and frequently forces her girlfriends to drink wine with her and cry over sad songs for hours on end. She spends her mornings taking long runs in the woods. She lives in Carrboro, North Carolina, with her husband, Brockton, who writes comic books and screenplays; their daughter, May, who sews and draws; and too many animals to count.

Molly House

Special Events & Outreach Manager

Staff - Molly House

Molly joined the Sun staff in 2008. A native North Carolinian, she loves Bojangles’ biscuits, Cheerwine, the Carolina Tar Heels, and the Blue Ridge Mountains. She is married to a florist, who proposed at The Sun’s fortieth-anniversary celebration. They share a little house in the woods with their son, Hank, and Buddy the Cat.

With Help From

Erica Berkeley


Erica lives in Asheville, North Carolina, with her husband, Mike; their son, Will; and their dog, Luke Skywalker. After having worked in the Sun office for fifteen years, she remains grateful for her long-distance connection to the magazine. She is currently a pediatric speech-language pathologist providing early-intervention services for toddlers.

Dave Hart

Manuscript Reader

Dave started reading The Sun back in the early 1980s, when it offered a welcome ray of hope during the Reagan presidency. A journalist for the past thirty years, when he’s not reading or writing, he spends his time enjoying life and its many wines with his wife, rambling through the woods, and learning to identify birds by their songs.

Paula Jolin

Manuscript Reader

Paula is obsessed with three things: learning languages, baking bread, and reinventing urban farming. Right now she is learning Danish and Vietnamese, searching for the perfect flat-bread recipe, and harvesting the banana leaves from her backyard.

Gillian Kendall

Manuscript Reader

A high-school dropout with a PhD, Gillian has lived in five countries and is the author of two books: How I Became a Human Being (with Mark O’Brien) and Mr. Ding’s Chicken Feet. She is trying to flog into shape a 460-page epic about being a reporter for the state parliament of Victoria, Australia.

Rebecca Lanning

Manuscript Reader

A former school-bus driver, exercise instructor, copy editor, advice columnist, and English teacher, Rebecca has finally found her dream job at The Sun. She received her BA from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and her MA from North Carolina State University. She and her husband have two grown sons.

Hank Stephenson

Manuscript Reader

Hank spent his post-collegiate years writing a young-adult science-fiction novel and helping his uncle research long-dead jazz musicians. Now he splits his time between reading manuscripts for The Sun and pressing good books on customers at Flyleaf Books in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. With his few remaining hours, Hank reviews books for Shelf Awareness and Kirkus Reviews.

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