Hey, hey! My name is Samantha Manzella, but almost everybody calls me Sam. I'm a writer, journalist and copy editor. I collect tattoos (I have 17 and counting!), I eat a vegetarian diet and I have a coffee problem, especially during pumpkin spice latte season. I even got a pumpkin tattoo to commemorate it. Yeah, I know. Next level.
I'm a fourth-year Journalism and Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies student at SUNY New Paltz in Ulster County, New York, where I live with my wonderful partner of three years and our 19-year-old dinosaur of a cat. I'm incredibly grateful for my studies and experiences at New Paltz — truth be told, I've always loved school, and college is no exception!
I've been a writer since my youth, but it was only when I joined my college newspaper that I realized journalism was the path for me. Most of my experience prior to ASME is in print journalism, where I learned the tricks of the trade: I served as the arts and entertainment editor on my college paper for over a year and a half, and I freelance regularly for Hudson Valley-specific dining, lifestyle and wedding magazines.
I love writing in different beats, but I've grown particularly fond of features, arts writing and subject profiles. There's nothing I love more than finding incredible sources and telling their stories.
My time in the ASME Intern program has given me a unique and valuable opportunity: namely, a summer spent at NewNowNext.com, LogoTV's online LGBT-interest magazine. I quickly discovered that the fast pace of digital writing — plus the need for self-motivated, efficient writers and reporters — was the perfect environment for someone like me, who works best under tight deadlines.
I've also grown to love writing for and about the LGBT community among a team of incredible queer journalists and writers. As someone who identifies as queer, it's important to see people like myself represented in popular media — and even more important to know that the writers and reporters behind the screen are LGBT, too. Who better to write about a community than people who belong to that community, right?
Going forward, I hope to pursue online journalism, either through a staff job at a digital magazine or a freelance writing career for different digital magazines in the New York metro area. I'm not sure exactly what the future will hold in the next few years, but I know I'll always be writing and editing in some capacity.
Here's to working hard to follow our dreams! Cheers.