In 2009, I co-founded the online literary quarterly Wag's Revue. I later ran the project for a number of years. Here is an essay I wrote about the magazine for our twentieth, final issue in 2015. It includes links to my favorite stuff we'd run. The magazine's complete archive will be available online forever — at least, my IT guy assures me, until it's taken over by Russian bots and replaced by ads for cigarettes. 

From 2013 - 2015, I was BuzzFeed's Deputy Features Editor. During that time, I worked on about 200 feature-length reported stories and essays. Here are a few of my favorites:

Why Taylor Woolrich Wanted A Gun

"Why Taylor Woolrich Wanted A Gun": a reported feature by Madison Pauly about a stalking victim who accidentally became a gun-rights poster girl

A Murder at La Casa Green

A four-part investigative series by Tim Stelloh and Freda Moon about two wrongfully convicted men and the investigator who sought to free them — who was then arrested himself

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The first of BuzzFeed's "16" series—each of which profiles a 16-year-old girl—Jess Testa introduces Mackensie, who has trichotillomania

Nick Kroll’s Walk In the Park

"Nick Kroll’s Walk In the Park": a profile of the comedian by Anne Helen Petersen

Losing My Boyfriend To Cancer At 29

"Losing My Boyfriend to Cancer At 29": a personal essay by Erica Karnes

When Children With Autism Grow Up

"When Children with Autism Grow Up": a personal essay by Bob Plantenberg about being a caretaker for an autistic adult

"The Gacy Files": Tim Stelloh introduces a Chicago detective who's still trying to identify the last of serial killer John Wayne Gacy's victims

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"Training, Tanning, and Branding With The Bikini Bodybuilding Stars Of Instagram": a profile of a championship female bodybuilder by Amanda Shapiro

Tasers, Drones, and Cold Chicken

"Inside The Multibillion-Dollar Business Of Keeping Me Out Of America": Jose M. Orduña faces the big sinister business that is border security

My Stepfather, The Peeping Tom

"My Stepfather, The Peeping Tom": a powerful essay about familial sexual abuse by Michelle Tea

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"The Prisoners Fighting California’s Wildfires": Amanda Chicago Lewis shadows one incarcerated firefighter over the course of a year in this reported feature that examines whether the state should be relying on such labor at all

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"Inconspicuous Consumption": Natalie Shure's surprisingly funny essay about having contracted drug-resistant tuberculosis

Forever Young

"Forever Young": Katie J.M. Baker investigates a 34-year-old woman who fooled a town into thinking she was a teenager

I Had a Stroke at 33

"I Had a Stroke at 33": a personal essay by Christine Hyung-Oak Lee (adapted into a book published by Ecco / Harper Collins)

Carefree Black Girl: The Life And De

"Carefree Black Girl": Anita Badejo posthumously profiles Karyn Washington, a young woman who gained fame online for her championing of dark-skinned beauty

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"The Woman Who Helped Change How Police Treat Transgender People": Nicole Pasulka tells the story of Patti Hammond Shaw, a transgender woman who was abused by D.C. police—and sued

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"Should Two Children Be Imprisoned For Plotting To Kill Their Classmates?": Victoria Beale tells a story that begs questions about age and criminality

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John Knefel introduces harm reduction, the controversial but arguably best solution to America's heroin surge

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"How To Survive A Super Typhoon": Laurel Fantauzzo visits a remote archipelago in the Philippines that could teach the rest of us about how to survive climate change

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"How An Ohio Housewife Flew Around The World, Made History, And Was Then Forgotten": Amy Saunders tells the unlikely story of aviator Jerrie Mock

Failure to Launch

A reported essay by New Mexican Joshua Wheeler about Richard Branson's bungled, burdensome attempt to build a spaceport there

Feminism In Faith: Four Women Who Ar

Four profiles of women who are fighting for feminist change within their conservative religions. Pieces by Sigal Samuel, Laura Marostica, Jamie L. Manson, Rafia Zakaria

Why Is The World’s Gayest Sport Stuc

"Why is the World's Gayest Sport Stuck in the Closet?" Blair Braverman explores the homophobic underbelly of professional male iceskating

Why I Bought A House In Detroit For

"Why I Bought a House in Detroit for $500": a reported essay by Drew Philp (adapted into a book published by Scribner)

Pastor Andrew Hamblin

"Pastor Andrew Hamblin Would Rather Die Or Go To Jail Than Give Up Handling Snakes": a reported feature by Gemma de Choisy about one law defying, serpent-handling pentecostal preacher

Spring Break, Mumbai: How Surviving

Rega Jha writes about returning to her native Mumbai — and the memory of being sexually assaulted

Why I Stay Closeted In Asia

"Big 60th": A personal essay by Connor Ke Muo about his choice to stay closeted when he visits his native Taiwan

© 2020 Sandy Ernest Allen

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