In Loving Memory of Melissa Wiley

We were lucky to have Melissa Wiley on our Sundog Lit team since March 2015. From the moment she joined us as an assistant editor, her passion for the magazine, consistent reliability, and insightful contributions were just some of the many characteristics that led to her promotion to Creative Nonfiction Editor. She was organized, fun, quirky, serious, and both a strong leader and a gracious team member. She is deeply missed and will be always.

Our assistant nonfiction editors would like to share some words:

Amber D. Dodd, Assistant Nonfiction Editor

Melissa Wiley was the very first editor I’ve ever worked with closely in the literary world, and I’m lucky to have that experience. She brought this light and ease to such a complicated task of picking out substantial, moving work we’ve gotten from so many writers. She treated everyone with kindness and was a fantastic example of what easygoing, smart and strong leadership looks like. Always up to task, Melissa brought a brightness to the journey of putting together a magazine. She believed in me. She believed in Sundog, and her kind words of encouragement and dedication to the craft of nonfiction will live on through me and my work in this field. 

Melissa was the first person to believe I had what it took to produce, edit and cultivate nonfiction and she will be in my heart as I continue this process for Issue 21 and beyond. We will miss your physical presence and warmth, Melissa, but we’ll carry your best traits with us in the name of nonfiction and love for the craft. 

Hayli M. Cox, Assistant Nonfiction Editor

I first got to know Melissa in 2019 when she accepted my weird crab girl story and made my dreams of publishing with Sundog Lit come true. Working with her was one of the best experiences I’ve ever had as a writer—she was kind, encouraging, intelligent, ebullient, and magnificently talented. She made another wish come true when she called me on a verdant summer day just over a year later for an interview as one of her assistant nonfiction editors. I caught her energy through the phone as we gushed about nonfiction and so many other things, and I knew right away that working with her would be a delight and a blessing. As writers, we strive so often for the right words to name and bear witness to pain and our loss, but here and now I cannot find them. Melissa has touched so many of our hearts, with both her writing and her spirit. Our hearts go out to all her loved ones as we mourn and remember her together.