Erica McGillivray and Chicks Unravel TimeI’ve told stories since I was a child. I’m thrilled to have fulfilled my lifelong dream of being a published author. At least, I hope that I’ve come a little way since those tales about my cat and me going into space aboard the starship Enterprise.

My favorite topics to write about include nonfiction pop culture criticisms and articles about how to better do online marketing and community building. I am also a fiction writer, currently seeking an agent/publisher.

To my freshest writing, make sure to connect with me via my newsletter.

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Books and Literary Magazines

Outside In Gains a Soul
Outside In Gains a Soul: 127 New Perspectives on 127 Angel and Firefly Stories by 127 Writers
Published by ATB Publishing, September 2019

In “76. Awakening: The Mary-Sue Hack,” I discuss the Angel episode “Awakening” and Angel’s Mary-Sue dream world.

Buy Outside In Gains a Soul, 5% of sales are donated to Avert, a UK-based HIV/AIDS charity.

Uncanny Magazine
Uncanny Magazine Issue Two
Published by Uncanny Magazine, January/February 2015

Part of the draw of sci-fi, fantasy, superheroes, anime, and just really good stories has always been the desire to be someone else, to live a life more fantastical, to go on a journey outside ourselves. In “The Future’s Been Here Since 1939: Female Fans, Cosplay, and Conventions,” I look at cosplay brings that dream to life as one puts on a costume and pretends to have an aspect of or be that character.

Read the article and buy the magazine

Chicks Unravel Time
Chicks Unravel Time: Women Journey Through Every Season of Doctor Who
Published by Mad Norwegian Press, November 2012

In “How the Cold War Killed the Fifth Doctor,” I look at season 21 of Doctor Who with the Fifth Doctor. Despite his celery-pinned lapel and whimsy, this incarnation of the Doctor suffers from being written during the Cold War and two superpowers with nuclear weapons pointed at each other. I explore how the storylines, and ultimately the Fifth Doctor’s death, reflect the real world political theater.

Nominated for a Hugo award. Buy Chicks Unravel Time

Chicks Dig Comics
Chicks Dig Comics: A Celebration of Comic Books by the Women Who Love Them
Published by Mad Norwegian Press, April 2012

In the essay, “Cosplay, Creation, and Community,” I talk about my journey into cosplaying and how that led me to joining the efforts to help found GeekGirlCon. I dive into the ways that cosplaying connected me to the greater geeky community and how it brings people together.

Nominated for a Hugo award. Buy Chicks Dig Comics

Self-Care Zine
Self Care Zine
Published by Archive Six, October 2013

Featuring “Goodbye Ghosts, No Means No,” a short piece of autobiographical fiction where I explore sexual and emotional abuse and the trauma that lasts longer than the sting of a teenage broken heart.

Buy Self Care Zine

Self-Care Zine: Food Edition
Self Care Zine: Food
Published by Archive Six, December 2014

I contributed the autobiographical fiction piece, “The Chemistry of Buttermilk Pancakes,” which looks at my family’s history with food and my relationship with my now deceased grandmother. I also share my family’s recipe for delicious buttermilk pancakes.

Buy Self Care Zine: Food

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Commissioned articles

Botanical Media Recommendations
Reviews for (podcast) On the Ledge with Jane Perrone: Episode 291 and (novel) A Botanical Daughter by Noah Medlock
The Point, Cascade Cactus and Succulent Society, June 2024
Who are our pop culture role models?

Bi+ people discuss their pop culture role models.

Bi Women Quarterly, 2022
We’re Celebrating Our 3rd Anniversary! (ghost-written)

Nonlinear Materials Corporation brings photonics to a device in your hands. Founded in 2018 on a dream of making photonics ubiquitous, at NLM, we’re proud to say we’re achieving this.

Nonlinear Materials Corporation, 2021
Imagine Yourself on Stage at CMX Summit 2019

CMX Summit 2019 is coming to Redwood City, CA (Bay Area), September 5-6, and we’re thrilled. Speakers play a key role in any great event and this year we’ve raised the bar. At CMX Summit 2019, our stage will see the likes of Kim Scott, the author of Radical Candor, and Nick Meheta, CEO of Gainsight. We’d love to have you too!

CMX, 2019
A Guide to CMX Summit 2018 and Portland

CMX Summit 2018 is just around the corner and SOLD OUT! I cannot believe it. 400 attendees are ascending into the streets of Portland.

CMX, 2018
The Return on Investment at CMX Summit: What You Get and Where Your Money Goes

Nothing beats the power of community gathering. That’s the magic we cannot wait for at this year’s CMX Summit, October 1-3 in Portland, OR, where 400 incredible community builders of all stripes will be coming together for all the professional development: learning and meeting other community builders.

CMX, 2018
Inside CMX Summit’s Processes: Speakers, Stage Inclusion, Budgets, and More!

Great events don’t just happen; they are crafted and curated. Speakers can make or break a conference. At a professional conference like CMX Summit, they are the magic dust. Everyone has opinions around their favorite speakers, how to craft a great talk, and who’s ready to be on stage.

CMX, 2018
5 Steps to Convince Your Boss – #CMXSummit is the Place to Be

At CMX Summit, we do our best to ensure that your experience is equal parts educational and engaging. Our goal is to make sure that when you leave you’re informed, inspired, and equipped with practical, ready-to-implement solutions to solve your organization’s greatest community building challenges.

CMX, 2017
Should I Attend CMX Summit?

As a burgeoning and maturing industry, the term “community manager” or even “community” means a lot of things to a lot of people. Community professionals work at the intersection of marketing, social media management, event production, and customer support. So you can see how it can get confusing.

CMX, 2017
10 Political Organizing Lessons from Star Trek: Deep Space Nine

Each Star Trek show holds a special meaning for many of us, but no one can ignore that Deep Space Nine, at its core, is a show about politics. Politics in space. Politics that involve shapeshifters and Tribbles. The events of end of the Occupation of Bajor and Bajor seeking Federation membership serve as catalysts for the entire show.

Women at Warp, 2017
Announcing the CMX Summit Scholarship Program

Community is our life at CMX. We always want to give back and encourage everyone to be part of our community and we especially love seeing all of you at CMX Summit, our 2-day annual conference. While we’re implementing many improvements to bring everyone together, we realize not everyone can afford to attend CMX Summit.

CMX, 2017

Getting Extra Transparent on Your Costs and Benefits (And Ours) for CMX Summit

Nothing gets us more excited than to see your faces at CMX Summit, happening September 19-20 in Los Angeles. It’s the power of community that we’re always talking about. That we, as community managers, always strive for. When you join us for CMX Summit, we want you to feel that love. But we also want to share conference costs and benefits.

CMX, 2017
CMX Summit’s Commitment to Diversity and Inclusion in Our Speaker Lineup

Speakers can make or break a conference. They are the magic that drives an event forward. Everyone has passionate opinions around their favorite speakers, how to craft a great talk, and who deserves to be on stage.

CMX, 2017
Why Helping Your Customers Help Themselves May Be Your Best Customer Satisfaction Strategy

Customer satisfaction can grow or wane dramatically anytime there is a need to interact with your company. Over 90 per cent of customers are using more than one support channel to reach out, so it’s more important than ever for brands to be omnipresent. One-size-fits-all customer support and contact is a relic of the past.

Salesforce, 2017
How to Make Your Events More Inclusive

“Anyone can come to our event.” That’s what we tell ourselves – we the people who program and labor over our events. We don’t bar anyone from joining the fun, and the only barrier may (or may not) be a ticket price or alcohol-related restrictions around age. When we do price our events, we make sure they’re affordable for our demographic and right along with our competitors’ prices. But the real truth is that not everyone is actually welcomed to our events.

Higher Logic, 2017
A Detailed Look Into Being Successful on SlideShare

With 70 million users, now’s the time to dive in and make yourself known on SlideShare. But with over 400,000 presentations uploaded every month, you have to put extra effort and marketing muscle in to boost your work.

Salesforce, 2016
Don’t Launch In the Dark: How to Plan Your Community

Communities are extraordinary assets for brands. They build loyalty, increase brand equity and reputation, and activate new members. n loyalty alone, devoted community members are worth up to 10 times as much as new ones.

Envato, 2016
10 Rules for Surviving Being Laid Off

Being laid off sucks. One moment you’re working away, and the next, you’re being told you’re done. It feels like a breakup.

HireMoz, 2016
Moz and MozCon Partner with 50/50 Pledge

MozCon’s dedication to the representation of women on stage officially kicked off in 2012. Before, it wasn’t that women didn’t speak or weren’t being asked to share their experiences and expertise. It was that, like many conferences out there, without an intentional discussion about gender during speaker selections, we missed the mark by miles.

Medium, 2016
Getting Transparent: How We Select Speakers for Our Conference

Got an email asking about how we find main speakers for MozCon. I’m going to answer here instead to help quickly address this in the future. I love programming a conference and other events where we select the speakers vs events where we take pitches.

Medium, 2016
Success Metrics in a World Without Twitter Share Counts

Last November, Twitter quietly removed share counts. Here are some ideas of what you can do instead to fill that data void.

Moz, 2016
How to Build an Empathetic Social Media Strategy for Times of Tragedy

In crisis and tragedy, we turn to social media, so here’s how to make sure your brand responds appropriately and you stay sane.

Moz, 2016
I Want to Speak at Your Conference, Now What?

Ever wondered what it’s like to be on stage, under those bright lights, sharing your knowledge? Not sure what it takes to be successful? Landing and preparing for a speaking gig is hard. Here are some tips about how to set goals, be professional, get bookings, and more.

Moz, 2015
7 Dead-Simple Ways to Improve Slide Decks

Improve your presentation slide decks with these seven simple tips, including a downloadable checklist you can reference in future projects.

Moz, 2015
Which Social Media Sites Should Your Company Be On?

Few businesses need to be on every social media site. This article will help you determine which of the popular sites are most important for your company’s marketing efforts.

Salesforce, 2015
Welcome to the Face of Customer Service: Social Media

For customers, it’s sometimes easier to tweet a product question than call customer service. Make your customers happier and outrank competitors by aligning customer service and social media.

Salesforce, 2015
How to Create a Succinct and Effective Brand Voice, Tone, and Style

Defining your brand’s voice isn’t a one step process. It is, however, a crucial element of branding. In a nutshell, brand voice is the pillar for all communications.

Salesforce, 2015
Before You Click Publish, Here’s What to Do With Your Content

Arguably the hardest step of the writing process is putting down those first words and completing a first draft. But what’s next?

Salesforce, 2015
18 Key Hacks to Make Your Email Mobile-Friendly

Everyone loves mobile. For years now, mobile has been the up-and-comer for on-the-go reading and searching. While all types of devices are used to access the web, 47 to 60 percent of email is read on a mobile device.

Salesforce, 2015
How to Design an Email Marketing Program That Keeps Your Audience Reading

Email marketing is more than product announcements and discounts. Learn how to research and create outside-the-inbox email marketing campaigns that keep your audience coming back for more.

SurePayroll, 2015
Learning to Fly: My Community Management Journey

My journey as a community manager started with volunteering. As a small child, I spent a lot of time with my grandparents, who were Catholic and who had convictions around serving others in need.

CMAD, 2014
Ways to Proactively Welcome Women Into Online Marketing

SEO may be a male-dominated industry, but let’s step out of our biases and work hard to welcome women, and marketers of all stripes, into our community.

Moz, 2014
How to Rebrand Your Social Media Accounts

Need to change your social media accounts for a rebrand? Here’s how! And don’t worry, it’s not that scary.

Moz, 2014
Beyond Followers: How to Achieve True Engagement with Social Media

When it comes to social media analytics, engagement is super important. But what does engagement actually mean? And are social media follower counts really important?

Salesforce, 2014
Thinking Big: An Interview with #MozCon Speaker Kyle Rush

MozCon speaker Kyle Rush shares his experiences with the Obama re-election campaign, what he thinks about as an engineer, and why Instagram is his favorite social network.

Moz, 2013
The New Science of Web Psychology: Interview with Nathalie Nahai

Nathalie Nahai, the web psychologist, talks about her love of web optimization, favorite social media tools, and the new Star Trek movie.

Moz, 2013
The Positive ROI of Conferences: A Deep Look at #MozCon

Conferences can be spendy when you add up ticket costs, travel, hotel, meals, and more. It’s important that you can justify a positive ROI when it comes to your budget. Find out the value and costs of your MozCon ticket.

Moz, 2013
#MozCon Speaker Interview: Karen McGrane

MozCon 2013 speaker, Karen McGrane, talks about her love of mobile design, computer history, and artichokes. Join us to see her speak about “The Mobile Content Mandate” at MozCon.

Moz, 2013
#RCS, YouTube, and Being Helpful: An Interview with Wil Reynolds

Wil Reynolds talks about who inspires him, his love of using YouTube to help others, and, of course, Real Company Stuff.

Moz, 2013
Creativity, Serendipity, and Championing B2B: An Interview with Adriel Sanchez

Adriel Sanchez, Sr. Director of Demand Generation at SAP, talks about creativity, serendipity, championing B2B, and what social media campaign he thought deserved more love.

Moz, 2013
You go, tech grrrls!

In true technologist fashion, let’s dig a little into some data. In 2010, women earned 57 percent of all bachelor’s degrees, yet only received 18 percent of all computer and information science bachelor’s degrees — down from 37 percent in 1985.

Crosscut, 2012
8 Copy Editing Tricks to Make You Look Professional – Whiteboard Friday

Editing your own writing is the worst part of writing, no matter your profession. In today’s Whiteboard Friday, our very own Community Attache shares her tips for turning the arduous process of editing into something beautiful.

Moz, 2012
Google+: The Ultimate You-Sourced Search Engine

Google+ has crept into SERPs near you. From getting hyper-personalized results popping up everywhere to recommending people to follow or showing you results you’ve +1’d or posts you’ve made, Google+ isn’t giving you the choice to ignore it. Instead, embrace the win-sparkle of personalization.

Moz, 2012