Meet the Editors


We are a small team of talented professionals with a wide range of skills and experience. We love what we do, and we do it with passion. We look forward to working with you.


Sonya Lara

Co-Founder, Poetry Editor, Social Media Manager

Sonya Lara served as the Associate Fiction Editor for The Madison Review at the University of Wisconsin-Madison where she received her BA in English-Creative Writing. Currently, she is the Co-Founder, Poetry Editor, and Social Media Manager for Rare Byrd Review, an Editor-at-Large for Cleaver Magazine, the Managing Editor for The Minnesota Review, and an MFA poetry candidate at Virginia Tech. Her work has appeared in Prairie Voices, Wisconsin’s Best Emerging Poets: An Anthology, Trestle Ties, Heavy Feather Review, and ENTROPY.

For more information, visit: http://www.sonyalara.com


Anna Butcher

Poetry Editor

Anna Butcher is a rising college freshman and two-time Pushcart Prize Nominee from Birmingham, Alabama. She has been published in Cadence Literary MagazineOne Sentence Poems, Right Hand Pointing, Rare Byrd Review, and Body Without Organs. Her favorite poets are Danez Smith, Sarah Kay, and Richard Siken.


Laura Schmitt

Fiction Editor, Feature Writer

Laura Schmitt is a recent graduate from the University of Wisconsin-Madison where she received degrees in journalism and English with an emphasis in creative writing. Prior to joining the Rare Byrd Review, she was the founder and Editor-In-Chief of The Quill, a summer literary journal for high school students in Green Bay, Wisconsin. Laura currently lives in Nashville where she works as a freelance writer.


Kenny Miller

Fiction Editor

Kenny is a graduate from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign where he majored in Creative Writing in undergraduate. He served as an Editorial Assistant for the Summer 2016 Web Edition of the university’s literary journal, Ninth Letter. He was also an Admissions Blogger for the university’s Office of Undergraduate Admissions, and a Media Communications Intern for the National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA). He currently lives in Chicago with his girlfriend, Chelsea, where they love to explore, hang out with friends, and attend live shows and music.


Troix Jackson

Fiction Editor

Troix Jackson is the editor and founder of Dear Heart Editing Services and the current manager of The Q Word, an online community dedicated to supporting LGBTQIA+ people of color interested in publishing. She is a graduate from the Educational Center for the Arts in New Haven and completed a concentration in Creative Writing, and is currently completing her B.A. in English at the University of Phoenix. When she’s not working or studying, she’s most likely playing The Sims, spending time with her family, or binging horror films.


Shannon Murphy

Creative Nonfiction Editor

Shannon is an English graduate assistant at the University of North Carolina-Charlotte where she teaches fairy tales and their adaptations to undergraduate students. She is currently the president of two organizations on the Charlotte campus: the Children’s Literature Graduate Organization (CLGO), and the English Graduate Association (EGSA). She received her bachelor’s degree in English and leadership at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. During her undergraduate career, she worked as editor and writer for the Wisconsin chapter of TheTab.com, staff writer for Souvenirs Magazine, and essay editor for Illumination Journal.


Jamie Rose Valera

Art and Photography Editor

Jamie Rose Valera is an art historian and theorist from the San Francisco Bay Area. Valera is a 2017 alumna of the Middle College program and will graduate in 2021 with her B.A. in the history of art and visual culture at the California College of the Arts in San Francisco. Currently, she plans to continue researching and writing through a Ph.D. in art history and visual studies. Valera’s work focuses on representations of the body by intersecting the past with the present. Her findings have been presented at symposiums and published by arts and humanities journals. After working the contemporary art gallery scene, Valera aims to delve into Museum Education, and later research and teach as a Professor of art history and visual studies.

For more information, visit: https://www.linkedin.com/in/jamierosevalera


Rare Byrd Review, Nora Goldie Felman.
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