Nealy Corcoran is the new editor of the Sun and Country Messenger newspapers. She began work Nov. 3.

Corcoran has been a contributing writer to the Country Messenger, Stillwater Gazette, the Growler and Volume One Magazine in Eau Claire, Wisc. She succeeds C.L. Sill, who accepted a position with Pheasants Forever in September.

Born in Neenah, Wisconsin, Corcoran lived in several states growing up. Her father worked as a teacher, then elementary principal in several districts in northern Wisconsin. The family lived in Vermont for a short time during Nealy’s childhood.

As a child, Corcoran was a strong reader and writer. “Writing was my outlet,” she said. Corcoran was encouraged by her teachers to pursue writing and corresponded as pen pal with Janet Shaw, author of books in the American Girls series. Her teachers knew of her interest in writing and arranged for the pen pal.

Nealy’s name is a tribute to her ancestors. Her mother of Irish ancestry. “I had a great grandmother named Cornelia and a grandfather Cornelius, both Corcorans and that’s where Nealy comes from. Kenealy is my given name, but it came from Corneilius anc Corneila,” she said. 

Corcoran has lived in Stillwater, Minnesota since 1998 with her husband and Kylo, a rescue dog who is part Husky. Even though her pet is named after a Star Wars character, Corcoran says the dog is the opposite of its namesake. “She’s the most loving, sensitive and wonderful creature. I got a dog, my husband got a Star Wars reference,” Corcoran said.

Corcoran has worked at a lot of small businesses in the St. Croix River valley.

Corcoran cites the movie “A River Runs Through It” as one of her favorites. “I always like to say a river has run through my entire life, because my parents have always lived in a river valley of some sort,” she said.

Corcoran has always felt a strong connection to the St. Croix River valley. “I have an internal compass that keeps me her or brings me back,” she said. “There’s something very healing about the river.”

“I am so excited to have Nealy join our team,” said publisher Tom Stangl. “Her passion for writing and love of community will serve her well in her roles.”

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