WALTER’s Top 10 Stories of 2020

From essays to artist profiles to poetry, these are the stories our readers loved this year.
by Ayn-Monique Klahre

2020 was a year like no other, yet we still found so much to talk about in our print magazines and online. These are the stories that our readers were more interested in, that they shared on social media and wrote in to us to recommend. In case you missed reading them the first time, here are WALTER’s top 10 stories of 2020.

Printing Patterns: Inside Spoonflower’s Fabric Factory

In the March issue, we took a tour through the offices of Spoonflower, the Durham-based print-on-demand textile company. Inside, we found behemoth machines, staffers perched in lofty offices and racks of fabric and wallpaper in every imaginable color and pattern. 

Beyond Fashion: The Story Behind Meredith College’s Class Dolls

For more than 100 years, students at Meredith have created a doll at the end of the year that, through her clothing and accessories, sums up their college experience. Seen as a whole, they are a window into the area’s history.

Armed and Disarming: Cassandra Deck-Brown is the Chief

As the Black Lives Matter movement swept through Raleigh, our police chief — the first Black woman to hold the position — found herself in the spotlight. This 2013 profile surfaced as people wanted to learn more about her,

Gift of Nature: The New Williamson Preserve

With everyone trying to find ways to be outside, there was lots of interest in the Williamson Preserve, a new nature preserve with walking and biking trails. While its opening was delayed, it’s now a resource for locals looking for recreation.

A New Narrative

Visual artist Jean Gray Mohs uses her work to tell the story of her life in an “intensely personal and universal” way, exploring topics like childbearing, health, joy and grief. 


Cate Edwards’ essay on the lessons she learned about parenting from her late mother, Elizabeth Edwards, was one of our most-shared stories around Mother’s Day

CupAJoe Landlord Celebrates Community Through Portraits of its Patrons

A web-exclusive showcase of photographs of customers of the popular Hillsborough Street coffee shop by its owner, Leon Capetanos, was a local favorite.

Alchemy & Balance

Readers loved this tour of engineer Sepi Saidi’s home, which was designed by architect Frank Harmon — and the two, along with interior designer Kay Jordan, had a blast pulling it together.

Slant of Light

North Carolina Poet Laureate Jaki Shelton Green wrote poetic phrases inspired by photographs Juli Leonard took at the JC Raulsten Arboretum in late fall; readers loved the combination of words and images.

Christmas Stories, Somewhat but Mostly Not True

This collection of vignettes from noted author Daniel Wallace tapped on what the season is about: for the holidays, we do what we can with what we have to make them the best they can possibly be. This year, that message felt even more meaningful.