Our inscrutable Managing Editor Chelsea Hickok has given us a look into her position at HFR and a few tidbits about herself as well. In this interview we will get a look at what it takes to assemble a body of work into a gleaming literary journal.
Leslie Verdugo: Chelsea, can you tell me about your responsibilities as managing editor for HFR?
Chelsea Hickok: I take care of the more logistical part of the journal. I’m the one who gets in contact with the contributors to send them publication agreements and to get their bios. I also construct the master list and go through print bids to get the journal made.
LV: You really have your hands in the journal’s creation. How long have you been with the magazine now?
CH: Since last fall, and I only did second reads then. I then filled out an application for my current position, answered a few essay questions, and here I am.
LV: Did you have experience for your current position?
CH: I mostly learned as I went along.
LV: Nice. So when you were a reader for the journal did you have a certain pet peeve or something you looked out for in a story?
CH: I tended to avoid content based on the college perspective because we all have a pretty good idea of what college is like. Also there seemed to be a lot of cancer stories during my time, which I found hard to get into beyond just knowing the author wanted me to be sad.
LV: Right, there was more focus on the fact that they are victims rather than humans.
CH: Yeah, exactly.
LV: What year are you in now, Chelsea?
CH: I am now in my second year as a graduate student in the MFA fiction program.
LV: Is there anything you are focused on in your writing right now?
CH: I’m exploring the idea of food as it relates to the human experience. Right now I’m working on a story of a man in search of pelican meat.
LV: Wow, that’s an awesome topic to focus on, and the story sounds like it’s going to be an interesting read. Do you plan on staying with HFR?
CH: Yes, I do. I plan on applying for Editor next semester, and with the new staff we are planning on reimagining the journal.
LV: That’s pretty exciting! Speaking of exciting did you do anything fun this summer?
CH: I went on a road trip to Seattle with my man and a puppy named Wally short for Walter Pepercorn Peanut. We also call him Walnut.
LV: That’s adorable. I have also been meaning to ask, what is the tattoo on your shoulder of? I can never get a good look at it.
CH: It’s the 1978 cover art for Virginia Woolf’s novel To the Lighthouse. It’s a book a come back to year after year, always taking away something new and illuminating about the human condition.
LV: I see, well thank you for your time and for the insight Chelsea!
Chelsea Hickok is working towards her MFA in Fiction Writing at ASU. She is currently the Managing Editor of Hayden's Ferry Review.