Journal of Writing & Environment

Interview with Fiction Editor Chloe Clark

Hamilton-Poore: Where do you call home?

Clark: I call Wisconsin home. It’s where I was raised and where my family is.

Hamilton-Poore: What is your home place’s defining characteristic?

Clark: The defining characteristics of my home are probably woods and hills. Valleys and bluffs are the geographical features which most come to mind.

Hamilton-Poore: What kind of writing excites you? What can’t you put down?

Clark: I’m excited by writing that surprises or amazes me. I lean towards the speculative and the magical realist in writing. I can’t put down something where the writing, the plot, and the characters are well-done. I’m a stay-up-all-night finishing a book sort of reader. Currently I’m reading collections by Miyuki Miyabe and Emily Carroll and I’m about to dive into Emily St. John Mandel’s Station Eleven. Mandel is a writer of gorgeous prose and I can’t wait to read this latest novel.

Hamilton-Poore: For readers and those submitting to Flyway, what advice can you give?

Clark: For submitters to Flyway, my advice is to take risks in your writing. Also, take the “environment” in our journal title to new places: give me a haunted house story or explore a new planet. All of these can be just as much about place as any other story. Place and environment are what a writer makes them.

Hamilton-Poore: What do you look for in pieces you publish for Flyway?

Clark: I look for beautiful writing that also tells a really good story with interestingly complex characters. I don’t think a piece works unless if it has all three of those elements. I also look for old things done in surprising ways—show me a space exploration story that has never been done before.

Hamilton-Poore: How do you define “environment,” and is that definition important to you?

Clark: I define environment as a state of mind. Anything can be an environment if it’s well thought out: a single, unadorned room can be an environment if you make the reader feel like it is a lived-in room.