Art Editor Samantha Allen is a senior at ASU majoring in English with a concentration in fiction writing. After graduating in May, Samantha plans to teach English abroad before pursuing an MFA in fiction. She is currently working on her first novel and a series of short stories and hopes to begin publishing her work next year. Samantha believes that art in all its forms is an essential expression of what it means to be human, and she is happy to have the chance to promote art in a digital world. This is her first semester with Superstition Review.
Click here to watch Samantha read an excerpt from one of her stories.
Nonfiction Editor Terrah Hancock is an English Literature major at Arizona State University. One of her nonfiction essays, Snobbery Tower is being published in the upcoming edition of Lux Literary Magazine. She has also finished a working draft of her memoir entitled Singing Myself To Sleep and is in the editorial phase of publication. She aspires to attend graduate school at Vermont College of Fine Arts where her Creative Writing Thesis Project will be the tangled biography of a 26º Freemason’s son.
1. What is your position with Superstition Review and what are your responsibilities?
This is my first semester with Superstition Review. As the Nonfiction Editor my responsibilities are to review submissions from authors. I correspond with the authors and then submit my vote on which submissions I think should be featured.
2. Why did you decide to get involved with Superstition Review?
I am usually on the submitting end of the publication process. I was curious to experience the other side, so I applied. I want to gain exposure to things like: the always dreaded and nerve wracking Query Letter and to witness how fellow writers develop and sustain relationships with literary magazines.
3. Besides interning for Superstition Review, how do you spend your time?
I have a set of detailed and lofty academic and professional goals, so a great deal of my time is spent studying or writing in the basement of Hayden Library. Beyond striving to achieve my childhood dream of being a writer, I am the happy and playful mother of two beautiful sons. We spend much of our time riding bikes, playing football or taking our three dogs to the dog park.
4. What other position(s) for Superstition Review would you like to try out?
I could see myself trying the Superstition Review Blog Editor only if it doesn’t exclude me from being able to read all the incoming submissions!
5. Describe one of your favorite literary works.
I get asked this all the time and I contend that one favorite is impossible! I have a strong three way tie for my favorite work: Of Human Bondage by W. Somerset Maugham, The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck and Great Expectations by Charles Dickens. Each of these books left me feeling immensely connected to humanity and with a deep compassion for all the things I’ll never know about other people’s lives.
6. What are you currently reading?
After semesters full of close, analytic readings I yearn for a story that I don’t have to dissect and appraise. My very favorite story to get lost in is Stephen King’s Dark Tower series. Like the gunslinger’s repeated journey, I read this entire series once a year. I love that I don’t study the sentence structure or even acknowledge that structure exists. Right now I’m reading The Art of Time in Memoir by Sven Birkerts.
7. Creatively, what are you currently working on?
I am working on polishing the working draft of my first book right now. I completed my first draft over a year ago and have been following a detailed plan to achieve my eventual goal. My manuscript is with my editor now and when we are finished with this lengthy editorial process, I’ll move along to the stage of acquiring publication and literary prestige!
8. What inspires you?
I am inspired by the people who never gave up on their dreams. In 1888, Mona Caird wrote “Every good thing that we enjoy today was once the dream of a ‘crazy enthusiast’ mad enough to believe in the power of ideas and in the power of man to have things as he wills.” Also — one of my goals is to someday be an answer to one of The Writer’s Chronicle crossword puzzle questions!
9. What are you most proud of?
I make sure to cherish every accomplishment in my life. Every semester, every essay, every test, every publication. I’m proud of my life collectively. Most recently, I’m very proud of my first publication. A short story of mine entitled, Snobbery Tower, was published just this month in a local literary journal.
10. Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
I wrote my first book at age six, entitled The Heart and The Ant. Ten years from now, I will still be on the path that began with that book. I will still be writing and possibly in school; hopefully on the other side of the podium by then. I’ll still be happy and proud. I’ll know that I never gave up on my dreams — maybe got distracted a few times, but I never quit.
At Superstition Review, we like to keep up with upcoming literary events in the Phoenix area. Bread Loaf Writer’s Conference scholar and Pushcart Prize nominee, Michelle Hoover, will be visiting Changing Hands Bookstore on Tuesday October 12th at 7 p.m. She will be reading from her debut novel, The Quickening, which was released in June.
Based on her family’s rich history of oral story-telling and her grandmother’s diary, The Quickening narrates an interminable feud between two Iowa farming families. The conflict lasted over four decades, spanning across both World Wars and well into the Great Depression. A timeless tale of humanity’s intuition in times of peril, Hoover’s entrance into the world of literature is felicitous.
While The Quickening is Hoover’s first novel, her first-hand experience of growing up in Ames, Iowa ensures validity in her work. It is obvious that this experience combined with the recounted stories from family members over the generations has provided the necessary knowledge to convey this story with immense accuracy. Michelle Hoover has also previously published fiction in The Massachusettes Review, Best New American Voices, and Prairie Schooner, as well as others. She teaches writing at Boston University and Grub Street, Inc., a group that assists writers in developing their manuscripts through six to ten week workshops.
Hoover’s website, http://www.michellehoover.net/, includes a list of upcoming readings and events and a video message about The Quickening. It also offers the opportunity to tell your own story about working or growing up on a farm. Stories must have a minimum of 500 words and be submitted by December 1st to be eligible. Two lucky winners who have shared their story will be picked to receive a copy of The Quickening. The winners will be posted on her website on December 15th. You can also follow Michelle Hoover on Twitter via http://twitter.com/quickeningnovel for frequent updates on her successes and recent work.