Silk Road Assistant Editor: Katie Fairchild

Katie Fairchild photoMajor: Creative Writing; Editing and Publishing, English Literature minors

Graduation year: 2016

Hometown: Port Angeles, WA

What do you look for in a Silk Road piece or in any writing?

I tend to look for something that stands out. Of course, clean grammar and sentence structure are important, but it doesn’t matter if a piece doesn’t grab my interest. In a poem, I want to be compelled to read to the next line. Fiction and nonfiction should have me eagerly turning pages until I’m disappointed that it’s run out. I’ve seen plenty of well-written pieces come my way that I won’t pass up because the writer never found the plot.

On the flipside, a piece needs to have more than just a gripping plot. In my opinion, vivid imagery is a key part of good writing, especially in pieces for Silk Road.

If you could have any job once you graduate, what would you love to do? Money is no object.

I would love to be a professional Sasquatch hunter if Sasquatch actually existed. But really, as cheesy as it sounds, I think I’m on-track to do what I love regardless of money. I plan on going to grad school on the east coast and working my way up the ranks of a big-name book publishing company. It’s true – when I grow up, I want to be Sandra Bullock from The Proposal. Silk Road is preparing me for my inevitable domination. I suppose if that didn’t pan out and I still had unlimited money, I’d go down to Hollywood and be a writer or show-runner for my own tv show. The format has always appealed to me, partly because I love writing dialogue and partly because (sadly) television reaches a much broader audience than books do, and it makes me giddy to think about multimillions of people knowing my writing.

Do you have any authors or pieces of literature that inspire you?

I’ve always had a fondness for Ernest Hemingway and Raymond Carver. Their clipped, direct styles have had a huge influence on the way I write creatively. Perhaps it’s better to say that I’ve been influence by Carver’s editor, because that’s who was responsible for Carver’s signature staccato style.  I’m also a fan of local legend Chuck Palahniuk because of his blend of the dark with the humorous – all of my writing has a touch of that. I also want to note that I was exposed to some pretty dark pieces during a developmental stage in my writing – Roald Dahl’s “The Landlady” and “Lamb to the Slaughter,” Shirley Jackson’s “The Lottery”, that sort of thing. All of that has unquestionably had an influence on what I like in a piece of writing and what I like to write about myself. Thank my sixth grade teacher for that.

What does Silk Road embody to you? What words would you use to describe Silk Road to someone who knows nothing about it?

Silk Road, to me, is a publication about people. It is a gathering place for people and their stories, and for other people to hear about their experiences. It’s an opportunity for people to open their eyes to the world around them, one page at a time.