Behind-the-Scenes of Red Hen Press: A Conversation with Chloë Zofia
By Lizzy Young
We are revisiting our Behind-the-Scenes of Red Hen Press series, where we interview different staff members to show you how things operate at the press. Today, we are chatting with Marketing Assistant, Chloë Zofia!
Chloë Zofia is a writer, editor and graphic designer from San Diego, California. After earning her B.A. in Studio Art and Psychology at CalPoly Humboldt, she moved to Paris to study fashion systems and the post-colonial critique. From Fall 2020 to Spring 2022, Chloë studied in the MFA Creative Writing program at Savannah College of Art & Design. Chloë has worked with Fondation Azzedine Alaïa, Musée des Arts Decoratifs at the Louvre, Paris Fashion Week, Printing Fashion Festival, Edible Manhattan/Brooklyn, Byronesque, Parsons Paris: The New School, and Inscape Literary Journal. She spent the first half of 2022 as a Publisher’s Office intern at Red Hen Press. By the end of that year, the stars had aligned, and she joined the Media & Marketing staff team. She is currently Book Reviews Editor for the Los Angeles Review and Managing Editor of MERDE Magazine. If the stars keep aligning, she’ll adopt a dachshund soon.
Lizzy Young: As a relatively new staff member, what are you most excited to work on in your position? What drew you to the position?
Chloë Zofia: I’m excited about some new and enchanting media-related endeavors we are scheming up behind the scenes here at Red Hen Press. Be sure to follow us on Instagram @redhenpress for future details! What initially attracted me to Red Hen is simple: BOOKS! I’m a major consumer of books, so it’s extra rewarding to be on the publishing side. I appreciate poets, readers, reviewers, designers, writers, and publishers more than ever.
LY: What does a typical workday look like for you?
CZ: A typical day at Red Hen starts with our daily staff call at 9 am. We take a roll call and everyone states their top priorities for the day. Then, typically, the thing you planned to do first will be delayed by a couple hours because another more pressing task arises out of the blue. We stay on our toes! Every day holds a new surprise. It’s been a running joke that nobody knew what Tansica did (the person who worked this position before me). This is because she mainly worked behind the scenes.
When we receive a shipment of galleys, it’s not unusual for me to spend an entire day packing and shipping. I’m in charge of submitting our authors to awards, which requires a fair amount of research into each author, book, and award’s requirements. I help research and plan bookstore visits around the country for our directors. When there is an upcoming festival or fair, I’ll help Monica, our Media Director, juggle a couple of the gazillion details. I’m not naturally an events coordinator, so I’m always enchanted by how many details she manages to keep in mind. She’s basically superwoman.
I help review forthcoming book cover layouts, manage presales, attend book fairs and poetry readings, pitch audiobook sales, verify author mailing/billing addresses, attend virtual conferences, assemble metadata, upload cover art, ebooks, draft book descriptions, send invoices, and occasionally help with acquisitions. One day, I hope to contribute more to our social media strategy but at the moment I’m pretty booked.
LY: What are some of your favorite social media trends?
CZ: I find the abstract astrology memes to be really fun. Can we really reduce whole personalities down to types of cereal based on the stars? Instagram can, and Instagram will. There’s also a TikTok trend of convincing the viewer to read a book based on a series of seemingly random images. That’s what convinced me to read Bunny by Mona Awad.
LY: Your bio says that you are the managing editor of MERDE Magazine, what is the publication about and what do your duties entail?
CZ: MERDE is a subversive, sometimes satirical, print publication dedicated to indie creatives in the fashion industry. We try to spotlight emerging creators in a system that has been historically quite gatekeep-y and exclusive. My job as editor is to help decide who and what we publish, what themes we want to focus on, conceptualize fake ads, and to keep our output in line with a consistent brand voice. I also help with copyediting and image selection. Molly Apple is the real mastermind behind the operation though!
LY: As the current Book Reviews Editor for the LA Review what advice do you have for writing book reviews?
CZ: My best advice is to transcend summary. People don’t read book reviews for a summary. That info can be found in the synopsis. Boring! A review is a creative opportunity to guide your readers to see a book through your eyes, to provide parallels, interpretations, and ideas one might not have gleaned on their own.
LY: What are you currently reading?
CZ: Currently on two books: Wordslut by Amanda Montell and You Might As Well Live: The Life and Times of Dorothy Parker by John Keats.
We hope you learned something about Chloë and all the cool things she does for the Press! Stay tuned for more Red Hen Behind-the-Scenes interviews!