Editor’s Desk: Hemingway and Talking with Other Writers

Editor-in-Chief Austin Hojdar reflects on speaking with other journalists about their shared passion for writing.

I recently visited the Austin neighborhood of Chicago and the adjacent southwest suburb Oak Park. I’ve always wanted to visit Austin for obvious reasons, but Oak Park has been on my list for quite some time.

Ernest Hemingway was born in Oak Park, Illinois in 1899. In middle school, my teacher Robert Clark assigned “The Old Man and the Sea” — Hemingway’s final novella — and I was immediately struck by Hemingway’s simplistic yet profound language.

The story itself has very little to do with journalism except when they check the baseball scores from that 1950s day.

Hemingway himself, aside from being a novelist and soldier, was also a journalist. He primarily had bylines in The Kansas City Star and the Toronto Star.

But this isn’t even why I bring him up. 

Last week, I spoke to the editor-in-chief of DePaul University’s student paper, and I plan to meet with more editors as the year goes on.

In his later life, Hemingway lived in Paris alongside authors and poets such as Gertrude Stein (“The Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas”), James Joyce (“Ulysses”) and F. Scott Fitzgerald (“The Great Gatsby”).

In no way am I trying to compare myself to Hemingway or these other authors, but I think I’ve romanticized the idea of settling down and meeting with people who share similar passions — whether you’re in Paris, Chicago or on a Zoom call.

Journalism feels like such a niche and interconnected world. Around the country, there are thousands of other students who work alongside other student journalists to produce papers vital to their university and surrounding community.

A lot of what we discuss goes beyond what will be found in the paper or on our website. It’s wildly interesting for me to hear what challenges these editors-in-chief face at their unique schools, how different their student bodies are and what their production schedule looks like.

Having the means and the opportunity to talk to people in different communities has already been extremely enriching and I can’t wait for more. I hope you’re excited, too. 

Next week, I’ll be talking with an editor-in-chief from a newspaper outside of Illinois.

For now, enjoy the third issue of The Loyola Phoenix. 

Along with this story, I’ve attached a photo of a plush finger puppet of Ernest Hemingway from my apartment bedroom. In arts, read about students and their own dorm plushies.

Featured image by Austin Hojdar / The Phoenix

Austin Hojdar

Austin Hojdar