Chelsea Laine Wells graduated from Columbia College Chicago in 2007 as salutatorian of her class with a Bachelor’s degree in Fiction Writing. The Chelsea Laine Wells Scholarship was set up in her honor and has been awarded to several first year fiction writing students. She served as a co-editor for the Columbia College department literary journal Hair Trigger for two consecutive years. For seven years, she also served as a judge for the Columbia College Young Authors Awards, helping recognize and uplift exciting new voices at the high school level. During her time as a student and continuing past graduation, she worked as a writing tutor one on one with other college students and also taught a writing workshop to a class of fourth graders for one semester. Since then, she has taught creative writing workshops for Hypertext Magazine and Studios, her school district, and a summer program sponsored by the Writer’s Guild.
Honors and Awards
Honors and awards include second place in the 2002 Lorian Hemingway Short Story Competition, first place in the 2005 Guild Complex Nonfiction Awards, the 2007 David Friedman Memorial Award, second place in the essay category of the 2007 Columbia Scholastic Press Association awards, first place in traditional fiction category of the 2009 Columbia Scholastic Press Association awards, and selection for one-on-one conferences and critiques with the editors of Granta Magazine, Akashic Books, and Soft Skull Press. She was selected from a competitive pool of applicants for two writing residencies at The Ragdale Foundation, one of which was awarded on sight immediately following a reading associated with the 2005 Guild Complex Nonfiction Awards. In 2011, “The Heart of God” was nominated for a Pushcart Prize and “Delaney” was nominated for a Best of the Net award. In 2014 “We Sink Like Ships” was nominated for a Pushcart Prize. In 2015, “The Contents of her Stomach” was awarded a Best of the Net, and “Dogtooth” and “You Have What I Want” were nominated for Best of the Nets. Also “Exit Music” placed as a finalist in Heavy Feather’s chapbook contest and two short story first lines placed in East Street Magazine’s Great American Sentence Contest. In 2016 “Jack Sprat,” “War Dolls,” and “The Creation of Suffering” were nominated for Pushcart Prizes. In 2017, her essay “His Teeth” was nominated for a Best of the Net, and “Fire” was selected for the wigleaf top 50. In 2019, her story “Slimer” was nominated for Best American Short Stories.
College publication credits include issues 27, 28, 29, and 30 of Hair Trigger, as well as the Story Week Reader and Reservoir. More recently, her work has appeared in Gravel Magazine, Hypertext Review, Flapperhouse, Paper Darts, Dostoevsky Wannabe, Split Lip, Little Fiction, Talking Book, So Say We All’s Black Candies, New South, Corium, Crack the Spine, The Collapsar, Hippocampus, decomP, Revolution John, Hypertrophic, Knee Jerk, Hobart, Litro Mag, Witch Craft Mag, The Other Stories, People Holding, Third Point Press, Heavy Feather, Cease, Cows, The Molotov Cocktail, Change Seven, The Butter, Evergreen Review, PANK, Bluestem, HYPERtext Magazine, wigleaf, Housefire, Dark Chaos, Heavy Feather Review, Nouns of Assemblage, and a handmade, illustrated limited edition book containing several of her works and the works of another author through Lark Sparrow Press.
Chelsea lives where she grew up, in the Oak Cliff area of Dallas, TX. She is a public high school English I and Creative Writing teacher and managing and fiction editor for Chicago-based online lit magazine HYPERtext Magazine, as well as a former board member for Hypertext Magazine and Studios. She is also founding and managing editor of Hypernova Lit, an online journal that published the fiction, poetry, and visual art of high school students. When she is not teaching, writing, editing, reading, or working, she is on the couch in her pajamas with her best friend and beloved husband Bryan Lindsey, an uncommonly gifted high school English teacher and beautiful reader and writer, and their blended family of four kids, two old cats, and two huge, sweet pitbulls.