About Us

The Asian American Writers’ Workshop (AAWW) is devoted to creating, publishing, developing and disseminating creative writing by Asian Americans, and to providing an alternative literary arts space at the intersection of migration, race, and social justice. Since our founding in 1991, we have been dedicated to the belief that Asian American stories deserve to be told. At a time when migrants, women, people of color, Muslims, and LGBTQ people are specifically targeted, we offer a new countercultural public space in which to imagine a more just future.

We achieve this by:

  • Building an inclusive pipeline
  • Nurturing a new generation of Asian diasporic writers
  • Creating a sanctuary space for the imagination
  • Taking stories from the margins and pushing them to the center

GINA APOSTOL

Author of Insurrecto

“You find not only your identity at the Asian American Writers’ Workshop—you find a meaningful life of political action, intellectual provocation, historical memory, radical art. The Workshop makes me, as an artist, wish to act.”

We are a publisher, an incubator for emerging writers, a sanctuary space for readers and ideas. We are a community of activists who use our artistry to advocate for and center the voices and ideas on the margins. Our public space is designed for gathering communities and building critical dialogue between literature and movement culture. Here are the ways in which you can experience our work:

Reading Series: Right here at AAWW’s home base in Midtown Manhattan, we host 40 readings every year: one of the most active literary series in one of the world’s busiest cities. Ocean Vuong, Jessica Hagedorn, Min Jin Lee, Amitav Ghosh, Maxine Hong Kingston, Alexander Chee, and Han Kang have all shared their work, in a space intimate enough for audiences to meet authors and to discuss politics and ideas. 

Writing workshops: Students study with world-renowned writers who have included National Book Award finalist Monica Youn, New Yorker contributor Hua Hsu, and award-winning poet Sally Wen Mao. These courses provide small, limited-enrollment groups for emerging writers to meet other writers and hone their craft, while connecting to seasoned authors. Our series provides a more accessible alternative to MFA programs and writing conferences.

ISHLE YI PARK

Former Poet Laureate of Queens

“The Asian American Writers’ Workshop nurtured and raised me. A home away from home, a nest, a gathering place, a refuge, a resource.”

Digital magazine: The Margins is our award-winning magazine of literature, arts, and ideas, dedicated to inventing the Asian American creative culture of tomorrow. As the editorial arm of AAWW, it draws upon a commitment to social justice to imagine a vibrant, nuanced, multiracial, and transnational Asian America. The Margins is visited by an average of 3,000 people weekly, and has received over a million views since its launch in 2012. The digital magazine currently houses three special projects: 

Open City captures deeply reported stories from Asian immigrant communities across NYC, which are home to a million New Yorkers.

The Transpacific Literary Project (TLP) showcases East and Southeast Asian writers for live events, and publishes new literary work from the region in portfolios for The Margins. 

A World Without Cages (AWWC) fosters and publishes work by incarcerated writers, and brings more Asian American voices into the anti-incarceration movement. 

CreateNow: We run community arts programming in New York City senior centers and public high schools. Taught by teaching artists from our community, CreateNow brings together youth, seniors, and emerging writers into a cross-generational artistic community.

Fellowships: We currently offer two fellowship programs for emerging writers of color based in New York City:

The Margins Fellowship supports writers of fiction, creative nonfiction, and poetry through a year-long program that includes a $5,000 grant, mentorship with an established writer, residency time at the Millay Colony for the Arts, publication opportunities, and career guidance. 

The Open City Fellowship is awarded to journalists and nonfiction writers who write from and about New York City’s Asian and Muslim immigrant neighborhoods, including Sunset Park, Bay Ridge, Richmond Hill, and Jackson Heights. Over the course of six months, fellows receive a $2,500 grant, publication on Open City, and more.

 

HARI KUNZRU

Author of White Tears

“If poets are unacknowledged legislators, then the AAWW acts as a sort of secret Senate, if not actually laying down the law, then at least acting as a clearing house for information, putting people in touch with each other, and disseminating work by Asians (and our Black and Latino allies) that otherwise might be overlooked by the literary establishment.”

Staff

Lillian Cho

Kelly Kuwabara

Tiffany Tran Le

Yasmin Adele Majeed

Jyothi Natarajan

Noel T. Pangilinan

Kaitlin Rees

Bushra Rehman

Robert Rusli

Alice Yang

Board of Directors

Manan Ahmed

Jin Auh

Mariko Gordon

Jennifer Hayashida

Hua Hsu

Anne Ishii

Kirby Kim

Jennifer 8. Lee

Tan Lin

Monica Youn

 

Founders

Curtis Chin

Christina Chiu

Marie Myung-Ok Lee

Bino Realuyo

Contributing Editors

Daniel A. Gross

Ayesha Raees

Emily Jungmin Yoon

 
AAWW

Members of the AAWW staff are represented by the AAWW union, founded in 2018, and affiliated with the Technical, Office, and Professional (TOP) Union, Local 2110 UAW, AFL-CIO.

 

The following designers and web developers contributed to the design and development this website: Ira Sher, Britt Gudas, Manu Mei-Singh, Andrew Sempere, Anindita Basu Sempere, Eileen Mullin, Axel Jenson, and Emma Lu.