Preeminent national literary nonprofit the Asian American Writers’ Workshop celebrates its 30th anniversary this fall. 


October 5, 2021

(New York, New York) — Today, the Asian American Writers’ Workshop reveals AAWW at 30, a series of signature events, fundraising campaign, and thematic notebooks that explore the values and ideas at the heart of the Workshop’s mission since its founding in 1991. From the complexities of representation to the need for an artistic home, AAWW at 30 will not only look back on the organization’s legacy but uplift Asian American interventions in literature and politics today.

For its 30th anniversary, the Workshop will convene contemporary Asian American writers online for monthly panel discussions from September to December on topics such as Muslim representation in entertainment, the role of Asian American literary organizations, editorial legacies, and the Workshop’s archive. AAWW at 30 will close the fundraising campaign with a ticketed event “Activating the Archive” in December to honor literary luminaries such as Alexander Chee and Amitava Kumar, among others. 

“While the scope and scale of the organization have dramatically shifted over the course of thirty years, the insistence on creating and cultivating a community of our own is what drove our founders to create the Workshop and what continues to drive all of our work today. We are thrilled for the chance to spend the next few months celebrating our history, honoring our past, and just as importantly, imagining and manifesting what lies ahead.”

Jafreen Uddin, Executive Director of the AAWW

The Margins will publish two thematic collections. The first “Living in Echo reflects on the anniversary of 9/11, responding to The Asian American Literary Review’s Fall 2011 counter-commemoration. “Living in Echo” features work by public artist Tomie Arai, NYC high school teachers, and key members of AAWW’s organizational history. Contributors include Sophie Oberfield, Annie Thoms, Victoria Meng, Shreya Vora, Kyung Cho; former AAWW programs director Parag Khandhar and Rajini Srikanth; and many more.

The second notebook “Activating the Archive” will showcase pieces from early print materials of AAWW through the decades, such as the Asian Pacific American Journal (APAJ), edited in the 1990s by Hanya Yanigihara, newsletter TEN (formerly known as explanAsian) edited by Lisa Ko and Tina Chang in the 2000s, as well as various anthologies published by the Workshop.

AAWW at 30 celebrates the significant contributions of Asian writers, thinkers, and activists, the very people who have made the organization a generous and generative space by and for the Asian and American community. 

Established in 1991, the Asian American Writers’ Workshop is a national not-for-profit arts organization. The Asian American Writers’ Workshop is devoted to creating, publishing, developing and disseminating creative writing by Asian Americans, and to providing a community literary arts space. Our mission is to amplify Asian American literary culture to mobilize for a more just future.

Executive Director Jafreen Uddin is available for interview and comment. 

For press and media queries, contact Esther Kim at ekim@aaww.org

Devyn Mañibo at dmanibo@aaww.org