[In-Person] In Celebration of When We Become Ours: A YA Adoptee Anthology
[In-Person] In Celebration of When We Become Ours: A YA Adoptee Anthology


Join Also-Known-As and the Asian American Writers’ Workshop in person to celebrate When We Become Ours: A YA Adoptee Anthology, edited by Nicole Chung and Shannon Gibney. The first of its kind, When We Become Ours is a powerful and poignant story collection written by and for adoptees in a variety of styles and genres. Our celebration will feature a thoughtful discussion with contributors Rebecca Carroll, Lisa Nopachai, Matthew Salesses, and Eric Smith, moderated by Lily Philpott. We’ll have books available for purchase and signing from our dear friends at Yu & Me Books.


About When We Become Ours

“An emotion-filled collection.” —Kirkus Reviews

Two teens take the stage and find their voice . . .
A girl learns about her heritage and begins to find her community . . .
A sister is haunted by the ghosts of loved ones lost . . .

There is no universal adoption experience, and no two adoptees have the same story. This anthology for teens edited by Shannon Gibney and Nicole Chung contains a wide range of powerful, poignant, and evocative stories in a variety of genres.

These tales from fifteen bestselling, acclaimed, and emerging adoptee authors genuinely and authentically reflect the complexity, breadth, and depth of adoptee experiences. This groundbreaking collection centers what it’s like growing up as an adoptee. These are stories by adoptees, for adoptees, reclaiming their own narratives.

With stories by: Kelley Baker, Nicole Chung, Shannon Gibney., Mark Oshiro, MeMe Collier, Susan Harness, Meredith Ireland, Mariama J. Lockington, Lisa Nopachai, Stefany Valentine, Matthew Salesses, Lisa Wool-Rim Sjöblom, Eric Smith, Jenny Heijun Wills, and Sun Yung Shin. Foreword by Rebecca Carroll and afterword by JaeRan Kim, MSW, PhD.

Purchase When We Become Ours from adoptee-owned Loyalty Bookstore


Rebecca Carroll is a writer, cultural critic, and host of the podcasts Come Through with Rebecca Carroll: 15 conversations about race in a pivotal year for America, and the award-winning Billie Was a Black Woman. Her memoir, Surviving the White Gaze, has been optioned by Killer Films, with Rebecca attached to write and develop for episodic TV. She is the creator and curator of the live event and audio series, In Love and Struggle, which shares the experiences of Black women through monologues, stories, music, and humor. Rebecca is the author of several interview-based books, and her first among them, I Know What the Red Clay Looks Like: The Voice and Vision of Black Women Writers, will be rereleased by Haymarket Books in 2024. Her writing has been published widely, and she is currently Editor-at-Large for The Meteor media collective.


Lisa Nopachai is a Mexican-American transracial adoptee, born in Texas and raised in an Italian-American family in New Jersey. With a BA from Amherst College and an MA from Fuller Theological Seminary, Lisa has worked in the fields of child advocacy and healthcare chaplaincy, and is currently studying to become a spiritual director. She lives with her husband and two daughters in North Jersey.

Matthew Salesses was adopted from Korea. He is the author of eight books, most recently The Sense of Wonder, the PEN/Faulkner finalist Disappear Doppelganger Disappear, and the national bestseller Craft in the Real World. He is an Assistant Professor of Writing at Columbia University.


Eric Smith is a literary agent and author living in Philadelphia. He’s worked on New York Times bestselling and award-winning books, but hasn’t written one of those yet. Maybe someday. His books include Don’t Read the Comments, You Can Go Your Own Way, Jagged Little Pill: The Novel, and With or Without You.


Born in Santiago, Chile and raised in New England, Lily Philpott is an indigenous transracial adoptee. She has worked for close to a decade in the arts and culture nonprofit sector in New York City at PEN America, the Guggenheim Museum, and the Asian American Writers’ Workshop. She is a member of the Starlings Collective, a group supporting BIPOC adoptee writers; the International Literature Committee at the Brooklyn Book Festival; the curatorial committee of the 2024 PEN America World Voices Festival; and she volunteers as the Director of Programs at the nonprofit organization Singapore Unbound. Currently, she is completing her MFA in Fiction at the Institute of American Indian Arts (IAIA). She lives in Brooklyn, and wants to know what you’re reading.





The event will be live streamed with auto captioning for those who cannot join us in-person. There is an elevator to the 6th floor. AAWW is a fragrance-free space. Masks are required for all attendees; if you forget yours, one will be provided for you. While a negative COVID test is not required, it is very much encouraged. If you have had COVID or have had known contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID in the 14 days prior to the event, we ask you tune in for the livestream instead. Please reach out to dmanibo@aaww.org for additional accessibility requests, including ASL (please request at least 10 days prior to the event), ADA accessible bathrooms, chairs with added back support, and beyond. This space is for YOU!

[In-Person] In Celebration of When We Become Ours: A YA Adoptee Anthology

Wednesday, November 29, 2023
7:00 PM
Asian American Writers’ Workshop
112 West 27th Street, Suite 600
New York
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