Asian American Writers' Workshop

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Asian American Writers' Workshop
A small capital A inset into a large capital A
Asian American Writers' Workshop logo
PurposeAsian American literature
HeadquartersNew York City
Region served
United States
Executive Director
Ken Chen

The Asian American Writers' Workshop (often abbreviated AAWW) is a nonprofit literary arts organization founded in 1991 to support Asian American writers, literature and community.[1] The Workshop also offers the annual Asian American Literary Awards and sponsors Page Turner: The Asian American Literary Festival.

The Asian American Writers Workshop runs two fellowship programs for emerging Asian American writers.[2] The Open City fellowship is focused on journalism in a New York neighborhood, whether in the form of narrative nonfiction, creative nonfiction, or memoir.[3] The Margins Fellowship is for writers based in New York City, aged thirty and under, who work in the genres of poetry, fiction, or creative nonfiction.[4] Notable Margins fellows include Yale Younger Poet Yanyi.

AAWW publishes two literary magazines, The Margins and Open City. The Margins, which proclaims itself as being "dedicated to the Asian American creative culture of tomorrow," publishes a variety of literature by Asian American writers including short fiction, poetry, essays, interviews, and more. Open City, the more recent of the two publications, focuses on "telling the stories of the Asian and immigrant neighborhoods of [New York City]". Both magazines are published on their website.[5]

In 2007, AAWW partnered with Hyphen Magazine to start a short story contest called the Hyphen Asian American Short Story Contest, the only national, pan-Asian American writing competition of its kind.[6] Previous winners include Preeta Samarasan, Sunil Yapa, Shivani Manghnani, and Timothy Tau. Previous judges include Porochista Khakpour, Yiyun Li, Alexander Chee, Jaed Coffin, Brian Leung, Monique Truong and Monica Ferrell.

Honorary advisors[edit]

Asian American Writers' Workshop

Response to controversy[edit]

In response to the 2015 "yellowface poet" incident, the organization published a "white pen name" generator,[7] which creates random white-sounding names "all the way back to Plymouth Rock." It was made in mockery of Michael Derrick Hudson, pushing back at the idea that writers of color might find greater success in the publishing industry if their names were whitewashed.


  1. ^ Ito, Hiroyuki (1998-11-17). "Asian American Writers' Workshop Makes A Scene". The Village Voice. Archived from the original on 2009-12-20. Retrieved 20 December 2009.
  2. ^ "AAWW Announces 2016 Margins and Open City Fellows". Poets & Writers. 2016-04-01. Retrieved 2018-12-09.
  3. ^ "Apply to AAWW's Open City Fellowships". Retrieved 2018-12-09.
  4. ^ Posted by a4 - Network Admin on October 27, 2015 at 11:16am in Opportunities; Discussions, View. "Fellowship Opportunity: The Margins - Asian American Writers Workshop". Retrieved 2018-12-09.
  5. ^ "About". Asian American Writers' Workshop. Retrieved 8 November 2018.
  6. ^ Announcing the 2011 Asian American Short Story Contest, "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2012-07-18. Retrieved 2012-07-21.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  7. ^ "#WhitePenName Generator". Retrieved 2016-04-24.

External links[edit]