In 2012, the Asian American Writers' Workshop launched a set of online magazines in order to build conversations around cutting-edge ideas in Asian American literature, art, and social justice. Though the aims of our publications are distinct, both of them are committed to the reinvention and advancement of Asian American intellectual culture.

  • The Margins is our magazine of arts and ideas dedicated to charting the rise of the Asian American creative class through essays, interviews, and creative writing.
  • Open City is our narrative journalism magazine that seeks to tell the stories of Asian American neighborhoods, primarily in New York.


We publish: 1) original creative writing, whether poetry, fiction, creative nonfiction, or even interdisciplinary work; 2) essays on literature and politics by sophisticated thinkers who can speak to a general audience about race, gender, sexuality, immigration, postcolonialism, pop culture, and diaspora; 3) reportage about immigrant communities in NYC by narrative storytellers who can set a scene with rich imagery and descriptive detail. 

Our stories have been linked to by the Wall Street Journal, the New Inquiry and the New York Times. Our contributors have included Jessica Hagedorn, Hanya Yanagihara, Chang-rae Lee, Bhanu Kapil, Ashok Kondabolu, Jenny Zhang, Katie Kitamura, Hua Hsu, Kim Hyesoon, Alexander Chee, Vijay Iyer, and Yoko Ogawa. See below for ways you can submit your work!

Please note that on May 15, 2020 at 11:59 pm EDT we are closing poetry submissions to The Margins to give our editors a short break. But don't fret—we will reopen submissions on July 15.

How do we create work that is deeply personal but is intended to be political? Join us for a unique poetry intensive with powerhouse, world-renowned LGBTQ poet and spoken-word artist Staceyann Chin whose book, Crossfire: A Litany for Survival collects Chin’s empowering, feminist-LGBTQ-Caribbean, activist-driven poetry for the first time in a single collection. The original workshop will be adapted so that writers can write about their current positioning during the pandemic. 

There is an application process for this workshop. Please submit 3 poems & a paragraph about why you would like to take this workshop. 

STACEYANN CHIN is a poet, actor, and performing artist. She is the author of the new poetry collection Crossfire: A Litany For Survival the critically acclaimed memoir The Other Side of Paradise cowriter and original performer in the Tony Award-winning Def Poetry Jam on Broadway and author of the one-woman shows Hands Afire Unspeakable Things, Border/Clash, and MotherStruck. She has appeared on the Oprah Winfrey Show and 60 Minutes, and her poetry has been featured in the New York Times and the Washington Post. She proudly identifies as Caribbean, Black, Asian, lesbian, a woman, and a resident of New York City, as well as a Jamaican national.

This event is part of national Poetry Coalition programming and is supported by the Academy of American Poets with funds from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

The Asian American Writers’ Workshop is an alternative literary arts space, an incubator for emerging writers and a sanctuary space for readers and ideas. Our public space is designed for gathering communities and building critical dialogue between literature and movement culture. At a time when migrants, women, people of color, Muslims, and LGBTQ people are specifically targeted, we are a community of activists who use our artistry to advocate for and center the voices and ideas on the margins. We offer a new countercultural public space in which to imagine a more just future.

The Asian American Writers’ Workshop is accepting applications for the Fall 2020 season for workshops,  readings, panels and performances. If you have a workshop or event which you’d like to present to our curation team, do visit our workshop and events pages and even better, attend our events and workshops to get a feel for the space and AAWW community. 

All the AAWW events at our site are open to the public with a $5 suggested donation. No one is turned away for lack of funds. Our on-site events take place on weekday evenings  starting at 6:30 PM and run for 50 minutes. If you have an event that may have unique space or A/V needs, please do include this in your applications. 

The Asian American Writers' Workshop will be accepting pitches for Fall 2020 public events & workshops until 11:59PM, July 31.

The majority of  our on-site workshops take place on weekday evenings starting at 6:30 PM and run for 2-3 hours. Workshops can take place as one day intensives or as a series. 


In your event pitch, please be sure to include the following.

For events:

  • Event Description
  • Headshots & bios for featured artists/writers
  • Preferred dates
  • Any unique needs such as AV support

For workshops:

  • Workshop description including concrete takeaways
  • Headshot & bio for instructor
  • Preference for class size, level, number of sessions
  • Any unique needs such as AV support


Asian American Writers' Workshop