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’re looking for 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!


The following call for nonfiction submissions has been curated by 2019 Margins Fellow Sabrina Imbler.

DEADLINE EXTENDED TO JULY 15!



Fruit 

One of the first connections I felt to my Chinese heritage took the form of a loquat tree that my grandparents planted from a sprout in their first and only home in the Bay Area. By the time I was born, the loquat tree had grown huge and bore sweet globes of flax-colored fruit with shiny, buttock-shaped seeds inside. I ate loquats at my grandma’s house every weekend of my childhood, until my grandparents grew too old to prune it and the tree rotted from the inside out. Only then did I realize loquats were hard to find in America, and now I search for these rare yellow ornaments everywhere: in Chinatowns, artisanal fruit stores, even (wistfully) in Whole Foods. For years, my grandma did not know where to buy them until they popped up at a local Chinese grocery, nestled between longans and kumquats.


Fruit are responsible for their own propagation around the world. Their existential endgame is to be dispersed, in any number of survival strategies. Fruits that want to be eaten (and subsequently defecated) develop sweet, juice-filled flesh. Fruits that want to snag onto feathers or fur curl their skin into hooks and spikes. Fruits that want to be windswept develop tiny parachutes to carry their seeds away. Fruits that want to be carried by waves do everything they can to float. This is how fruits ensure the future of their own kind. Their evolutionary resilience comes by virtue of landing far, far away from home. In this way, fruit are diasporic. They can be relentlessly available continents away from their ancestral grounds. Or, in my grandma’s case, they can be a reminder of home that is almost impossible to find in regular supermarkets.


For a new series on The Margins, we’re looking for nonfiction in a variety of forms by Asian diasporic writers on the topic of fruit. The fruit you write about could be popularly mistaken for a vegetable (eggplant), remind you of home (loquat), have caused worldwide pandemics (opium poppy) or a political stir (avocado), or be a magazine (FRUiTS). The approach you take could be an origin story, an encounter, a recipe, a comic, an investigation, a response to current events, an on-the-ground report, satire, or something else entirely. The only restriction is that the stories must be true. We’re particularly interested in soliciting work from emerging writers and LGBTQ+ voices—how could we not explore fruit as a slur! 


Please format the title of your submission as follows: “LAST NAME – Fruit – TITLE OF PIECE.” Be sure to include a short biography (maximum 60 words) in your cover letter. Please double-space all prose submissions and limit them to approximately 3,500 words (though you may write as short as you like). Please do not include your name on the attachments of your submissions. We accept simultaneous submissions, but we ask that you let us know if your work has been accepted elsewhere. Writers whose pieces are accepted for the issue will receive compensation.


Deadline: EXTENDED to July 15.

The Margins, AAWW's arts and ideas magazine, is now accepting creative nonfiction, cultural criticism, and essay submissions. We have published creative nonfiction, essays, and features by writers including Matthew Salesses, Hua Hsu,  V.V. Ganeshananthan, Chaitali Sen, Alex Jung, Oliver Wang, Scott Kurashige, Annie Paul, Sejal Shah, Jennifer Pan, and Thuy Linh Tu.


We're looking to publish:


Essays on recently published works of Asian and Asian American literature as well as critical essays about a single writer's body of work (please note that we do not publish straightforward book reviews)

Lively essays and cultural commentary written through the lens of race, immigration, and transnationalism

Reported features profiling writers and artists of interest

Researched pieces that examine countercultural figures and movements and histories of Asian America

Creative nonfiction pieces and lyric essays

Deeply researched "explainers," or articles that help unpack topics or conversations using multiple sources (for example, an intro to queer Asian American literature)


COMPLETED PIECES ONLY, PLEASE.

Be sure to include a short biography (maximum 60 words) in your cover letter. Please double-space all submissions and limit them to approximately 5,000 words. We accept simultaneous submissions, but we ask that you let us know if your work has been accepted elsewhere. Writers whose pieces are accepted for publication will receive compensation.


If you have a pitch, get in touch with one of our editors:

Jyothi Natarajan, Editorial Director: jnatarajan [at] aaww [dot] org

Yasmin Majeed, Assistant Editor: ymajeed [at] aaww [dot] org



Examples of nonfiction features and essays we've published in The Margins:


In "Wounded Elders: Racial Identity and Reviewing," Paisley Rekdal responds to the limiting, violent ways poets of color are read and reviewed by white critics. 

In "Sugar on the Gash," Divya Victor writes about the colonial wounds of the English language, and how writing poetry is an act of decolonization. 

In "Sadakichi Hartmann, a “Missing Link” of American Poetry" Floyd Cheung uncovers the forgotten influence of a Japanese American poet on Modernist poetry.

Sukjong Hong writes about Don Mee Choi's Hardly War, and what gets lost in translation in the myth of American benevolence during the Korean War.

In "On Vincent Chin and the Kind of Men You Send to Jail," Mark Tseng-Putterman reconsiders the legacy of Vincent Chin's murder and the Asian American movement.

Rajiv Mohabir shares why he will never celebrate Indian Arrival Day, and the violent history of indentured labor in the Caribbean. 


Every Tuesday, the Margins publishes the work of emerging and established Asian American poets. We accept submissions for our Poetry Tuesday feature. Please allow at least five weeks for a response.

We’re looking for:
  • Poetry that challenges/subverts convention (in both poetry and society)
  • Poetry that is not afraid to be humorous, dirty, and obscene
  • Poetry that explores history
  • Poetry that responds to current events and issues
  • Translations of poetry (given the submitter explains that he/she/they has/have acquired the rights to publish them, along with the originals)

Guidelines:

  • Poems need not be a specific length/form/style (e.g. long, short, formal, free verse, erasure)
  • Submissions should be no longer than six pages total. Multiple poems may be submitted in the same document.

DEADLINE: July 15, 2019 before 11:59 pm
Fellowship starts: September 6, 2019


The Asian American Writers’ Workshop is now accepting applications for the Open City Neighborhoods Fellowship –  a unique opportunity for emerging Asian American writers to publish narrative nonfiction over the span of six months on the vibrant Asian American communities of New York City.


For the Fall 2019 fellowship, this Open City Fellowship will offer a $2,500 grant, skill-building workshops, and publishing opportunities to writers to write about the vibrant Asian immigrant communities of New York City. The Fellowship spans six months, starting in September 2019 and ending in March 2020.

We are especially looking for writers eager to work on neighborhood-based stories in Sunset Park, Bay Ridge, Midwood, and Boerum Hill in Brooklyn; Manhattan's Chinatown; Astoria, Flushing, Jackson Heights and Richmond Hill in Queens; and other growing Asian immigrant communities across New York City, including those in Staten Island and The Bronx.

Apply for an Open City Neighborhoods Fellowship if you:
 

  • are a strong, voice-driven storyteller who cares about social justice movements and wants to transport readers to places like Flushing and Jackson Heights in Queens, and Sunset Park in Brooklyn;
  • have an entrepreneurial spirit and understand that building a career as a writer includes building a social media presence; 
  • can demonstrate nonfiction writing experience and a dedication to developing a writing career; and 
  • are excited about getting your hands dirty in "the field" and cultivating trust and sources in your neighborhood.


Open City documents the pulse of metropolitan Asian America as it's being lived on the streets of New York right now. We're looking for writers to create deft, engaging narratives that bring the face, name, place, and heart of the community to issues like gentrification, immigration, Islamophobia, community policing and racial and gender discrimination. 


Previous Fellows have gone on to write and report for Granta, Al Jazeera America, the American Prospect and Slate, among other outlets. Their works during their time as Fellows have been picked up by NPR, The Atlantic Cities, and the New York Times.

For more info about the Open City Neighborhoods Fellowship, please read the application page for this Fellowship.

TIMELINE

The Fellowship duration is six months, starting in September 2019 and ending in March 2020.

HOW TO APPLY

All applicants must carefully read our FAQ before applying to determine whether or not they are eligible. Open City Neighborhoods Fellowship are open to emerging Asian American writers who reside in New York City. To be considered, you must apply through this Submittable form. If you have additional questions, please feel free to contact us at opencitymag [at] gmail [dot] com.
 

  1. READ OUR FAQ.
  2. Get to know Open City.
  3. Fill out the application below and submit by 11:59 pm on July 15, 2019. There is no application fee. We do not accept handwritten documents, letters of recommendation, or support materials. 

All Open City Fellowship applicants must submit story proposals that comprise pitches and outlines the stories they plan to write for Open City over the span of the six-month grant period. Please read the FAQ for more details on how to structure the proposal.

Current Fellows may apply for a second round of Fellowship funding if they have completed all the requirements of their current Fellowship. Fellows will need to wait a year after their second six-month Fellowship to apply again. Past Open City Fellows prior to 2018 may apply for six-month Open City Fellowships.
 

DEADLINE: July 15, 2019 before 11:59 pm
Fellowship starts: September 6, 2019


The Asian American Writers’ Workshop is now accepting applications for the Open City Muslim Communities Fellowship, a unique six-month opportunity for emerging writers of color from communities under attack from Islamophobia to publish narrative nonfiction about Muslim communities in New York City. We see this as a fellowship for writers of color based in NYC from Muslim and Arab, South Asian, and North and East African communities. 


For the Fall 2019 Muslim Communities Fellowship, Open City will offer a $2,500 stipend, skill-building workshops, and publishing opportunities to writers to write on the diverse Muslim communities of New York City.


The fellowship session will begin in August 2019 and will end in March 2020.

We are looking for writers to create deft, engaging narratives that bring the face, name, place, and heart of the community to issues like racial profiling, police surveillance, and Islamophobia.

Specifically, we are looking for writers who:
 

  • are willing to spend time reporting on Muslim neighborhoods and talking to people about their lives, hopes and fears;
  • understand the urgency in writing stories that depict how it is to be a Muslim in today’s America;
  • are committed to social justice, dedicated to helping promote efforts by the community to fight anti-Muslim and anti-immigrant sentiments and actions;
  • are strong, voice-driven storytellers who care about social justice movements and transporting readers to places like Jackson Heights and Astoria in Queens; Bay Ridge and Boerum Hill in Brooklyn; and Mott Haven and Parkchester in The Bronx. 

 

Apply for an Open City Muslim Communities Fellowship if you:
 

  • are a strong, voice-driven storyteller who cares about social justice movements and wants to transport readers to places like Jackson Heights, Queens, and Bay Ridge, Brooklyn;
  • have an entrepreneurial spirit and understand that building a career as a writer includes building a social media presence; 
  • can demonstrate nonfiction writing experience and a dedication to developing a writing career; and 
  • are excited about getting your hands dirty in "the field" and cultivating trust and sources in your neighborhood.


AAWW recognizes the heterogeneity of the Muslim community in New York City, and we are looking to create a home for writers from Arab American, West Asian, Central Asian, Iranian, Afghan, East and North African, Black Muslim, South Asian, and Southeast Asian communities in New York City. Please note that applicants for the Fellowship need not be Asian American but must be persons of color.

For more info about the Open City Muslim Communities Fellowship, please read the application page for this Fellowship.

TIMELINE

The Open City Muslim Communities Fellowship deadline is June 28, no later than 11:59 pm. The term of the fellowship is six months: from September 2019 and ending in March 2020.

HOW TO APPLY

All applicants must carefully read our FAQ before applying to determine whether or not they are eligible. Open City Muslim Communities Fellowship is open to emerging writers of color from communities under attack from Islamophobia who reside in New York City. To be considered, you must apply through this Submittable form. If you have additional questions, please feel free to contact us at opencitymag [at] gmail [dot] com.
 

  1. Read our FAQ.
  2. Get to know Open City.
  3. Fill out the application below 11:59 pm on July 15, 2019. There is no application fee. We do not accept handwritten documents, letters of recommendation, or support materials.


All Open City Muslim Communities Fellowship applicants must submit a project proposal that will pitch and outline the stories they plan to write for Open City over the span of the six-month grant period. Please read the FAQ for more details on how to structure the proposal.

Past Open City Fellows prior to 2018 may apply for the six-month Open City Muslim Communities Fellowships. 

Asian American Writers' Workshop