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!


DEADLINE: July 9, 2018 before 11:59 pm 

Fellowship starts: September 18, 2018

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 based in NYC from Middle Eastern and North and East African communities and Muslim writers of color. 

For the Fall 2018 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 September 18, 2018.

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 Flushing, Queens, and Sunset Park, 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 Neighborhoods Fellowship, please read the application page for this Fellowship. 

TIMELINE

The Open City Muslim Communities Fellowship deadline is July 9, no later than 11:59 pm. The term of the fellowship is six months: from September 2018 and ending in March 2019.

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 9, 2018. 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 2017 may apply for the six-month Open City Muslim Communities Fellowships. 

DEADLINE: July 9, 2018 before 11:59 pm 

Fellowship starts: September 18, 2018

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 2018 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 2018 and ending in March 2019. 

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 2018 and ending in March 2019.

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 9, 2018. 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 2017 may apply for six-month Open City Fellowships.

 

The Transpacific Literary Project is an ambitious online editorial initiative of the Asian American Writers’ Workshop (AAWW) that is poised to foster literary connections between East and Southeast Asia, the Pacific Islands, the Asian diaspora, and a broader American reading public. The project has taken the shape of a series of portfolios published on AAWW’s online magazine The Margins. These portfolios comprise poetry and prose written by East and Southeast Asian writers, with an emphasis on works in translation, curated around broad themes, and seek to traverse geographic and other boundaries.
 

PLASTIC


Ruth Ozeki’s novel Tale for the Time Being begins with a barnacle-encrusted plastic bag washing ashore in Whaletown, British Columbia. Discovered by the novel’s narrator, also named Ruth, the plastic bag contains a Hello Kitty lunchbox, a Seiko watch, a bundle of letters in Japanese, a French composition notebook, and the secret diary of a young girl named Nao, which also contains a copy of Marcel Proust’s À la recherche du temps perdu. Ruth initially dismisses the bag as “someone’s garbage,” but as she excavates its contents she realizes that the bag is likely debris from the devastating 2011 Tōhoku tsunami in Japan that has made its way to Whaletown through the Pacific Ocean’s Great Pacific Garbage Patch, the largest accumulation of ocean plastic in the world.

In Ecologies of Entanglement in the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, academic Michelle N. Huang reads Tale for the Time Being’s plastic bag as a reminder of “jettisoned histories of disregard and violent erasure” that circulate through the Pacific Ocean, an “archive of our forgotten, but not dead, waste.” Huang conceives of plastic as more than just “someone’s garbage,” but as signifiers of value, history, attachment, and “material otherness.” 

Huang makes a tongue-in-cheek reference to the trope of the “plastic litany,” the catalogue of garbage that is shared whenever someone talks about oceanic waste. Ozeki’s includes, “soda bottles, styrofoam, take-out food containers, disposable razors, industrial waste. Anything we throw away that floats…” We’ve put together our own plastic litany, a list of inspiration and ideas to consider for this issue:


Mass production, factory workers, Foxconn, iPhones, electronic goods, computers, toys, AI, techno-Orientalism, climate change, pollution, the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, North Pacific Gyre, debris, industrial waste, the environment, the Anthropocene, garbage dumps, recycling, China’s plastic ban, credit, debt, (in)authenticity, artificiality, plastic surgery, cosmetics, “Made in China,” plastiglomerates, synthetic, porous, toxic, flotsam and jetsam, plastic bags, code switching, “jettisoned histories”


For this next folio in the Transpacific Literary Project, we’re looking for fiction, graphic fiction, essays, poetry, and creative nonfiction on these themes by writers from East and Southeast Asia*. Work in translation is especially welcome. If the submission is by the translator, please indicate if English-language rights are available. We also welcome submissions of images, photo essays, and works of art that speak to the framework described above. Deadline is Friday, June 1, 2018.

Submissions should be titled “Plastic_Lastname_Firstname”

AAWW will hold exclusive print and online rights to your piece for 90 days, and your story will be archived online. All other rights remain with the writer and translator. All contributors of original work (including translators) will be paid. We are also happy to look at ARCs of forthcoming books with a view to publishing extracts. 

Simultaneous submissions are welcome, but we ask that you withdraw the piece promptly if it is accepted somewhere else. If you need more information, please get in touch with ymajeed@aaww.org.


*One of the aims of The Transpacific Project will be to interrogate the idea of the Transpacific, and where exactly the region might lie. As such, the following list of countries should be regarded as indicative and non-exclusive; broadly, East and South-east Asia consists of: Brunei, Burma, Cambodia, China, East Timor, Guam, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan, Laos, Macau, Malaysia, Mongolia, North Korea, Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, Vietnam and their diasporas.
 


 


The Margins, AAWW's arts and ideas magazine, is now accepting pitches for nonfiction features and essays. We have published 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)

PITCHES ONLY, PLEASE


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

In "Five Boroughs, Seven Killings," Rishi Nath goes in search of the New York City of Marlon James' Booker Prize-winning novel A Brief History of Five Killings.

In "The Limits of Diversity," Jennifer Pan writes on how the feel-good politics of multiculturalism have blinded the literary world to the real roots of racial inequality. 

In "The Ghosts They Carried," Kitana Ananda writes about Shyam Selvadurai's latest novel, The Hungry Ghosts, and the violence that haunts the lives of many in post-war Sri Lanka.

In "The Skin I'm In," Naeem Mohaiemen writes about an early lost history of a time of Black-Bengali racial solidarity though Vivek Bald's Bengali Harlem.

Michelle Chen profiles artist Matt Huynh, whose interactive graphic comic adaptation of Nam Le's short story "The Boat" connects to a conversation about refugees today.

In "Fu Manchu and Lao She," Jeffrey Wasserstrom brings together an extraordinary, fictional supervillain with a Chinese writer best known for his tales of ordinary Beijing life.


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.