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!
TRANS:ACT is an action-based writing prompt to explore and subvert the languages of exchange and value. Here are the simple rules:
1. Go to your local market and listen/ record/ take notes on what is said (and unsaid).
2. Make a piece of writing inspired by this language.
3. In your writing, be sure to include one item you purchase from the market and the price you pay for it.
Because this folio of the Transpacific Literary Project will be thinking about the relationship of market transaction and language, we welcome submissions in all regional languages (as well as English). And to encourage critical play with such marketplace language, we welcome attempts at self-translation using any available means, with notes to supplement when equivalency is not possible.
Submit your piece by January 20. As a cover letter, you will be asked to briefly introduce yourself and your marketplace.
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.
All contributors, writers and translators, will be paid.
If your submission is a translation, please include the work in its original language as well as a biographical note about the author in your cover letter. AAWW will hold exclusive print and online rights to your piece for 90 days, and your piece will be archived online. All other rights remain with the writer and translator.
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 editor Kaitlin Rees at firstname.lastname@example.org.
*One of the aims of The Transpacific Literary 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 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.
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)
- 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.