National Book Award Winner Charles Yu establishes prize for young Taiwanese American creative writers


THE BETTY L. YU AND JIN C. YU CREATIVE WRITING PRIZES is pleased to announce the inaugural Betty L. Yu and Jin C. Yu Creative Writing Prizes. Created in collaboration with Taiwanese American author Charles Yu, the Prizes are intended to encourage and recognize creative literary work by Taiwanese American high school and college students, and to foster discussion and community around such work.

Submissions may be in any literary genre including fiction, poetry, personal essays or other creative non-fiction. Submissions must be sent via Google Form and must be received by April 18, 2021 11:59 PM PT (extended deadline). In order to be eligible, submissions must be from writers of Taiwanese heritage (or writers with other significant connection to Taiwan), or have subject matter otherwise relevant to the Taiwanese or Taiwanese American experience. 

Submissions will be considered in two categories, High School (enrolled in high school as of the deadline) and College (enrolled in community college or as an undergraduate as of the deadline). Winners and finalists will be announced in May 2021. A total of $1500 will be awarded to the winners. In addition, each of the winners and finalists will have their submitted work published online by and considered for publication in a future edition of Chrysanthemum, and offered the opportunity to participate in an individual mentoring session with one of the judges.

The judges for the 2021 Prizes are:

Shawna Yang Ryan, photographed by Anna Wu

Shawna Yang Ryan is a Taiwanese American novelist, short story writer and creative writing professor, who has published the novels Water Ghosts and Green Island. She currently teaches in the Creative Writing Program at the University of Hawai’i at Manoa. 

Charles Yu, photographed by Tina Chiou

Charles Yu is a Taiwanese American writer. He is the author of the novels How to Live Safely in a Science Fictional Universe and Interior Chinatown as well as the short-story collections Third Class Superhero and Sorry Please Thank You. In 2020, he received the National Book Award for Fiction.

The Prizes are named in honor of Betty Lin Yu and Jin-Chyuan Yu for their service to the Taiwanese-American community, including establishment of TACL LID Youth Camp in Southern California, co-founding of the South Bay Taiwanese-American School, the first school in the United States specifically for the purpose of Taiwanese Language instruction, establishment of North America Taiwanese Engineering Association, Southern California Chapter (NATEA-SC) and longtime support for other organizations including Formosa Association for Public Affair (FAPA), North America Taiwanese Women Association (NATWA), and Taiwan American Association (TAA).

Betty Lin Yu and Jin-Chyuan Yu (photograph provided by Charles Yu)
Writer Charles Yu with his parents, Betty Lin Yu and Jin-Chyuan Yu (photograph provided by Charles Yu)


Please direct all inquiries to

The press kit for this award may be found here.

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