TaiwaneseAmerican.org is pleased to announce the 2023 Betty L. Yu and Jin C. Yu Creative Writing Prizes. Created in 2021 in collaboration with Taiwanese American author Charles Yu, the Prizes are intended to encourage and recognize creative literary work by Taiwanese American students, and to foster discussion and community around such work. In 2022, the prize expanded to include a separate middle school category for 6th-8th grade applicants, judged by Alvina Ling. This year, we have added an additional category for adults in all stages of life beyond college.
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 Saturday, April 8, 2023 11:59 PM PT. In order to be eligible, submissions must be from writers of Taiwanese heritage (or writers with other significant connections to Taiwan), or have subject matter otherwise relevant to the Taiwanese or Taiwanese American experience.
Submissions will be considered in four categories: Middle School (enrolled in 6th-8th grade as of the deadline), High School (enrolled in high school as of the deadline), College (enrolled in community college or as an undergraduate as of the deadline), Adult (in any stage of life beyond college). Winners and finalists will be announced in May 2023. Cash prizes will be awarded as follows:
Grand Prize Winner: $500 – one selection per age category
Finalist: $200 – three selections per age category
Honorable Mention: $75 – at judge’s discretion per age category
In addition, each of the winners and finalists will have their submitted work published online by TaiwaneseAmerican.org and considered for publication in a future edition of Chrysanthemum: Voices of the Taiwanese Diaspora, and offered the opportunity to participate in a virtual group session with the judges.
The confirmed judges for the 2023 Prizes are:
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. He will judge the adult and college categories.
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. Green Island won an American Book Award in 2017. She currently directs the Creative Writing Program at the University of Hawai’i at Mānoa. She will judge the high school and college categories.
Alvina Ling is Vice President and Editor-in-Chief at Little, Brown Books for Young Readers where she’s worked since 1999. She edits children’s books for all ages, from picture books to young adult. In 2021 she received the Medal for Editorial Excellence from the Center for Fiction. She will judge the middle school category.
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 Engineer’s Association, Southern California Chapter (NATEA-SC) and longtime support for other organizations including Formosan Association for Public Affairs (FAPA), North America Taiwanese Women’s Association (NATWA), and Taiwanese Association of America (TAA).