Jennifer Co: 1993 – 1998

I am 21 and I am waiting. I wait for the university to spit me back out into the world, for the past four years to suddenly, and unabashedly, mean something. I wait and I watch friends and roommates and chosen strangers arrive upon the doorsteps to the rest of their lives: grad school admissions and gap years and start ups, sprinkled with full time offers from the companies spilling from my father’s news coverage sometimes, a marriage every now and then, a baby shower. I think of the palpable…

Huiru May Huang: On Encountering a Stranger  

My students were putting on Little Red Riding Hood today and I was the Big Bad Wolf, so I showed up to Sister Marianne’s door in my wolf costume. Sister Marianne is my ninety year-old neighbor. She works at the church next to my school, so we’d walk to work together every day, rain or shine. We wouldn’t say much to each other, but her petite presence always puts my mind at ease. Prolonged silences like these used to drive me out of my skin, but I’ve grown to understand the solitude that…

Ashley Chuyun Cheng: A-ma, I Hope You Can Hear Me Over Zoom

I don’t usually remember my dreams, but the night before my grandmother passes, I have one that I remember with unparalleled clarity. In it, I’m pushing a shopping cart around at the Carrefour in Pingtung, Taiwan, arguably one of the great retail loves of my life. (For those unfamiliar with Carrefour, it’s essentially Costco but better, as hard as that is to believe. You can get all sorts of groceries and appliances and there’s a whole floor of restaurants and crane games, so it makes…

Stamp Thief, by Ying-Ann (Annie) Chen

FEATURE PHOTO ADAPTED FROM Dave Weatherall on Unsplash The fire ate loudly. It spit ashes everywhere as it gorged down our offerings. “The gods are hungry today,” my grandma warned. The fire burst in a sudden uproar, slapping its chopsticks down on the lady susan, demanding more. The offerings were for our ancestors, why were the gods taking what wasn’t for them? I tried to feed the flames a paper iPhone, but my grandma jerked my hand back.   “You are too greedy,” she chastised…

Convenience Store Encounters, by Katie Chen

HONORABLE MENTION, HIGH SCHOOL CATEGORY The alarm beeps. And where there is no response or movement from the lump of blankets on the bed, it beeps again, with increased urgency. And beeps again. And vibrates with increased frequency. And when it seems like the alarm is about to vibrate itself off the counter it’s sitting on, a hand emerges itself from its home on the bed and smashes the alarm clock hard. Twice. Finally, there is blissful silence. It is 6:31 AM.  Carla stumbles out of her…

Judges Charles Yu and Shawna Yang Ryan select award recipients

We are pleased to announce the inaugural cohort of honorable mentions, finalists, and grand prize winners of the Betty L. Yu & Jin C. Yu Creative Writing Prizes, established in partnership with TaiwaneseAmerican.org in honor of Yu's parents, who are longstanding Taiwanese American community leaders. Their work will be published on TaiwaneseAmerican.org throughout the year.  We received a remarkable number of thoughtful, passionate entries, each of which was carefully reviewed and deliberated…