February 12, 2016

Where the Stars Rise – An Anthology for A Cause – Submission Call

(Image via Shutterstock)
A proposal for an science fiction anthology Where the Stars Rise: Asian Science Fiction and Fantasy Stories (working title) is out.  All original short speculative fiction is welcome for submission.  The anthology editors are Lucas K. Law & Derwin Mak.

This speculative fiction anthology contains original stories to celebrate Asian diversity, featuring an Asian main character, Asian setting and/or some amount of Asian elements, by authors with an Asian heritage. Asian countries as those defined by United Nations in Wikipedia. Authors do not need to reside in Asia to participate in this anthology.

It welcomes translated story from other languages to English (no English reprints, please).  Stories to celebrate character diversity (ethnic, age, walks of life/socio-economics, sexuality, etc.). We leave the question as to what determine Asian theme open so not to restrict creativity. No stereotypes or clich├ęd portrayal of cultures or stories based purely on showing the strangeness or exoticism of a culture. No erotica. Cross-genre is encouraged. This anthology is geared towards Young Adult and Adult.

Project Objectives:
• A portion of Laksa Media’s net revenue from this anthology will go directly to support Kids Help Phone.
• Laksa Media will donate CAN$500 upon the publication of this anthology to Kids Help Phone.

Submission Guidelines:

Length: <7,000 words
File Format: .doc, .docx, or .rtf only

Use Submittable to submit your story for this anthology (DO NOT USE the Laksa Media online submission form). Submittable opens on December 1, 2015.

No reprints: No simultaneous submissions: No multiple submissions.

The anthology will have a balance between science fiction and fantasy, with at least 50% science fiction.

However, anthology editors tend to receive more fantasy than science fiction submissions. Therefore, it encourages more science fiction stories of all varieties (space opera, time-travel thrillers, interesting new approaches to classic themes, near-future technology, techno-thrillers, science mystery, Asian-punk) because, for an ethno-cultural based anthology, they would help to mitigate the Orientalism that influences Western perceptions of cultures east of Constantinople.
Media is already filled with mystical gurus, genies, and kung-fu monks. We are not saying our anthology has no room for fantasy-based stories, but we are saying that we need to expand the perception and show that Asians do know science and engineering, that they’re not just mystics with magical powers.
The editors are happy to accept fantasy-related fiction, but we are prioritizing the reading of the SF submissions.

We encourage submissions to feature the following:

• Protagonists with diverse experiences including (but not limited to) QUILTBAG, gender diversity, neuro-diverse, mentally ill, people with disability, chronic illness and other impairments, and ethnic, cultural, and religious minorities, any marginalized and under-represented group.
• Speculative fiction from or about diverse perspectives and traditionally under-represented groups, settings, and cultures, written from a non-exoticizing and well-researched position. Any political issues should be addressed in complex and nuanced ways, resisting the temptation to oversimplify or stereotyping the situations.

Reading Period (open for submission): December 1, 2015 to May 31, 2016

Advance Payment to Contributors: Contributors will be paid CAN 6 cents per word. The payment is an advance against royalties. A contributor’s copy is included. Payment will be on acceptance of final edited story.

First World Rights for anthology in the English-language. Exclusive rights prior to publication and for a period of one year after the publication and non-exclusive rights for the anthology thereafter where the contributors are free to resell. Exception to the exclusive rights is when the story is accepted for a “best of the year” anthology.
All rights granted will revert to the Author if Laksa Media fails to publish the Work within 24 months of the date of the signed Agreement (between anthologists/editors and authors).

Format: Print, Digital & Audio

Paperback: 978-0-9939696-5-2
ePub: 978-0-9939696-6-9
PDF: 978-0-9939696-7-6
Kindle: 978-0-9939696-8-3

Tentative Release Date: Fall 2017 (tentative)

Lucas K. Law:
Lucas K. Law is a Malaysian-born freelance editor, published author, engineering consultant and business coach who divides his time and heart between Calgary and Qualicum Beach. He is currently co-editing Strangers Among Us and The Sum of Us anthologies with Susan Forest. He had been a jury member for a number of fiction competitions including Nebula, RITA and Golden Heart awards.
Memberships: SFWA, Codex Writer’s Group, Sisters-in-Crime, Crime Writers of Canada

Derwin Mak:
Derwin Mak writes science fiction and fantasy stories with quirky characters. In addition to writing fiction, Derwin also wrote articles about anime and East Asian pop culture for Parsecmagazine and Ricepaper magazine. His short story, Transubstantiation, won the 2006 Aurora Award for Best Short-Form Work in English. His anthology, The Dragon and the Stars, co-edited with Eric Choi, won the 2011 Aurora Award for Best Related Work in English. He has two published novels, The Moon under Her Feet, and The Shrine of the Siren Stone. His short stories have appeared in anthologies such as Tesseracts, Tales From the Wonder Zone, Spaces Inc. and Shanghai Steam.

About Kids Help Phone
Kids Help Phone is a Canadian and world leader known for their expertise and continuous innovation as Canada’s only free and anonymous 24/7 counselling and information service for young people between the ages of 5 and 20 in both English and French. Since 1989, their trained, professional counsellors have been listening to kids, often when no one else can or will. Their service supports young people as they build the skills and abilities they’ll need to improve their emotional health and well-being. In addition to an array of counselling options, they offer young people a wide range of online resources and they work tirelessly to share young people’s perspectives on a societal level – locally, nationally, and globally.
They do not receive any government funding. All support comes from donations.

February 4, 2016

A Mini-Workshop with J.J. Lee, author of The Measure of a Man at the Fraser Valley Regional Library (FVRL)

Presented by the Tri-City Wordsmiths, the Terry Fox Library of the Fraser Valley Regional Library (FVRL) will be hosting writer J.J. Lee for a workshop on the transformative nature of memoir writing.  Lee He will read from his critically acclaimed book The Measure of a Man: The Story of a Father, a Son, and a Suit.  For years, journalist and amateur tailor JJ Lee tried to ignore the navy suit that hung at the back of his closet — his late father’s last suit. When he decides to finally make the suit his own, little does he know he is about to embark on a journey into his own past.

Part personal memoir, part social history of the man’s suit, it is a deeply moving and brilliantly crafted story of fathers and sons, love and forgiveness, of fitting in and standing out — and discovering what it means to be your own man.

The Tri-City Wordsmiths is a group dedicated to education and networking.  Its meetings consist of speakers, readers, workshops, and occasionally YouTube videos by experts in the field.

At the Terry Fox Library, 2.00pm to 4.30p.m. at 2470 Mary Hill Road, Port Coquitlam. Info: 604 927-7999

December 8, 2015

Call For Submission: Asian Canadian Writers’ Workshop Emerging Writer Poetry Award for 2016


The ACWW Emerging Writer Award (EWA) was established in 1999 to help authors of Pacific Rim Asian heritage be published with an established publishing house. The winner of the first award was poet, Rita Wong (Monkeypuzzle, published by Press Gang.) Madeleine Thien won the second award in 2001 for her short story collection, Simple Recipes. This manuscript impressed McClelland & Stewart so much that they offered Madeleine a two-book deal. Simple Recipes went on to win the Ethel Wilson Fiction Prize, the City of Vancouver Book Prize, and was a finalist in the Commonwealth Writers Prize for Best First Book.

The Asian Canadian Writers’ Workshop is the publisher of Ricepaper Magazine and literASIAN: A Festival of Pacific Rim Asian Canadian Writing Festival. Formed in 1995, it was created out of a need to develop and nurture Pacific Rim Asian Canadian writers. Its primary purpose is to foster a community of writers and build a literature. In 2015, ACWW will celebrate its twentieth anniversary.

The ACWW Emerging Writer Award is a community building initiative of the Asian Canadian Writers’ Workshop to encourage the development of quality manuscripts and finished works by new writers in our community.

The 2016 competition is for a book-length manuscript of poetry by an Asian-Canadian writer of Pacific Rim Asian heritage who has not previously published a book-length work of any genre in traditional or digital form.

The Author
The author must be a Canadian of Pacific Rim Asian heritage (including East Asian or Southeast Asian descent) and an emerging writer not previously self-published or traditionally published a book-length work of any genre in print or digital form. After a manuscript is submitted to the EWA competition, the author agrees not to submit the work to any publishers until after the manuscript has been released from the EWA competition in October 2016. Receipt and release of the manuscript will be acknowledged in a timely fashion.

The Jury
The Jury will comprise of at least 3 members of the Asian writing community including established writers, librarians and academics. If there is no work of sufficiently high quality, the jury may decide that there is no winner.

The Publisher
Publishers will be offered the winning manuscript for consideration. If a publisher wishes to offer a contract to the winning author, a detailed letter of intent will be submitted to the ACWW. The letter should include the following:

1) intended publication date (season and year)
2) proposed advance against royalties
3) description of proposed editorial commitment/vision
4) description of proposed promotional plans
5) sample contract and a copy of the publisher’s most recent catalogue

The publisher will include acknowledgement of the Asian Canadian Writers’ Workshop Emerging Writer Award in the finished book as well as on press releases and advertisements. Should a successful contract be concluded, the ACWW will help promote the book.

Deadline for manuscripts: must be postmarked by June 1, 2016.

1) Completed application form (download for attachment).
2) $25.00 registration fee entitles the entrant to a year’s membership in ACWW. Cheque written out to: Asian Canadian Writers' Workshop Society.
3) Three print copies of the manuscript in addition to a digital copy to be sent to: submissions@asiancanadianwriters.ca. Printed manuscripts must be bound: no loose or stapled sheets will be accepted. The copies of the manuscripts must be single size printed form only. Submitted manuscripts will not be returned upon completion of contest.

Please send submissions to:

ACWW Emerging Writing Award Poetry 2016
#2 – 3572 SE Marine Drive,
Vancouver, British Columbia
V5S 4R3

Announcement of Winner
The winner will be announced at during the 2016 literASIAN: A Festival of Pacific Rim Asian Canadian Writing Festival in October, 2016.

For queries and media contact
Jim Wong-Chu: jwongchu@shaw.ca or 604.355.5795

Julia Lin: contact@julialinbooks.com

November 28, 2015

”A Tree Grows in Chinatown” by Vanessa Lowe

As part of the Garden’s mandate to support local artists, the Garden presents Downtown Eastside artist Vanessa Lowe’s A Tree Grows in Chinatown exhibition.

Exhibition: Dec. 12, 2015 – Jan. 10, 2016
Exhibition Opening: Dec. 12 from 2-4pm

As part of the Garden’s mandate to support local artists, the Garden presents Downtown Eastside artist Vanessa Lowe’s A Tree Grows in Chinatown exhibition.

A Tree Grows in Chinatown is about the early life of Vanessa’s mother who passed away in mid-August. Using family photos of her mother’s early life, memories and texts, Vanessa has created this exhibition as a tribute to her mother.

Vanessa’s family roots are firmly in East Vancouver – her forebears came from China but both of her parents were born in BC. She spent her early childhood around East Hastings and consequently, all of her early memories are of East Hastings, Chinatown, and the area around Chinatown, now known as the Downtown Eastside.

Vanessa is well-known for the Crow Highway mural in which she was able to honour her mother and all the mothers before her. She says: “Ancestors: I have lots, and I’m willing to share them with the rest of the community. I’ve been told [this mural] is now an L1 portal in the Android game Ingress. If you want to see it IRL, it’s at the southwest corner of Hastings and Jackson in Vancouver.” The work can be seen on the blog; thiscassandra.com.

November 11, 2015

AlliterAsian Twenty Years of Ricepaper Magazine Launch on November 22, 2pm

2015 marks the 20th anniversary of Ricepaper magazine, a pioneering periodical devoted to Asian-Canadian writing. Over the years, Ricepaper's focus has shifted from predominantly arts and culture reporting to the publication of original literature; as such, it has both witnessed and cultivated the maturation of an Asian-Canadian literary tradition; indeed, many of today's most acclaimed Asian-Canadian writers were first published in the pages of Ricepaper.

Join us to for this launch, featuring Carolyn Nakagawa, CE Gatchalian, Jackie Wong, and many more!