April 5, 2024

LiterASIAN Writers Festival 2024 in Toronto


Join us for the LiterASIAN Writers Festival in Toronto!

We invite you to the LiterASIAN Toronto 2024 event, hosted at the Cheng Yu Tung East Asian Library in collaboration with The Asian Canadian Writers’ Workshop (ACWW). This year’s theme is Recovery, where writers engage in a literary dialogue towards fostering cultural understanding, promoting diversity, and amplifying Asian Canadian voices. Through exploration, the panellists collectively navigate pathways toward recovery.
  • This event is free, and all are welcome to attend.
  • Space is limited, registration is required in advance by MAY 15th.

Date: Wednesday, May 22, 2024
Time: 2:00 p.m. - 4:30 p.m. (EDT)

Location: The Cheng Yu Tung East Asian Library, 8th Floor, Robarts Library, 130 St. George Street, Toronto

Registration Link: https://forms.gle/VqdWHF5a38DrrBTy9

LiterASIAN is a proud celebration of Canadian writers and artists of Asian heritage and their valuable contributions to Canada’s amazing literary and artistic scenes.

Marjorie Chan was born in Toronto. She is a writer, director and dramaturge in opera and theatre. Her published works include her plays China Doll, and Lady Sunrise, both nominated for the Governor General’s Literary Award. Other produced plays include A Nanking Winter, The Madness of the Square, Tails from the City, and most recently The Year of the Cello, co-created with composer Njo Kong Kie. Her writing for opera includes Sanctuary Song, The Lesson of Da Ji, M’dea Undone, The Monkiest King, and The Nightingale of A Thousand Songs. Nominated for ten Dora Awards variously as a writer, actor, director, and the recipient of four. Marjorie has also received the K.M. Hunter Artists Award, Entertainment World Award (Best New Work), Harold Award, Bra D’Or Award, as well as the George Luscombe Award for Mentorship. Currently, she is adapting the novel Do Not Say We Have Nothing by Madeleine Thien into an opera with composer Tim Brady. Marjorie is also the Artistic Director of Theatre Passe Muraille, with a focus on innovative new Canadian works in Toronto.

Denise Chong is the author of prize-winning books that portray the lives of ordinary people caught in the eye of history. She is best known for her family memoir, The Concubine's Children, which is being adapted for film. Her previous books include The Girl in the Picture, about the napalm girl of the Vietnam War; Egg on Mao, a story of love and defiance in China of 1989; and Lives of the Family: Stories of Fate and Circumstance, about Chinese who immigrated to Canada in the mid-20th century. In 2013, she was appointed an Officer of the Order of Canada for "writing books that raise our social consciousness." She currently lives in Ottawa.

Janika Oza is the author of the novel A History of Burning, winner of the 2024 Asian/Pacific American Award for Literature, a finalist for the 2023 Governor General's Award for Fiction, and a New York Times Editor’s Choice. She is the winner of a 2022 O. Henry Prize for Short Fiction and the 2020 Kenyon Review Short Fiction Award. She is an assistant editor at The Rumpus and lives in Toronto.

Linda Rui Feng is Associate Professor at the Department of East Asian Studies, University of Toronto. Her research in Chinese cultural history often takes her to long-forgotten books from the ninth century and, more recently, the history of scent and aromatics. She is the author of the novel Swimming Back to Trout River, which was longlisted for the 2021 Scotia Giller Prize, and a finalist for the Center for Fiction First Novel Prize, and the 2022 William Saroyan International Prize for Writing. Her fiction has been supported by residencies at MacDowell and by the Toronto Arts Council, and her prose and poetry have appeared in journals such as The Fiddlehead, Kenyon Review Online, and Washington Square Review.


Larissa Lai is the author of nine books, including, The Lost Century, The Tiger Flu, Salt Fish Girl, and Iron Goddess of Mercy. She is the recipient of the Jim Duggins Novelist's Prize, the Lambda Literary Award, the Astraea Award, and the Otherwise Honor Book. She has also been a finalist for the Books in Canada First Novel Award and the Governor General's Award. She has held a Canada Research Chair in Creative Writing at the University of Calgary and a Maria Zambrano Fellowship at the University of Huelva. She holds the Richard Charles Lee Chair of Chinese Canadian Studies at the University of Toronto.







April 1, 2024

"Denise Chong: Out of Darkness" at Vancouve Public Library on Saturday, April 27, 2024

How do you rebuild a life after being blinded by an act of unspeakable violence?

In 2011, news about Rumana Monzur shocked the world: her husband brutally assaulted her in front of her children when she returned home to Bangladesh, after completing her graduate studies at the University of British Columbia. The attack left her blind.

In her new biography Out of Darkness, Denise Chong goes beyond the headlines to tell Rumana’s story: one not only of betrayal, abuse and tyranny but also of loyalty, perseverance, and a woman’s determination to rebuild a life with meaning.

Denise will discuss her book with award-winning writer and poet, Renée Sarojini Saklikar.

Denise Chong is an award-winning author whose work portrays the lives of ordinary people caught in the eye of history. She is best known for her family memoir, The Concubine's Children; The Girl in the Picture about the napalm girl of the Vietnam War; and Egg on Mao, a story of love and defiance in China of 1989.

Renée Sarojini Saklikar is the author of five books and was poet laureate for the City of Surrey 2015–2018. Her books include the award-winning Children of Air India and Listening to the Bees. Her poetry, essays and short fiction have appeared in many literary magazines and anthologies, including Exile Editions, Chatelaine, The Capilano Review, and Pulp Literature. Bramah's Quest is the latest volume of her epic fantasy in verse, THOT J BAP, The Heart of This Journey Bears All Patterns. Renée Sarojini teaches creative writing and editing at Kwantlen Polytechnic University and hosts Lunch Poems at SFU.


This event is part of Uplift Asian, a programming series at VPL designed to celebrate Asian cultures and perspectives, and push back against discrimination in our communities.

March 12, 2024

LiterASIAN Festival 2024

ACWW is excited to announce the 12th anniversary of the LiterASIAN Writers Festival.  LiterASIAN will be hosted at the Vancouver Japanese Language School and Heritage Hall, the Chinatown Storytelling Centre, Centre A, and Floata Seafood Restaurant in Vancouver’s historic Chinatown.

This year’s LiterASIAN festival is happening in May, to celebrate Asian Heritage Month. The festival will have author readings, writing workshops, speaker roundtable discussions, book signings, and a special “Dimsum with the Authors” fundraiser in collaboration with the Word Vancouver Reading & Writing Festival. Writers featured include Joy Kogawa, Lindsay Wong, Ujjal Dosanjh, Jennilee Austria-Bonifacio, Keiko Honda, and Angie Wong.

Stay tuned for more information at http://www.literasian.com


March 11, 2024

Remembering our friend and founding director, Ada Con


The ACWW family is sad to share the news of our beloved friend Ada Con’s passing. Ada is a role model for many of us and has been committed to being a life-long community organizer. Having worked for the Fraser Valley Regional Library from 1975 to 2013, Ada was the manager of the Terry Fox Library for 20 years before becoming the Coordinator of Diversity Services and Programming. As coordinator, she created several award-winning library programs such as the Reading Link Challenge and the Festival of Aboriginal Artists.

Ada was a founding member and director of the Asian Canadian Writers' Workshop and a founding member of the LiterASIAN Writers Festival.  Ada was also a founding member and was on the inaugural committee to incorporate the Port Coquitlam Heritage and Cultural Society in 1988.  She helped found the Fraser Valley Regional Library's participation as one of the pilot libraries in Lest We Forget, a unique pilot program offered by Library and Archives Canada to High Schools in the Fraser Valley, using copies of primary source documents of WWI soldiers, to remember those who bravely lost their lives to save others. Thank you, Ada, for all you’ve done for us. We will miss you dearly.

February 26, 2024

Richmond Public Library Writers for Readers Festival - March 13, 2024


Writers for Readers is Richmond Public Library's first writers festival. Featuring live talks from bestselling BC authors Iona Whishaw, Eve Lazarus, and Nick Marino.

There will also be local authors from Richmond setup with their own booths with an opportunity for you to chat with them, learn about their work, and purchase copies of their books.


Local author tables 2-5PM
Richmond-based authors include:

Marty Allen, Jennifer Ausa, Anil Kotadia, Udayana Lugo, Isabella Mori, Fred Pawluk, Alice Poon, Dan Propp, Brandon Reid, Diana Sajoo, Emily Seo, Shannon Schneider, Ling Sun, and Ronald Zhang.  Alice Poon will be hosting a mini-book launch at her booth for The Earthly Blaze (the concluding wuxia fantasy sequel to The Heavenly Sword), which is due for release on April 9, 2024.

Wednesday, March 13, 2024, 2:00PM – 7:00PM, at Richmond Public Library's Brighouse Branch.

February 22, 2024

The world premiere of Jade Circle this March 6-17, at Gateway Theatre

The world premiere of Jade Circle is this March 6-17, at Gateway Theatre. This beautiful story will inspire you to rediscover and reclaim your mother tongue.


As a second-generation immigrant, Jasmine’s personal journey and background greatly inform her artistic expression. Her experiences and heritage shape the stories she tells, adding depth and authenticity to her creative performances. With extensive experience as a Theatre, Film/TV, and Voiceover performer, Jasmine’s artistic endeavours go beyond acting and directing. She invites audiences to explore the complexities of identity, belonging, and cultural heritage through her work. She also delves into the creation of multilingual, interdisciplinary pieces that aim to bring linguistic and formal diversity to our stages while bridging cultural and linguistic barriers through the power of play and theatre.