JWC Emerging Writers Award

Originally established in 1999 as the Emerging Writers Award, the newly renamed JWC Emerging Writer Award promotes authors of Pacific Rim Asian heritage to 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.

The Jim Wong-Chu Emerging Writers Award is a community building initiative of the Asian Canadian Writers’ Workshop named in recognition of Jim Wong-Chu, a pioneer of Asian Canadian writing and mentor to many writers. The award continues his lifelong passion to encourage and develop quality manuscripts and finished works by new writers in the community.

With a primary purpose to foster a community of writers and build a literature, the ACWW has developed and nurtured a generation of writers of Pacific Rim Asian Canadian descent, a historically marginalized group in Canada whose stories were rarely written or recorded. Other projects of the ACWW include Ricepaper Magazine and LiterASIAN: A Festival of Pacific Rim Asian Canadian Writing Festival.

The 2018 competition is for a fiction manuscript by an Asian Canadian writer of Pacific Rim Asian heritage who has not previously published any work of fiction, non-fiction or other known genres in traditional or digital form (including theatre plays, cinematic screenplays).

The author must be a Canadian of Pacific Rim Asian heritage (e.g. East Asian or Southeast Asian descent) and not previously self-published or traditionally published in a book-length work of fiction or non-fiction in traditional or digital form (including theatre plays, cinematic screenplays). After a manuscript is submitted to the competition, the author agrees not to submit the work to any publishers until after the manuscript has been released from the competition in October 2018. Receipt and release of the manuscript will be acknowledged in a timely fashion.

The Jury
This year’s jury will be composed of members of the literary and academic community. 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 Jim Wong-Chu 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.

Please stay tuned for the next JWC Emerging Writers Award announcement. 

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