Allison Hong Merrill

Creative Nonfiction Writer

Author's Bio

Allison was born and raised in Taiwan and arrived in the U.S. at twenty-two as a university student. That’s when she realized her school English wasn’t much help when asking for directions on the street or opening a bank account. By recording each of the classes she took––including physical education––and reviewing the tape every night for a year, she eventually learned English well enough to earn an MFA in Writing from Vermont College of Fine Arts. But please excuse her if she misuses the verb tenses or mixes up the genders in third-person pronouns when she speaks. It’s no secret––English is a hard language to learn.

Allison is an editor at Dialogue Journal. She writes in both Chinese and English, both fiction and creative nonfiction, which means she spends a lot of time looking up words on She’s a Pushcart Prize nominee and her work has won both national and international awards, including National Championship in the 2010 Life Story Writing Competition in Taipei, Taiwan and the Grand Prize in the 2019 MAST People of Earth writing contest. She’s the inaugural winner of Sandra Carpenter Prize for Creative Nonfiction, first-place winner of the 2019 Segullah Journal writing contest, and first-place winner of 2020 Opossum flash contest, and many more. Her memoir, Ninety-Nine Fire Hoops, was released in September 2021 and continues to receive literary awards. Visit her at, where you can sign up for her extremely short monthly email. 

Publications & Prizes

Ninety-Nine Fire Hoops (She Writes Press, 2021)
Prizes won: 

2021 Literary Titan Book Award Gold Medal Winner, 2021 Readers’ Favorite International Book Award Gold Medal Winner, 2021 Millennium Book Award Grand Prize Winner, 2021 The Zibby Awards Winner, 2021 International Impact Book Awards Winner,2021 IAN Book of the Year Winner,2021 IAN Outstanding Non-Fiction Award Winner,2021 Firebird Book Award Winner,2022 Feathered Quill Book Awards Winner,2021-2022 Reader Views Literary Awards Winner

More Information

Gives readings: 
Travels for readings: 
Identifies as: 
Prefers to work with: 
Immigration, Parents, Women
Fluent in: 
Chinese, English
Born in: 
Raised in: 
Please note: All information in the Directory is provided by the listed writers or their representatives.
Last update: Mar 18, 2022