Nancy Au

Fiction Writer

Author's Bio

My writing appears or is forthcoming in over thirty literary journals including, among others, Redivider, Gulf Coast, Catapult, and Foglifter. I have an MFA from San Francisco State University. I teach creative writing (to biology majors!) at California State University Stanislaus (2015-current), and at San Francisco State University (2015-2016, 2019), and am co-founder of The Escapery (, a collective of teachers who are dedicated to diversity, and to writing and art as a form of resistance. My debut full-length collection, SPIDER LOVE SONG AND OTHER STORIES was published by Acre Books (University of Cincinnati) in Fall 2019. You can get your copy at: ~~~ My short stories, flash fiction, creative nonfiction, and essays often center on the experiences of the elderly, the young, immigrants, as well as with characters who struggle with mental health issues. I endeavor to write about (and to amplify, diversify, complicate) the voices that have been historically ignored (or stereotyped or diminished or demonized) within academia and literature. I am particularly interested in exploring the lives of American-born Chinese and Chinese immigrants.

Publications & Prizes

Best Small Fictions (Braddock Avenue Books, 2018)
Journals: ,
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Frigg Magazine
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Identity Theory
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Necessary Fiction
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Prick of the Spindle
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Typehouse Literary Magazine
Prizes won: 

2020 Community of Literary Magazines and Presses (CLMP) Firecracker Book Award for Fiction finalist; 2020 PEN America/Robert W. Bingham Award for Debut Short Story Collection longlisted; 2019 Wigleaf Top 50 longlisted; Redivider's 2018 Blurred Genre Contest winner; The Vestal Review's 2018 VERA Flash Fiction Prize winner;  The Best Small Fictions 2018 winner;  Entropy's Best of 2018 (fiction);  Spring Creek Project Collaborative Residency award;  2018 Best Microfiction nomination;  2018 Atticus Review Flash Fiction Contest finalist;  2018 Gigantic Sequins Flash Fiction Contest finalist;  2018 SmokeLong Quarterly Award for Flash Fiction longlisted;  2018 Reflex Fiction Quarterly International Flash Fiction Award finalist;  2017 The Best Small Fictions nomination;  2017 Wigleaf Top 50 longlisted;  Best of the Net nomination;  2016 The Best Small Fictions nomination, 2016 The Best Small Fictions nomination;  2016 Pushcart Prize nomination;  2016 Wigleaf Top 50 nomination;  2014 Michael Ruben Book Award runner-up;  2012 Glimmer Train's Very Short Fiction Award finalist

Personal Favorites

Favorite authors: 
• Yiyun Li • Shirley Jackson • Amy Hempel • James Baldwin • Maya Angelou
What I'm reading now: 
Suddenly, a Knock on the Door by Etgar Keret (2012) , Cantoras by Carolina De Robertis (2019) , Her Body and Other Parades by Carmen Maria Muchado (2017) , The Fifth Woman by Nona Caspers (2019) , What It Means When A Man Falls From the Sky by Lesley Nneka Arimah (2018) , Bowlaway by Elizabeth McCracken (2019)

More Information

Gives readings: 
Travels for readings: 
Identifies as: 
Chinese American
Prefers to work with: 
Fluent in: 
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Last update: Jun 22, 2020