Asian American Writers' Workshop

AAWW Asia Editor Position

The Asian American Writers’ Workshop (AAWW), the preeminent literary arts nonprofit dedicated to excellent literature of Asian American descent, seeks to hire an Asia Editor to lead our Transpacific Literary Project.

The Editor will: 1) solicit and edit literature from writers of Asian descent living in East and Southeast Asia to publish in The Margins, AAWW’s online magazine; and 2) build relationships with writers, publishers, academics, institutions, and translators who are creating and supporting Pacific Rim literature. The ideal editor will possess experience editing in a professional office environment, engaging with Asian literature in translation and scholarly and theoretical writing on Asia, and managing and building new projects and ongoing relationships. The Editor will develop and implement the vision of the project, in collaboration with AAWW Executive Director Ken Chen, Editorial Director Jyothi Natarajan, and Assistant Editor Yasmin Majeed. The Editor should also possess strong familiarity with AAWW, as well as currents in Asian literatures.

This is a four-day-a-week position with health benefits with the possibility of full-time should funding increase. The Editor must be physically based in New York City. While AAWW represents a wide variety of Asian ethnicities, this specific project targets the “Transpacific,” which scholars have conceptualized as a relational unit that juxtaposes the Americas, the Pacific Ocean, and East and Southeast Asia.

The Transpacific Literary Project (TLP) is an ambitious online publishing program and network that seeks to foster literary connections between East and Southeast Asia, the Pacific Ocean, and the Asian diaspora across the Americas. You can read past stories here: http://aaww.org/tag/transpacific-literary-project/.

RESPONSIBILITIES

  • The Editor will pitch, write, assign, and edit literary packages concerning the literary, political, and pop cultural life of East and Southeast Asia. Portfolios will group writers from different national backgrounds to show unexpected unifying histories of migration, pro-democracy movements, and trade. While our expectations are open-ended, we imagine that these portfolios could appear once every 1.5-2 months with new content appearing every week.
  • The Editor’s other main responsibility will be to build an informal network of Asian translators, academics, writers, and affiliated institutions. We have created a loose network of about 100 writers, translators, universities, presses and institutions. We seek someone who sees themselves not as a slush pile reader, but as a manager, collaborator, and partnership-builder. They will hold regular meetings with literary and academic advisers and build ongoing relationships with partners.
  • The Editor will be responsible for all tasks related to the editorial management of the TLP, including: editing and publishing fiction, nonfiction, and poetry from Asian writers and translators; guiding production of photos and multimedia content; and creating social media around pieces and planning campaigns to bring more readers to The Margins.
  • In the long run, the project could grow to include fellowships, coordinating events with writers from Asia, building podcasting and video assets, working on an ebook version of our portfolios, pitching a print anthology dedicated to Transpacific literature, and more.

REQUIREMENTS

  • The Editor must be familiar with the history and literary trends within East and Southeast Asia and be excited to grapple with the developing discourse of the Transpacific, which seeks to bridge Asian literature in translation and Asian American studies. Fluency in an Asian language is preferred.
  • The ideal candidate will be an entrepreneurial editor who can implement and add to our vision for this ambitious, innovative project. The Editor must be able to manage and juggle several projects and create and execute their own plan from the ground-up. This is a fast-paced and new project that will be structured by the Editor’s ambitions, creativity, and attention to detail. The Editor must possess excellent time-management skills as well as the ability to prioritize, balancing the work of editing and publishing stories.
  • Ideally, the candidate is an excellent writer and editor with at least 2-4 years of editorial experience in an office setting. The candidate must have worked with web content management systems, social media, assisting in the creation of audio and video content. We have a designer and additionanl editorial staff to support the project.
  • Additionally, the Asia Editor will need to help build long-term collaborations with academics working in the burgeoning field of Transpacific Studies. The Editor must be comfortable reading scholarly writing and learning about the conceptual rubric of this field that bridges Area and American Studies. In the short term, the Editor will build a Transpacific Studies working group of academics. In the long term, the Asia Editor will also take the lead in planning a local academic conference in 2019 and a national conference in 2020.
  • Because the Editor must build connections with writers, translators, institutions, and presses in Asia, the Asia Editor must have highly developed communication and relationship-building skills.

HOW TO APPLY

  • Fill out the online google doc: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1yenTpP4u1SfsT0zUyPw74FKvZRAEEpg2nGIEpN5IwY8/edit.
  • Prepare a resume, cover letter and two writing samples as PDFs. Please include your first and last name in the title of all documents. Please do not send links to writing samples; simply send the work itself. Your cover letter should discuss your vision for this project, your relationship with Asian and Asian American literature and translation, and your editorial and project management experience. Writing samples can include a range of work and should include nonfiction prose or marketing copy that can display your ability to communicate.
  • Upload them to our Dropbox here: https://www.dropbox.com/request/5xSkyERwu8yE7gaigq65.

AAWW is committed to inclusivity and does not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, ethnicity, age, gender identity, sexual orientation, socio-economic status, nationality, marital status, parental status, military service, or disability.

ABOUT THE ASIAN AMERICAN WRITERS’ WORKSHOP
AAWW is the preeminent national arts nonprofit dedicated to the belief that Asian American stories deserve to be told. We define “Asian” with radical inclusivity to also encompass West Asia (Arab, Iranian and Afghan Americans) and South Asia (Pakistan, Bangladesh, India, Sri Lanka). We are an alternative arts space dedicated to literature at the intersection of migration, race, and social justice. Our main program areas include: 1) curating events with Asian American writers; 2) granting fellowships to emerging Asian American writers; 3) publishing the online magazine The Margins and Open City; and 4) creating community through immigrant, senior, and youth programs. Since 1991, The Asian American Writers' Workshop has served as a national home for Asian American stories. A quirky yet curated literary community dedicated to Asian American alternative culture, we host more than 50 events a year, featuring nearly 200 writers and artists, such as Jhumpa Lahiri, Junot Díaz, Ha Jin, Bei Dao, Vijay Prashad, Can Xue, Leila Chudori, Madeleine Thien, Jiayang Fan, Jeff Chang, Chang-rae Lee, Teju Cole, Claudia Rankine, Alfian Sa’at, Tash Aw, Anuk Arudpragasam, Sunila Galappatti, and Alexander Chee. We publish the online magazines The Margins, our magazine of arts and ideas, and Open City, which is dedicated to chronicling low-income immigrant communities in New York. We distribute grants to emerging Asian American writers, having re-granted more than $100,000 in the last few years. We helped found the pro-immigrant initiative, CultureStrike, which sent 50 writers and artists to a weeklong witnessing delegation at the Arizona border. Invited to the White House, and covered by the NY Times, Wall Street Journal and NPR, we seek to invent the future of Asian American culture.

Contact Information

Ken Chen, Executive Director
New York
NY
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