Asian American Writers' Workshop

AAWW Deputy Director

The Asian American Writers' Workshop (AAWW)—an alternative arts space dedicated to literature at the intersection of race, migration and social justice—is hiring a Deputy Director to help manager program staff and oversee marketing initiatives. The ideal person will work with the Executive Director and Editorial Director at AAWW to help oversee program operations and execute an impactful marketing strategy to raise those programs’ visibility.

We envision a highly capable manager who could theoretically be able to jump into a variety of jobs here as needs may be, from helping manage our staff and our community programs to introducing events to drafting text for our email and websites. The ideal candidate possesses strong people skills, a high level of productivity, and past management experience. This position is great for a highly ambitious, organized individual who’s good at spotting opportunities and potential growth, and who would love to build experience in a cool, collegial, socially progressive arts center. Much of this job description is open-ended, since AAWW is a dynamic, growing organization.

This is a full-time position with health benefits. Applicants must be able to work in New York City.



  • You have a lot of energy and are ready to use it. You can fly the plane while building it.
  • You understand our curatorial vision—which is thematic, intellectual, pop cultural, community-based, avant-garde, and political—and can run with it. It is important to us that the candidate already “gets” AAWW and can jump right in.
  • You project great energy and warmth and have been building your network. You are playful, collaborative, and good at listening but goal-oriented, analytical, organized, and a fast-learner.
  • You’re anal retentive but you throw great parties.
  • You have a familiarity with program models deployed by literary nonprofit and cultural institutions and can quickly brainstorm possible program executions.
  • You want to get involved with shaping the literary culture of New York. You also know that, while this job may help you with literary contacts for your own career, the Workshop (rather than your writing) will have to be your creative focus.
  • You are always up for a challenge. You're an energetic, detail-oriented problem-solver who can process things quickly, solve crises, and make sure that things get done.


  • Help oversee program operations and serve as a liaison between staff and AAWW Executive Director Ken Chen, and generally work on staff management with Chen, Editorial Director Jyothi Natarajan, and Development Director Guia Marie Del Prado.
  • Oversee marketing, publicity, and social media strategy and processes for AAWW. Liaise with press outlets to increase coverage and publicity for AAWW programs. Collate and draft content for regular emails to our constituents that summarize AAWW programs.
  • Help manage community staff and programs (seniors, immigrant and youth workshops and cultural organizing) and integrate them back into our general program platform.
  • Take on projects as they arise and help identify and fill gaps in various program areas, which may include issues with our space, new programs, and rapid response projects. 
  • Create greater coherence between departments by attending events, reading online content, visiting community programs, etc.
  • Work to bolster a dynamic, cohesive, collaborative and compassionate team.


  • At least 4-6 years of work experience.
  • A track record of teamwork, strong interpersonal skills, and staff management.
  • Marketing and publicity experience, which may include garnering press coverage, managing social media, and promoting events.
  • Action-oriented disposition and the ability to execute complicated tasks in a quick and organized manner.
  • Strong familiarity with AAWW, as well as currents in contemporary literature, Asian American identity, and racial justice. We sit between art and politics, literature and community. Understanding our outlook and our community is vital, since it's the main way we differ with other organizations. You'll need to be able to learn quickly about new genres, communities, and intellectual discourses.
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills and the ability to write in a variety of registers, including marketing copy.
  • Strong strategic sense to notice and see new openings.
  • Demonstrated success in implementation and execution of multiple tasks while responding to multiple priorities and key initiatives concurrently.

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.



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, Porochista Khakpour, Moustafa Bayoumi, Hari Kunzru, Ashok Kondabolu, Hari Kondabolu, Bushra Rehman, Maxine Hong Kingston, Tarfia Faizullah, Vijay Prashad, Favianna Rodriguez, Jeff Chang, Chang-rae Lee, Teju Cole, Claudia Rankine, 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.


  • Fill out the online google doc at
  • 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:

Contact Information

Ken Chen, Executive Director
New York
Contact e-mail: