Asian American Writers' Workshop

AAWW Editor Position

The Asian American Writers' Workshop (AAWW)—an alternative arts space dedicated to literature at the intersection of race, migration, and social justice—is hiring an editor to develop and execute literary initiatives related to the politics of mass incarceration and migrant detention. The editor will commission and edit work for literary portfolios published on AAWW’s The Margins and will also help organize events and community partnerships tied to each portfolio, with the support of additional AAWW staff. The editor will bring their vision on how AAWW can shape these new and experimental programs.

Our goals: to create multiple entry points for readers who might not see the movement against mass incarceration as their own, and in particular to draw Asian Americans into the anti-incarceration movement; to affirm the humanity of incarcerated populations through storytelling; and to produce work that builds bridges between migrant and criminal justice. We see this as a cultural endeavor, rather than an advocacy or organizing tool, and look for applicants who can engage with these themes through literature.

This position is ideal for an ambitious, organized editor who recognizes the importance of building solidarity between migrant justice and criminal justice movements; believes in the value of publishing excellent fiction, creative nonfiction and poetry to creating new ways to imagine political futures; and would love to build experience in a vibrant alternative arts space. The ideal candidate will possess experience editing in a professional context and managing and building new projects and ongoing relationships. We also see this editor joining our editorial and artistic team more generally and helping support AAWW’s programs beyond this project.

This is a three-day-a-week position with health benefits. The Editor must be able to work in New York City.


The editor will solicit, commission and edit fiction, creative nonfiction, and poetry for a series of literary portfolios that (1) tie Asian American politics, feminist politics, and the politics of migrant justice to mass incarceration; (2) show the human cost and lived experiences of mass incarceration for incarcerated people, deportees, and their families; (3) build a vision for a world without cages and a world without borders.

The editor will join our editorial staff, participate in editorial meetings, research and develop story ideas for the project with the support of AAWW’s Editorial Director, manage relationships with writers, guide production of pieces and accompanying art, maintain social media around pieces, and work with A/V staff to build a multimedia campaign around the work published.

The editor will promote, co-publish, and signal boost published portfolios via collaborations with larger media organizations to amplify the national impact of pieces produced for the project and to widen distribution. The editor will also identify concrete ways in which published work can help feed into active campaigns by organizations working in the field.

The editor will work in collaboration with AAWW’s Cultural Organizer and Deputy Director to plan a series of public events and workshops to engage community members and organizers around the issues of migrant justice and mass incarceration.


We are searching for an Editor who is excited by the prospect of building a body of work by a multiracial group of writers that builds bridges between literatures and struggles that are often isolated from each other. A working knowledge of currents in contemporary literature, including Asian American literature and prison abolitionist literature. The Editor should be familiar with conversations in both the migrant justice movement and the movements against mass incarceration, and possibly possess prior experience working alongside these movements.

Strong familiarity with AAWW. We sit between art and politics, literature and community. Understanding our outlook and our community is vital, since it embodies several of the assumptions embodied in this project, such as the premium we place on playfulness, surprise, and collaboration.

An ideal candidate is an entrepreneurial editor who can implement and add to our vision for the project. The Editor must be able to create and execute their own plan from the ground up, possess excellent time-management skills and the ability to prioritize between tasks. As a new initiative, this project will be shaped by the Editor’s ambitions, creativity, and attention to detail.



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.

At least 2-3 years of editorial experience in an office setting and should be a strong writer and editor. The candidate must have used website content management systems and social media.

The Editor will be managing multiple relationships with both established and emerging writers and must have highly developed communication and relationship-building skills.


Fill out the online google doc:

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 American literary and the literature of migrant justice and mass incarceration, 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: