Gung HAGGIS Fat Choy is back in action!

It’s been a challenging 4 years since I last posted. It feels like the world has shifted. I thank Allan Cho for posting from 2014 to 2016.

We regret to share that our mentor and dear friend Jim Wong-Chu passed away in July 2017. Jim was a co-founder and driving force of Asian Canadian Writers’ Workshop, Ricepaper Magazine and LiterASIAN: Festival of Asian Canadian Writing. He made invaluable contributions to Asian Canadian literature as well as the development of Asian Heritage Month. Jim was a tremendous supporter of Gung HAGGIS Fat Choy, he encouraged me in its development, attended many taste-testings, and always brought Ricepaper Magazine to promote. While he can never be truly replaced, we will ensure that his memory lives on, his legacies recognized, and that new writers will continue to be inspired.

My father, William (Bill) Wong passed away in November 2015. He was my life-long teacher and inspiration. He was the proprietor of Hopp Signs Ltd. and painted many signs throughout Vancouver, and also especially Chinatown. He loved attending my Gung Haggis Fat Choy Robbie Burns Chinese New Year dinners, and supported me when I spoke at Terry Fox Community Runs throughout Metro Vancouver. His memory and values continue to inspire me, and I thank my many cousins, aunts & uncles, my grandmother, my brother, my niece and nephew, our friends, for sharing our love of my father.

And on Christmas night, 2016, I survived an aortic dissection. I had emergency cardiac surgery on Dec 26th. I was in the hospital for 10 days. I especially thank my girlfriend Deb Martin for her love and support, as well my cousins Gail Young Mofrad who accompanied me to the hospital, and Shelley Ferguson who also helped care for me at home. My friends in The Black Bear Rebels, and ACWW were also especially supportive.

But while this blog www.gunghaggis.com has not been posting, it has still been busy providing information to people. Allan and I have still been active in the community. Our events and activities have also been posted on www.asiancanadianwriters.ca, literasian.com and ricepapermagazine.ca, as well as our facebook pages. Allan is Executive Director of ACWW, and I am President. We thank our wonderful board members, volunteers and staff, for keeping these important cultural institutions, societies, and events ongoing and growing.

Historic Joy Kogawa House is now owned by City of Vancouver, continues to operate by Historic Joy Kogawa House Society, and the website is www.kogawahouse.com. I stepped down as president after 10 years, but remain on the board.

Stay tuned for upcoming announcements about the Gung HAGGIS Fat Choy Robbie Burns Chinese New Year Dinner for 2019.

Canada’s First Asian Canadian Writers Festival, September 21 to 25

LiterAsian poster5.6 print-page-001 copy

Our Theme – History and Memory
As Canada nears its 150 celebration of Confederation, it is timely for the Asian Canadian community to gather to reflect on its history.
Festival Pass
This year we are launching a festival pass. This $20 festival pass will allow the purchaser unlimited access to all five of our workshops and three panels as well as an annual membership to ACWW which includes subscription to the online version of Ricepaper magazine and discounts to some community partnership events. A good deal plus a great way to show your support to the Asian Canadian writing community.
Opening Event

Panel Discussion: Searching the Past – Locating History and Memory 
Vancouver Public Library, 350 W Georgia Street
Wednesday, September 21, 6.00pm

Our opening event will be hosted jointly by the Vancouver Public Library on Wednesday, Sept 21, 6pm at the Central Branch lower level, Alice MacKay Room. The panel will explore the different ways we chose to gather and record the past and illuminate the deeds of earlier generations. The panel will include Award-winning authors and editors, Paul Yee, Denise Chong, SKY Lee, JJ Lee, Simon Choa Johnston, Jean Barman and Judy Hanazawa.

Additional Panels

Crossing Boundaries: Writing the Diaspora
Chinese Cultural Centre Museum 555 Columbia Street
Friday, September 23, 6.00pm

Aside from the opening event panel at VPL, we have a Friday evening 6pm panel “Crossing Boundaries: Writing the Diaspora” at the Chinese Cultural Centre Museum (555 Columbia Street). The panel will look at History and Memory from the perspective of diasporic writing when our writers situate their stories beyond Canadian shores. Panelists, Simon Choa Johnston’s new publication, The House of Two Wives begin his story in Calcutta by way of Bagdad and eventually end up in Hong Kong. C. Fong Hsiung traces the plight of the Hakka community following the India-China war of 1962, the Chinese Indians (the Hakka), fearing suspicion and hostility, begin to emigrate. Fong Hsiung’s main character, Jillian Wu was sent to Canada as a picture bride to marry a man she had never met. Filmmaker and director, Cheuk Kwan and cinematographer, Kwoi Jin are partners in a 15 part documentary series “Chinese Restaurants” that tells the stories of the diasporic Chinese from such places such as Argentina, Brazil, Cuba, India, Israel, Madagascar, Mauritius , Norway, Peru, South Africa, Trinidad, Turkey and Canada. They will discuss their new book project to further elaborate on what didn’t ‘make it” into the film. Anna Wang Yuan is a Canadian novelist currently living in California. She edited an anthology “The Strangers” a short story collection by nine new generation ethnic Chinese writers, mostly immigrants who reflect the alienation of being a stranger in a strange land.

The Medium as the Message: Telling Stories Beyond the Written Word

Chinese Cultural Centre Museum 555 Columbia Street, Vancouver, BC
Saturday, September 24, 3.00pm

The written word is not the only way we can communicate our idea. This panel brings together storytellers, filmmakers and those who use other creative means to create effective content. Sarah Ling is a part of a team of producers, writers and filmmakers that are based in U.B.C. and together with elder Larry grant has chronicled Larry dual native aboriginal/Chinese heritage on film. Dan Seto uses youtube as a vehicle for his “Chinese Canadian Roots TV” to explore and chronicling his roots through cooking, culture, travel, history and events. 1985 to 1987, Paul Yee served as Chairman of the Saltwater City Exhibition Committee of the Chinese Cultural Centre and along with David Wong, help put together this seminal Exhibition about the Chinese in Vancouver. David Wong also published an acclaimed graphic novel,”Escape from Gold Mountain”. Filmmaker and director, Cheuk Kwan and cinematographer, Kwoi Jin are partners in a 15 part documentary series “Chinese Restaurants” that tells the stories of the diasporic Chinese from such places such as Argentina, Brazil, Cuba, India, Israel, Madagascar, Mauritius , Norway, Peru, South Africa, Trinidad, Turkey and Canada.  This is a multi-media panel where each panelist will showcase some of their activities and discuss the creative process behind work.

Workshops
Location for all workshops – UBC Learning Centre (612 Main Street)

1. The Self-Publishing Process (September 24, 11.00AM-12.30PM) – Workshop leader – Edwin Lee

2. Writing A Reflective Memoir: Telling a Great Story from Beginning to End (September 24, 1.00PM-2.30PM) Workshop leader – J.J. Lee

3. Literature and Rendering Memory (September 25, 11.00AM-12.30PM)Workshop leader – Denise Chong

4. Food and Inspiration of Storytelling from Memory (September 25, 1.00PM-2.30PM) Workshop leader – Larry Wong

5. Writing Effectively Using a ‘Trace’ and a ‘Hook’ (September 25, 3.00PM-4.30PM) – Workshop leader – Jean Barman

Book Launches

Book Launch: “Gently to Nagasaki” by Joy Kogawa 

Vancouver Public library, Central Branch, Lower floor, Alice MacKay Room
September 22, 6:30pmJoy Kogawa’s new memoir, “Gently to Nagasaki” is presented in partnership with the Historic Joy Kogawa House, the Vancouver Public Library, and Caitlin Press. This intimate exploration, both communal and intensely personal, invites you on a spiritual pilgrimage of forgiveness and resilience. Set in Vancouver and Toronto, the outposts of Slocan and Coaldale, the streets of Nagasaki and the high mountains of Shikoku, Japan, it is also an account of a remarkable life.
Book Launch: Picture Bride by C. Fong Hsiung Chinese Cultural Centre Museum, 555 Columbia Street, Vancouver,
Saturday, September 24, 2.00pm
Following the India-China war of 1962, the Chinese Indians (the Hakka), fearing suspicion and hostility, begin to emigrate. In Picture Bride, set during a period of changing times and changing values, twenty-year-old Jillian Wu leaves Calcutta to marry a man she has never met—Peter Chou, also a Hakka—with much anticipation, only to discover that he is gay. Forced by her husband to keep up the charade of a “normal” marriage, and pressured by her in-laws to have a child, she flees back to Calcutta, only to be disowned by her conservative family. A moving story with political overtones, Picture Bride confronts the politics of family, culture, and women’s rights.
Book Launch: The Strangers edited by Anna Wang Yuan

Chinese Cultural Centre Museum, 555 Columbia Street, Vancouver, BC., Saturday,

September 24, 4.00pm

What kind of images does “Chinese” stir up in your mind? Do you think of strange-looking workers who built the railroads before 1900? Or the quiet math genius from your high school whose strange-sounding name you’ve long forgotten? Perhaps you recall the mysterious man who brought bags of cash to pay for a car or even a house. In a time of globalization, you’ve learned to work with strangers and live amongst strangers, yet you’ve probably only read books written by familiar names. Anna Wang Yuan compiled the nine stories and written the foreword.
LiterASIAN at WORD Vancouver (11.00am to 5.00pm Library Square)

Come join us at the annual Word Vancouver, down at Library Square and meet our featured writers, Paul Yee, Simon Choa Johnston, JJ Lee and Joy Kogawa.  Come and say Hello at the Ricepaper Magazine/literasian table  Word Vancouver is Western Canada’s largest celebration of literacy and reading event. Book and magazine fair celebrating literacy and the printed word. (http://wordvancouver.ca/2016-festival/)

Closing Event

Gala Dinner $50 per person 

Sunday September 25, 6pm

Golden Phoenix Restaurant 2425 Nanaimo StreetCome join in to share a meal that includes a 10-course Peking Duck dinner and have a chance to meet and talk to and get your books signed by the featured writers, in our 2016 program. Our Gala dinner is a fun-filled event which includes celebrity MCs and music from our literASIAN house band with lots of prizes and of course, a ten course Chinese meal.

The $50 ticket also offers a one-year membership to the ACWW as well as a one-year subscription to Ricepaper Magazine (online version) and discounts and special opportunities to community partner events. So come and support the creation of new writers and readers in our community and celebrate the end of another successful festival.

LiterASIAN 2015 Arrives!

Thursday October 8, 2015

6:00PM-7:30PM        Book Launch of Shirley Camia’s The Significance of Moths [Link]


Friday October 9, 2015

1:00PM-2:30PM        The Dreaded Query Letter with Christina Park [Link]

2:30PM-4:00PMA Publishing Career: Breaking In and Staying In with Holman Wang [Link]

6:00PM-9:00PM Opening Gala at Jade Dynasty Restaurant [Link]


Saturday October 10, 2015

10:00AM-11:30AM          Write What You Know Even in a Fantasy World with Derwin Mak [Link]

12:00PM-1:30PMTake Control of Your Writing and Self Publish in Canada! with JF Garrard [Link]

2:00PM-3:00PMThe Making of a Science Fiction and Fantasy Anthology with Derwin Mak and Eric Choi [Link]

2:00PM-3:30PMThe Art of Combining Research into your Writing Practice with Shirley Camia [Link]

3:30PM-5:00PMThe Art and Craft of Science & Speculative Fiction with Industry Experts [Link]

4:00PM-5:30PMOn Scientific Literacy, Unicorns, and Whether Good Science Fiction can Influence Good Science Policy with David Ng [Link]


Sunday October 11, 2015

10:00AM-11:30AM        Putting the Science in Science Fiction with Eric Choi [Link]

12:00PM-1:30PMA Riddle, Wrapped in a Mystery, Inside A Story with Tony Pi [Link]

2:00PM-3:30PMWrite What You Know Even in a Fantasy World with Wesley Lowe [Link]

10:00AM-4:00PMAuthor readings and book signings [Link]

12:00PM-4:00PM3rd annual Asian Canadian book fair [Link]

 


AlliterAsian Twenty Years of Ricepaper Magazine

alliterasianA wide-ranging anthology of Asian Canadian literature to celebrate 20 years of Ricepaper.

2015 marks the 20th anniversary of Ricepaper magazine, a pioneering periodical devoted to Asian-Canadian writing. Over the years, Ricepaper‘s focus has shifted from predominantly arts and culture reporting to the publication of original literature; as such, it has both witnessed and cultivated the maturation of an Asian-Canadian literary tradition; indeed, many of today’s most acclaimed Asian-Canadian writers were first published in the pages of Ricepaper.

This celebratory anthology features exclusive interviews first published in Ricepaperwith David Suzuki, Tobias Wong, Ruth Ozeki, Evelyn Lau, Denise Chong, and Madeleine Thien. In addition, exciting voices in Canadian literature are represented by Kim Fu, Doretta Lau, Corinna Chong, Terry Watada, Derwin Mak, Eric Choi, and C.E. Gatchalian. Established and emerging poets such as Fred Wah, Evelyn Lau, Rita Wong, Souvankham Thammavongsa, and Michael Prior also grace the anthology with their work. Finally, three award-winning authors have given permission for excerpts of their works-in-progress to be included: Joy Kogawa (Gently to Nagasaki, a new memoir about Japanese atrocities during World War II), Yasuko Thanh (“Lucky in Saigon,” a novel soon to be published as Mysterious Fragrance of the Yellow Mountains), and SKY Lee (Progress in Process).

AlliterAsian is an intriguing and multi-faceted record of Asian-Canadian writing that pays homage to the legacy of Ricepaper and its contribution to the evolving and increasingly diverse landscape of Canadian literature.

Think it would make a great present for yourself and your library?   Order a copy today.

LiterASIAN 2015 – Celebrating 20 Years of Asian Canadian Writing

literasian2015_Thursday October 8 to Sunday October 11, 2015 – LiterASIAN Festival is back!  The 3rd annual Asian Canadian literary festival celebrates the best of Pacific Rim Asian Canadian literary talent.   LiterASIAN 2015 features readings, workshops, panel discussions and book launches. Featuring some of the Asian Canadian writing’s most innovative and creative writers in fantasy, science, and speculative fiction, history, and poetry, LiterASIAN is for literary enthusiasts, publishers, literary agents, and anyone interested in writing.  This year’s line-up includes:

  • Eric Choi & Derwin Mak (co-editors of Aurora Award winning anthology The Dragon and the Star)
  • Christina Park (The Homes We Build on Ashes)
  • JF Garrard (The Undead Sorceress, Designing Fate, How to Make a Munchkin)
  • Wesley Lowe (Terror Unleashed, Heaven Burning, Deadly Love, Ghosts of Chinatown)
  • Shirley Camia (The Significance of Moths)
  • Holman Wang (Star Wars Epic Yarns: A New Hope)
  • Presentation of the Emerging Writers Award winner!

Interviews and photo opportunities are available.

Website for registration: http://literasian.com | Contact: info@literasian.com

explorASIAN 2015 Arrives! Recognizing the Persian Community

Gala poster 2015


Have you got your tickets yet to the explorASIAN gala?  This festival closing annual presents an evening of Iranian cuisine, performances, cocktails, dancing, raffle and auction from 6:00 to 11:00 pm on Friday, May 29. Featured will be vocalist Soley with the Vashan Ensemble and dancer Lia Fallah.

Recognized for their fine community work will be Tri Cities Iranian Cultural Society, Society of Iranian Canadian Professionals and Persian Cultural and Art Institute
Tickets are $50 plus a $3.50 service charge if purchased online or at the box office on the day of the event.

Attention aspiring and budding novelists! Emerging Writers Award returns in 2015!

Attention aspiring and budding novelists! Are you working on a manuscript or have one almost ready? Here’s your chance to be published. The Asian Canadian Writers’ Workshop (ACWW) has revived its long awaited Emerging Writers Award.  EWA2015

2015—Fiction

The ACWW Emerging Writers Award (EWA) was established in 1999 to help authors of Pacific Rim Asian heritage be published with an established publishing house. The winner of the first award was poet, Rita Wong (Monkeypuzzle, published by Press Gang.) Madeleine Thien won the second award in 2001 for her short story collection, Simple Recipes. This manuscript impressed McClelland & Stewart so much that they offered Madeleine a two-book deal. Simple Recipes went on to win the Ethel Wilson Fiction Prize, the City of Vancouver Book Prize, and was a finalist in the Commonwealth Writers Prize for Best First Book.

The Asian Canadian Writers’ Workshop is the publisher of Ricepaper Magazine and literASIAN: A Festival of Pacific Rim Asian Canadian Writing Festival. Formed in 1995, it was created out of a need to develop and nurture Pacific Rim Asian Canadian writers. Its primary purpose is to foster a community of writers and build a literature. In 2015, ACWW will celebrate its twentieth anniversary.

The ACWW Emerging Writer Award is a community building initiative of the Asian Canadian Writers’ Workshop to encourage the development of quality manuscripts and finished works by new writers in our community.

The 2015 competition is for a book-length manuscript of fiction by a Asian-Canadian writer of Pacific Rim Asian heritage who has not previously published a book-length work of fiction in traditional or digital form.

The Author
The author must be a Canadian of Pacific Rim Asian heritage (e.g. East Asian or Southeast Asian descent) and not previously self-published or traditionally published a book-length work of fiction. After a manuscript is submitted to the EWA competition, the author agrees not to submit the work to any publishers until after the manuscript has been released from the EWA competition in October 2015. Receipt and release of the manuscript will be acknowledged in a timely fashion.

The Jury
This year’s jury members are Carellin Brooks, Glenn Deer, and Karen Shigeno. If there is no work of sufficiently high quality, the jury may decide that there is no winner.

The Publisher
Publishers will be offered the winning manuscript for consideration. If a publisher wishes to offer a contract to the winning author, a detailed letter of intent will be submitted to the ACWW.   The letter should include the following:

1) intended publication date (season and year)
2) proposed advance against royalties
3) description of proposed editorial commitment/vision
4) description of proposed promotional plans
5) sample contract and a copy of the publisher’s most recent catalogue

The publisher will include acknowledgement of the Asian Canadian Writers’ Workshop Emerging Writer Award in the finished book as well as on press releases and advertisements. Should a successful contract be concluded, the ACWW will help promote the book.

Deadline for manuscripts: must be postmarked by July 31, 2015.

1) Completed application form (download for attachment).
2) $25.00 registration fee that also entitles the entrant to a year’s subscription to Ricepaper Magazine as well as membership in ACWW.  Cheque written out to: Asian Canadian Writers’ Workshop Society.
3) three print copies of the manuscript in addition to a digital copy to be sent to: submissions@asiancanadianwriters.ca

Please send submissions to:
ACWW Emerging Writing Award Fiction 2015
P.O. Box 74174
Vancouver, British Columbia
V5V 5C8

Announcement of Winner
The winner will be announced at during the 2015 literASIAN: A Festival of Pacific Rim Asian Canadian Writing Festival Oct 8 – 11, 2015.

For queries and media contact
Jim Wong-Chu: wongchu@shaw.ca or 604.355.5795

Julia Lin: contact@julialinbooks.com