This month we have fellow writer Yen-Rong Wong with us for July’s Promoting Creativity. This is a monthly blog series that I created a couple years back, at the end of the month I interview a fellow creator and then put it on my blog.
1) Tell us a little bit about what you do.
I run a magazine called Pencilled In, which is a literary magazine for Asian Australian writers and artists. I also write reviews and creative non-fiction, usually in the forms of essay or memoir. I have a full time day job too, but it’s in no way connected to the arts.
2) When and why did you start writing?
I started writing when I was 3, I think? It was a story about hello kitty and her friends. I think I started writing because I loved reading stories and wanted to try doing it myself.
In terms of non-fiction, I didn’t even know creative non-fiction was a thing or that people would even care about my thoughts until I wrote a blog post about Lionel Shriver’s opening address at Brisbane Writers Festival and it kind of exploded a bit. I write non-fiction now because it seems so natural to me, and also because I want to read more about a vast number of Asian Australian experiences, not just the “stereotypical” ones – and hopefully encourage others to do the same.
3) Tell us about a project that you are currently working on that has you really excited.
I’m currently working on a memoir-y essay collection about what it means to be a young ethnically Chinese woman navigating sex and relationships in a Western society. It ranges from pieces that are very much memoir based, others that are a little more experimental, and others again that are more journalism-ish based. There are topics from the role of language, how emotions like guilt have played into my relationship with sex, and the unfortunate rise of the Asian MRA.
4) What are some of your goals for the future?
At the moment it’s just getting a first draft of this “book” done! But if I’m looking further out, I’d love to run writing workshops for school aged children of colour, and especially to get Asian children to see that the arts aren’t “useless”.
5) How can we support you?
Buy the magazine! 😛 but seriously. If you like my work, send me a lil message saying so, it means the world to a smol potato like me. Otherwise, read more writers of colour! Particularly women. Do it.