2022 SWHNM Mentorship Program: Call for Applications

She Who Has No Master(s), image from “Yellow Echoes” project in progress, 2021

She Who Has No Master(s) is initiating a creative writing mentorship program led by and designed for Vietnamese and SE Asian diasporic women and nonbinary writers. The centering of this perspective is important because in most educational settings the focus on subject matter and perspectives of women/nonbinary SE Asian diasporic women is marginal, if not totally unaddressed. In creating educational spaces that center those viewpoints, we create a nourishing space in which aspiring writers can see themselves, explore, and embrace their own particularities, and create more expansively. These mentorships will address both creative and professional aspects involved in the writing life. These offerings fulfill a dire contemporary need in our nation’s current environment for creative writing education.

Mentorship courses will be formatted in a “low-residency” style, of monthly mentorship “packet” exchanges (via email and online i.e. video chat correspondences) between mentors and mentees/writing students, from May to August 2022. For our inaugural year, in order to work within limitations and uncertainties presented by public health concerns, this will be a remote-only mentorship course. Applicants may be located anywhere in the world (but must be willing to schedule with a mentor based in US and Canada time zones).

Mentorship is designed so that each student receives intensive one-on-one guidance from their mentor. Mentees and mentors will also convene online in several group sessions, where mentees will get to interact, share creative work, and discuss aspects of craft with their peers and the other mentors. Mentees should be passionate and committed to exploring creative writing, ready to generate new creative work, engage in revision processes, and capable of working both independently as well as from writing prompts given by mentors. Mentors will work with mentees to tailor creative writing guidance that meets the mentees’ specific interests and needs.

The mentors for our inaugural 2022 mentorship program will be: Diana Khoi Nguyen, Hoa Nguyen, Lily Hoang, and Vi Khi Nao.

If you are selected for a mentorship, you will receive 4 months of tuition-free mentorship, an extremely unique opportunity for mentees to work closely with distinguished, award-winning women writers of the Vietnamese diaspora. Our first cohort will engage 4 students and 4 mentors.

Application Guidelines

To apply, please register here and pay the $25 application fee before February 28, 2022.

Then, send the following applications materials to [email protected]:

  1. Statement of purpose / interest in this program [up to 500 words]:
    • How will this program benefit your writing life? What do you hope to receive from this course?
    • What type of work have you made / wish to make / are interested in exploring?
    • Tell us what it means for you to be a diasporic writer or artist.
  2. Creative resume / CV (indicating MFA and/or publishing history, if applicable)
  3. Work Sample:
    • 10-20 pages of content total, in one or a mixture of genres (example: you may submit 10 pages of textual material + 10 min. of video or audio; or 15 pages of poetry + a 5-min. video; etc.)
    • Open to any genre: poetry, prose (fiction, creative nonfiction), hybrid, multimedia, etc.
    • If supplying video or audio material, up to 10 minutes total
    • If supplying text and/or image, must be formatted to the page (PDF file preferred), 10-20 pages total
    • Each file should indicate your full name and the file subject. For example: “JaneNguyen_Statement” “JaneNguyen_Resume” “JaneNguyen_WorkSample”

Note: To send us video, audio or other media files, please provide a work sample item sheet that includes links (i.e. Vimeo, YouTube) to where the material can be seen/heard. Using timecode, indicate exactly which portion of the media you would like us to review, if the existing link contains more than the allotted 10 minutes of material. Or, by default, we will review the first 5-10 min. of material.

If you have questions or issues regarding how to send us your application materials, or if you are in need of an application fee waiver, please DM us at: [email protected]

Mentor Bios:

Diana Khoi Nguyen is a poet and multimedia artist born and raised in California. She earned a BA in English and Communication Studies from UCLA, an MFA from Columbia University, and a PhD from the University of Denver. She is the author of the chaplet Unless (Belladonna, 2019) and debut poetry collection, Ghost Of (Omnidawn Publishing, 2018). A Kundiman fellow, Nguyen’s other honors include awards from the 92Y “Discovery” / Boston Review Poetry Contest, Key West Literary Seminars, and Academy of American Poets. She has held scholarships and fellowships from the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference, Sewanee Writers’ Conference, and Provincetown Fine Arts Work Center, and is a recipient of a 2021 fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts. Currently, she teaches creative writing at Randolph College Low-Residency MFA and is an Assistant Professor at the University of Pittsburgh.

Hoa Nguyen is the author of several books including Red Juice: Poems 1998-2008 and the Griffin Prize nominated Violet Energy Ingots. Her latest collection, A Thousand Times You Lose Your Treasure, published by Wave Books in 2021, is the winner of the Canada Book Award and General Governor’s Literary Award for Poetry. In 2019, her body of work was nominated for a Neustadt Prize for Literature, a prestigious international literary award often compared with the Nobel Prize in Literature. Born in the Mekong Delta and raised and educated in the United States, Hoa lives in Toronto with her family.

Lily Hoang is the author of six books, including Underneath (winner of the Red Hen Press Fiction Award), A Bestiary (PEN/USA Non-Fiction Award finalist), and Changing (recipient of a PEN/Open Books Award). Her micro-tale collection The Mute Kids is forthcoming in 2022. She is the Director of the MFA in Writing at UC San Diego.

Vi Khi Nao is the author of six poetry collections: Fish Carcass (Black Sun Lit, 2022), A Bell Curve Is a Pregnant Straight Line (11:11 Press, 2021), Human Tetris (11:11 Press, 2019) Sheep Machine (Black Sun Lit, 2018), Umbilical Hospital (Press 1913, 2017), The Old Philosopher (Nightboat, 2014), & of the short stories collection, A Brief Alphabet of Torture (winner of the 2016 FC2’s Ronald Sukenick Innovative Fiction Prize), the novel, Fish in Exile (Coffee House Press, 2016). Her work includes poetry, fiction, film and cross-genre collaboration. Her first play, Waiting for God, is out of Apocalypse Party in January 2022. She was the Fall 2019 fellow at the Black Mountain Institute.

About She Who Has No Master(s)

Founded in 2015, She Who Has No Master(s) is a project of multi-voiced collectivity, hybrid poetics, encounters, in-between spaces and (dis)places of the Vietnamese diaspora. Through a collaborative art + writing process SWHNM seeks to bring together the “multi-voices” of woman and nonbinary writers of the Vietnamese diaspora and, in thus doing, foster community, broaden visibility, and engage meaningfully across diasporic divides. She Who Has No Master(s) is a program and collective art project of the Diasporic Vietnamese Artists Network (DVAN).

Visit our She Who Has No Master(s) main page to learn more.


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