The Asian American Writers’ Workshop, the preeminent literary arts nonprofit dedicated to excellent literature by writers of Asian American descent, is looking to hire an Events Coordinator. The ideal candidate would be an outgoing, action-oriented publishing professional who is familiar with the book industry and very strong at building relationships. We've curated events with established writers like Jhumpa Lahiri, Teju Cole, Claudia Rankine, Zadie Smith, Maxine Hong Kingston, Ha Jin, Amitava Kumar, Rabih Alameddine, Hanya Yanagihara, and Junot Díaz, as well as emerging writers like Tanwi Nandini Islam, Ocean Vuong, Esme Wang, Jenny Zhang, and Larissa Pham. You would work with AAWW Executive Director Ken Chen to continue curating similarly cool writers for our vibrant events series. This position is ideal for a highly ambitious, organized individual who would like to build curatorial experience in a collegial, socially progressive arts center. This is a junior position with benefits that will be either three-day-a-week or full-time.
SIGNS THAT YOU SHOULD APPLY FOR THIS JOB RIGHT NOW:• You are a literary intellectual who has a favorite small press and publishing tote bag and is ready to get shit done. • You understand our curatorial vision--which is thematic, intellectual, pop cultural, community-based, avant-garde, and political--and can run with it. 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. • You project great energy and warmth and have been building your network. • You’re anal retentive but you throw great parties. We think readings are basically great parties.• 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.
RESPONSIBILITIES:• Scheduling writers and curating themed-events similar to the ones we've done in the past: http://aaww.org/curation-coverage/. We are targeting at least six events a month, as well as writing workshops. • Spend occasional nights and weekends staffing, hosting, and moderating events. • Reviewing publishing catalogs, incoming galleys, book reviews, and publishing information and contacting authors and publicists about scheduling events with new books. • Working with our Art Director and Program Assistant to ensure that the events are properly promoted.• Working with our editorial team to create crossover between our events series and our online magazine, The Margins. • Working with collaborators, partner institutions, advisers, and others to build our programming. • Curating writing workshops that will generate earned income. • Build programs that can generate income, which may include fundraising events, cocktail parties, and galas. • Potentially work on special ambitious projects, such as our Publishing Conference and PAGE TURNER festival.• In the long term, serve in a leadership/managerial role in the organization and also help launch potentially new programs.
QUALIFIED APPLICANTS:• Are able to blend exceptional creativity with a sense of problem-solving. • Possess communication and people skills, including managing relationships, public speaking, writing and editing.• Have organized literary/cultural events before. • Possess some fluency with contemporary literature & Asian American culture.• Are not allergic to spreadsheets. Can juggle several projects, as well as the logistical details of an event. • Possess proficiency in Microsoft Word/Excel, Google docs/spreadsheet, MailChimp, Word Press, HTML experience and some comfort level with various web technologies (Facebook, Twitter, Flickr);
APPLICANTS SHOULD:• Review aaww.org and http://aaww.org/curation-coverage/ for examples of our programming. No phone calls, please.• Upload your CV and cover letter and two writing samples to https://www.dropbox.com/request/LwlfYfhPDw7Fb7pIP4Bj. Please make sure all documents are saved as a PDF and titled with your full name. • Fill out our application form below. The coverletter can duplicate your answers if it saves time!
ABOUT THE ASIAN AMERICAN WRITERS' WORKSHOPAAWW 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.
HOW WE THINK ABOUT EVENTS CURATIONIf you're still reading this job description, you are awesome. Here is a peak inside our brain:• We create events not just to build a reading series, but to create a new public space. Events are a way of building a new community that did not exist before. We are an incubator for subcultures.• We believe that American nationalism is partly a problem of the imagination and we seek to present a site of the imagination for Asian American, immigrant, and Muslim writers to create the counter-narratives of the 21st century: a space where you can be yourself, be unmarked, feel, agitate, think, dream, desire. • This is why we try to bring together people who would not otherwise be in the same room: novelists and activists, poets and intellectuals, journalists and visual artists. • We suspect the obsession with "craft" as a way to erase content. We respect aesthetic excellence, but we also foreground the subject matter that writers write about over banal conversations about process. Writers have ideas! • We work along with the publishing calendar and much of the challenges comes from creating thematically-organized events that intuitively group new books coming out. That being said, while we present novelists coming from large publishing houses, we believe it is important to showcase poets, small presses, and emerging writers. • We believe in avant-garde and radical traditions. • An Asian American writer can write whatever they want. • We believe successful events create a new creative opening that did not exist previously. Many of our events are themed. We like events that have a line of inquiry or a provocative theme. Check out our series about race in the 1990s, AFTER 1989: RACE AFTER MULTICULTURALISM (http://after1989.tumblr.com/ scroll down past the broken Storify), and our series on bohemians and radicals of color (http://aaww.org/counterculturalists/). • Politics vs Art? Who will win? We have no idea and we'd like to keep it that way!