Fantastic workshops. Maureen was well prepared, and delivered two informative and interactive workshops, which was highly relevant to students’ interests ~ Teacher.
Author: Maureen Tai
Published by Asian American Writers’ Workshop (AAWW).
Photo collage with personal narratives of foreign domestic helpers. “Unseen” is a photo collage of the slippered feet of 100 domestic helpers in Hong Kong, gathered over a period of two weeks, together with personal narratives of 70 of the featured women. The collage helmed American literary journal, AAWW’s Slipper Folio, a special collection of works inspired by the humble slipper. I pay homage to the hardworking, resilient women who wear these slippers, day in, day out, rain or shine.
Kennedy Town 5:30 a.m.
Published by Mekong Review (May – July 2021).
Literary article about a local neighbourhood in Hong Kong. Mekong Review is an established literary journal edited by Minh Bui Jones that features writings about Asia by Asians. “Kennedy Town, 5:30 a.m.” is about a walk I took in the pre-dawn hours in a slowly, but surely, gentrifying part of western Hong Kong. I wonder how long the birds will sing freely in this city of mine. Only available to MR subscribers.
Life We Can No Longer See
Published by Cha: An Asian Literary Journal.
Prose poetry from a teenager’s perspective. In “Life We Can No Longer See”, a teenager grapples with the poignant aging of his grandfather. Will the sounds of Hong Kong heal them both?
A Tapestry of Colours 1 : Stories from Asia
Published by Marshall Cavendish Editions (an imprint of Marshall Cavendish International); edited by Anitha Devi Pillai.
Anthology of Asian short stories for teens and young adults. Set in Tokyo, semi-autobiographical “Itterasshai – Go Well and Come Back” chronicles my year in Japan as a Rotary Exchange student. It is 1989, well before the advent of the smartphone. What memories remain?
Stories @ reBooked
One of the privileges of being a writer is joining, and supporting, a local community of children’s book creators and readers.
In addition to volunteering with a wonderful literacy charity, Bring Me A Book Hong Kong, I volunteer with and regularly host free storytelling sessions at reBooked, a Hong Kong-based, non-profit social enterprise founded by an inspiring teen, Bailey Cherry, and managed by students and volunteers. reBooked’s secondhand bookshop for children in Central Hong Kong is the perfect venue for local authors, illustrators, educators, librarians and teachers who are passionate about children’s literature to share their passion with young readers.
So far, we have hosted:
- award-wining authors such as Rachel Ip and Dora Tsang
- amazing artists such as Kris Tsang and Libby Lam
- energetic educators such as Resham Premchand
- lovely librarians such as Julia Besnard and Beth McNeilly
- youthful yogis such as Amber Le Scelle
and so many more committed and passionate volunteer storytellers, without whom none of this would be possible.
As I am a member of, and a critique coordinator for, the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI) (HK chapter) and because of my work with reBooked, I have independently compiled of a list of Hong Kong-based authors and illustrators who are available for school visits and workshops. You can access the list below.
Please note that while I have taken all reasonable care to ensure that the details are all correct as of the date of the document, it is not updated regularly. Please contact the individual authors and illustrators to discuss your needs with them directly.
reBooked provides a safe, cosy, book-lined environment within which to engage with children of all ages from our local communities and I am grateful for the reBooked team’s generosity of spirit. Interested in getting involved? Get in touch!
I loved how you incorporated your own opinions and added your own life story to your talks. The way you connected what you think of being an author to your life story was intriguing and really resonated with me ~ High-school student.
One of the greatest perks of being a writer is being able to offer talks and workshops in schools to share my writer’s journey and creative process with others in the hopes that they too, will be tempted down this assured path to penury. (I’m kidding of course. Some authors, like J.K. Rowling and Rick Riordan, have done very well for themselves).
I love speaking and meeting with young children and teenagers (middle school to high school), in particular those with writerly aspirations, and using my published works as springboards to help them discover, as I have, the joys and perils of fearless and authentic creativity. My previous face-to-face talks have included:
- Writing from Memory (and Making It Flash!) where I introduce students to my as-of-yet-incomplete journey to publication of my memoir-based middle grade novel and explore flash fiction as a useful, creative diversion.
- What You Can Do with Your Phone – Make Good Art where I introduce students to ways of using their smartphones to make good art – art that is personal to them – with my published creative works as real-life examples.
I strive to be engaging, supportive, interesting, fun and most of all, authentic, because, as any children’s writer will tell you, you can’t pull the wool over their extremely sharp and extremely discerning eyes. Don’t take my word for it though. You can read testimonials from teachers and students here.
While my talks are usually conducted face-to-face and an hour long, I am acutely aware that teachers and librarians are pulled in many different directions, so I am happy to accommodate and to be flexible to meet your teaching goals and needs. Do get in touch if you’d like me to visit your school!
Seven Things I Learnt from Covid 19
Published by Heliconia Press (Singapore); curated by Shamini Flint.
An anthology of pandemic-inspired works by Asian writers for adult readers. My musing, “Seven Things I Learnt from Covid-19” reflects wryly on insights gained from the pandemic.
Coffee & Conversations
Articles published by Coffee & Conversations; edited by Shikha S. Lamba, Rashmi B. Nayar & Ritika Prasad.
Articles for adult readers about life in Asia. Coffee & Conversations is a refreshingly eclectic and uplifting digital magazine edited across three time zones by three enterprising and tireless women. Regular contributions include “In a Corner of My City, Hong Kong,” “Molly, our Not-So-Perfect Pet,” “Home, a Place to Remember” and “Dignity Kitchen: Returning Dignity to People with Disabilities.” All articles are free to read.