Summer Writing Competition

To celebrate another year of Sine Theta, we are bringing back our summer writing competition for its second iteration...

We are delighted to announce K-Ming Chang (author of BESTIARY, forthcoming in September 2020) and Sally Wen Mao (interviewed in Issue #15 "MAGIC 魔", author of OCULUS and MAD HONEY SYMPOSIUM) as our judges of prose and poetry, respectively.

Submit by July 31, 2020 for a chance to be published in Issue #16 and receive feedback from established writers! First place in each category will receive a $50 USD cash prize.

We’re accepting entries for both prose (fiction) and poetry. We invite you to reflect on the following three prompts as inspiration for your pieces. You may reflect on the prompts separately or as a collective, drawing themes and ideas that resonate with you. Entries must engage with the prompt(s), but can do so either directly or indirectly. You may only submit one entry per category, so send us your best work!

Set your written piece inside a cube.

Speculative futures.

"I thought of a labyrinth of labyrinths, of one sinuous spreading labyrinth that would encompass the past and the future and in some way involve the stars."

- Dr. Yu Tsun in Jorge Luis Borges, The Garden of Forking Paths (1941)

Email with “Writing Competition - NAME - CATEGORY” as the subject line. Please include a brief biography of up to 80 words written in third person, including your Chinese name (if applicable). Attach your submission as a PDF or Word document. Do not include your name on the document, as entries will be judged anonymously. If you are entering a poetry and a prose piece, please submit each piece separately via email.


Fiction – K-Ming Chang

Based in New York, K-Ming Chang (b. 1998) is a Kundiman fellow and a Lambda Literary Award finalist. Her debut novel BESTIARY is forthcoming from One World / Random House on September 8, 2020. Her poems have been anthologized in Ink Knows No Borders, Best New Poets 2018, Bettering American Poetry Vol. 3, and the 2019 Pushcart Prize Anthology. She has received fellowships or scholarships from Tin House, Mendocino Coast Writers Conference, Lambda Literary, and Kearny Street Workshop.

Poetry – Sally Wen Mao

Sally Wen Mao is the author of Oculus, published by Graywolf Press on January 15th, 2019, a finalist for the Los Angeles times Book Prize for Poetry. Oculus was named one of Time Magazine’s 100 Must-Read Books of 2019, a Best Reviewed Poetry Book of 2019 from Book Marks, an NPR Favorite Book of 2019, a Library Journal’s Best Poetry Book of 2019, a Best Poetry Book of 2019 from Entropy Magazine, and a Best Poetry Book of 2019 from Marie Claire. Oculus has been featured or reviewed by Nylon, The Washington Post, Lit Hub, NPR, Vulture, O Magazine, The Millions, The Rumpus, Electric Literature, Poets & Writers, and the New Yorker amongst others. Her first book, Mad Honey Symposium (Alice James Books, 2014), was the winner of the 2012 Kinereth Gensler Award, a Poets and Writers Top Ten Debut of 2014, a Publishers Weekly Top Ten Anticipated Pick of Fall 2014, and one of Bustle’s 14 Best Debut Collections of the Last Five Years.

  1. The competition is open to all people of Sino descent, regardless of age or nationality.
  2. All entries must be received by 11:59PM PST on July 31, 2020.
  3. An entrant may submit only one piece per category (poetry and prose) for consideration. Pieces may not be altered once submitted.
  4. The competition organisers reserve the right to change the judging panel without notice.
  5. Our editorial board will review all pieces and forward shortlisted pieces to judges, who will determine the winners. Judges’ decisions are final. There will be no correspondence between the editorial board and judges.
  6. Winning pieces will be published in our upcoming Issue #16. Additional prizes may be available, subject to availability.
  7. Entries will also be considered for regular publication in Issue #16.
  8. All entries are judged anonymously--do not include your name on your works.
  9. Every piece must have a title.
  10. Pieces must engage with the prompt(s) provided, either directly or indirectly.
  11. Word counts: prose submissions can be no longer than 2000 words (excluding title), and poetry submissions can be no longer than 35 lines (excluding title).
  12. Entries must be submitters’ original work. Plagiarized work will be disqualified from the competition.
  13. Prose pieces must be works of fiction.
  14. We do not accept simultaneous submissions. Entries also may not have been previously published, whether online or in print (including self-publishing on a blog).
  15. Entries can include Chinese or other languages so long as they are written primarily in English.
  16. Winners will be notified after the judging period has concluded, in mid-August.

We look forward to receiving your entries!