Submissions period: 21 May to 18 June 2022

Our upcoming sinθ #24 marks another year of Sine Theta! To celebrate, we are bringing back our summer writing competition for its fourth iteration. We are delighted to announce Jamie Marina Lau (author of Gunk Baby) as this year’s Fiction judge and Yanyi (author of Dream of the Divided Field) as this year’s Poetry judge.

Submit by 18 June 2022 for a chance to be published in sinθ #24 and receive feedback from established writers! Thanks to our Patreon supporters, we’re able to offer more money this year: the winner in each category will receive an $80 USD cash prize.

We’re accepting entries for both fiction (prose) 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!

  1. “But burning was their fate; they were the generation meant to be consumed by fire.” –– Liu Cixin, The Three-Body Problem (2008; trans. Ken Liu, 2014)
  2. “日出江花紅勝火,春來江水綠如藍。能不憶江南?” —白居易(唐)

    “The sunrise stains the river-flowers redder than fire; springtime makes the river-waters run greener than blue. Who could fail to remember Jiangnan?” ––Bai Juyi (Tang dynasty; trans. Sine Theta staff, 2022)

  3. Visual prompt, from A Better Tomorrow (1986, dir. John Woo):

    [Image description: a landscape-oriented image showing a still from a live-action film. It shows the head and shoulders of Hong Kong actor Chow Yun-fat, who is wearing sunglasses and a suit, with gelled-back black hair. He is in an interior space, and the out-of-focus background has patches of color in brown and orange. He is smoking a cigarette and holding a U.S. 100 dollar bill, using the flame from his cigarette to set fire to the bill. The flame is reflected in his sunglasses.]


Email with “Writing Competition - NAME - CATEGORY” as the subject line. Attach your submission as a PDF or Word document, with the document title as “CATEGORY - WORK TITLE”. 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.

Please include the following completed form with your submission in the body of your email:

  • Name:
  • Chinese name (if available):
  • Short third-person bio (less than 80 words):
  • If poetry - line count:
  • If prose - word count:
  • Do you identify as a member of the Sino diaspora?: Yes/No (If the answer is no, please do not submit.)
  • Do you confirm that the submitted work is entirely your own, and that all quotes have been appropriately attributed?: Yes/No (If the answer is no, please do not submit.)

Poetry judge: Yanyi

Yanyi is the author of Dream of the Divided Field (One World 2022) and The Year of Blue Water (Yale University Press 2019), winner of the 2018 Yale Series of Younger Poets Prize. His work has been featured in or at NPR’s All Things Considered, New York Public Library, Tin House, Granta, and A Public Space, and he is the recipient of fellowships from Asian American Writers’ Workshop and Poets House. He holds an MFA in Poetry from New York University. He was most recently poetry editor at Foundry. Currently, he teaches creative writing at large and gives creative advice at The Reading.

Fiction judge: Jamie Marina Lau

Jamie Marina Lau is a writer, multidisciplinary artist and the author of Pink Mountain on Locust Island and Gunk Baby. Lau received the 2018 Melbourne Prize for Literature's Readings Residency Award, and was shortlisted for the 2019 New South Wales Premier's Literary Awards, the Readings Prize for New Australian Fiction, the 2019 Stella Prize, the 2019 ALS Gold Medal. She received the title of Sydney Morning Herald's Best Young Australian Novelist in 2019 for Pink Mountain on Locust Island. With explorations focusing on experimental uses of language, Lau's work meditates on a landscape exploring dis-location of culture and space. Lau has previously worked with publications and creative organizations such as Google Creative Lab, Digital Writers Festival (AUS), Visual Editions (UK), Art Gallery of New South Wales (AUS) and Voiceworks (AUS).

  1. The competition is open to all people of Sino descent, regardless of age or nationality.
  2. Submissions are free of charge.
  3. All entries must be received by 11:59PM Pacific time on 18 June 2022.
  4. An entrant may submit only one piece per category (poetry and fiction) for consideration. Pieces may not be altered once submitted.
    1. If you are also planning to submit other works for the issue’s general submissions period, please send general submissions in a different email than your contest submission. Please also read the relevant submission guidelines for general issue submissions before submitting.
    2. Please note that issue general consideration and contest consideration have different deadlines — the contest’s deadline closes before the issue’s deadline closes. It is not a guarantee that you will receive the results of the contest before the issue’s deadline also closes.
  5. The competition organizers reserve the right to change the judging panel without notice.
  6. 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 additional correspondence between the editorial board and judges about the works during the adjudication process.
  7. Winning pieces are guaranteed publication in sinθ #24. Additional prizes may be available, subject to availability.
  8. All contest entries will also be considered for regular publication in sinθ #24.
  9. All authors published in sinθ receive a $10 USD honorarium. For the two contest winners, there is an additional $70 USD prize, amounting to a total of $80 USD.
  10. All entries are judged anonymously--do not include your name on your works.
  11. Every piece must have a title.
  12. Pieces must engage with the prompt(s) provided, either directly or indirectly.
  13. 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).
  14. Entries must be submitters’ original work. Plagiarized work will be disqualified from the competition.
  15. Prose pieces must be works of fiction.
  16. We do not accept simultaneous submissions for the contest. Entries also may not have been previously published, whether online or in print (including self-publishing on a blog).
  17. Entries can include Chinese or other languages so long as they are written primarily in English.
  18. Winners will be notified after the judging period has concluded in July.
  19. We look forward to receiving your entries!
Past Winners:


Poetry: "Untitled, 2020 (after Ren Hang)" by Alice Liang

Short fiction: "The Wedding Dress" by Celeste Chen

Judged by Chen Chen and Rebecca F. Kuang


Poetry: “etymology of ‘moon’” by Stella Li

Short fiction: “The Girlfriend Place” by Ariel Chu

Judged by Sally Wen Mao and K-Ming Chang.


Poetry: “Self-Portrait as the Dead Fish in Some Guy’s Tinder Profile Picture” by Erin Jin Mei O’Malley

Short fiction: “Auntland” by K-Ming Chang

Judged by Sharlene Teo and Nancy Huang.