Submissions period: 14 May to 7 July 2023

Our upcoming sinθ #28 marks another year of Sine Theta! To celebrate, we are bringing back our summer writing competition for its fifth iteration. We are delighted to announce Lan Samantha Chang (author of The Family Chao) as this year’s Fiction judge and Ching-In Chen (author of recombinant) as this year’s Poetry judge.

Submit by 7 July 2023 for a chance to be published in sinθ #28 and receive feedback from established writers! Thanks to our Patreon supporters, we’re able to offer the winner in each category a $200 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.

There is no submission fee.

You may only submit one entry per category, so send us your best work!

  1. Write something loud.
  2. “Sound, like light, is energy comprised of waves, a series of perceived reflections and refractions that orient us in time and space. Sound reflects our relation to other bodies and objects. This sonic data is central to a poetic strategy that I call “decolonial echolocation”—a method of bodily knowing, a somatosensory epistemology of embodied navigation of coloniality for those who were not meant to survive. It is the diasporic physiological process of sensing distant or invisible objects by sound waves emitted back to the emitter, to draw on the dictionary definition of echolocation.”

    ——Tao Leigh Goffe, “Unmapping the Caribbean: Toward a Digital Praxis of Archipelagic Sounding,” archipelagos (December 2020)

  3. “Inside Sparrow, sounds accumulated. Bells, birds and the uneven cracking of trees, loud and quiet insects, ones that spilled from people even if they never intended to make a noise. […] Sound had a freedom that no thought could equal because sound made no absolute claim on meaning.”

    ——Madeleine Thien, Do Not Say We Have Nothing (2016)


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 fiction 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.)

Fiction judge:

Lan Samantha Chang is the author of The Family Chao, winner of an Anisfield-Wolf Book Award for Fiction. A twenty-fifth anniversary edition of her first collection, Hunger: A Novella and Stories, will be published in August, 2023, by W.W. Norton & Company. She is also the author of All Is Forgotten, Nothing Is Lost and Inheritance, which won the PEN Open Book Award. Her fiction has appeared in The Atlantic, Ploughshares, Kenyon Review, and The Best American Short Stories. She's received fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Guggenheim Foundation, and the American Academy in Berlin. She lives in Iowa City, Iowa.

Poetry judge:

Ching-In Chen is the author of The Heart's Traffic (Arktoi/Red Hen Press, 2009) and recombinant (Kelsey Street Press, 2017). Born of Chinese immigrants, they are a Kundiman, Lambda, Callaloo and Watering Hole Fellow and a member of the Macondo and Voices of Our Nations Arts Foundations writing communities. A community organizer, they have worked in the Asian American communities of San Francisco, Oakland, Riverside and Boston, as well as helped organize the third national Asian Pacific American Spoken Word and Poetry Summit in Boston. Chen is also the co-editor of The Revolution Starts at Home: Confronting Intimate Violence Within Activist Communities (South End Press, 2011) and Here Is a Pen: an Anthology of West Coast Kundiman Poets (Achiote Press, 2009).

  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 7 July 2023.
  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 #28. Additional prizes may be available, subject to availability.
  8. All contest entries will also be considered for regular publication in sinθ #28.
  9. All authors published in sinθ receive a $10 USD honorarium. For the two contest winners, there is an additional $200 USD prize, amounting to a total of $210 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: fiction 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: "Autumn, as a Color" by Lily Zhou

Short fiction: "Pleasantries" by Daisuke Shen

Judged by Yanyi and Jamie Marina Lau


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.