Lit CelebrAsian

Asian Lit Bingo 2018 Reading Challenge Announcement and Master Post

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We are pleased to announce that we will be hosting a month-long reading challenge during May. This is the master post with all the relevant information for the reading challenge.

Background

Inspiration and Purpose: In the U.S., the month of May is Asian American Heritage Month*, so we thought, what better way to celebrate than to do a reading challenge that spotlights books with Asian characters and centers Asian voices? In publishing, there are power dynamics in play that marginalize Asian authors, especially those who write Asian characters and draw from their heritage for their writing. In the context of publishing in countries where white people are the majority/dominant group, diaspora Asians in those countries have a hard time breaking into publishing.

In a more global context, Asian writers in Asia have a hard to reaching a wider market beyond regional publishing due to their perceived foreignness, plus a general lack of infrastructure for translations for those that don’t write in English (and many do write in English). There are also double standards in the industry that facilitate publication for white authors writing Asian[-inspired] characters/settings/stories while Asian writers who write from the place of a cultural insider are often told their stories are “too Asian” or “not Asian enough.” For this reason, we feel it is especially important to highlight #ownvoices Asian stories, where the authors share the heritage of the characters they write about.

*May is technically designated as Asian Pacific American Heritage Month. However, a number of Pasifika activists and friends have stated that lumping together Asian Americans with Pacific Islanders results in the erasure and co-opting of PIs and that they want to have their own spaces to discuss their issues. We are respecting that and keeping the two separate for this challenge. We encourage readers to support Pasifika spaces via Our Stories – Tala mai le Moana compiled by Lani Wendt Young, the Pasifika Book ClubPasifika Tales and the Pasifika Spotlight hosted by Anjulie Te Pohe. Update: Resource of Pasific Islander Books (by Anjulie Te Pohe) of over 20 links on their site. 

Asian Lit Bingo Scope

Aside from the reading challenge, we have planned a series of blog posts (e.g. discussions, author interviews, author features, etc.) and social media events to complement the challenge and celebrate Asian literature in other ways. We’ll be adding links to these posts and details on the social media events on this master post as they go up. If you are an Asian blogger/vlogger/bookstagrammer/etc. and have your own idea for a post/video you want to make about Asian lit, go for it, and feel free to leave a comment here with the link so we can add it to the list. You can use this template for your blog header if you’d like.

The Hosts 

Meet the Lit CelebrAsian team at our team page. Some of our team hosts are taking a break to focus on the exam period during May but our active hosts include:

Shenwei @ READING (AS)(I)AN (AM)ERICA (#AsianLitBingo Creator)

Aentee @ Read at Midnight (Graphic Designer Extraordinaire)

Glaiza @ Paper Wanderer

Janani @ The Shrinkette

Kai @ Quartzfeather

Sinead @ Huntress of Diverse Books

Sophia @ Bookwyrming Thoughts

Wendy @ Written in Wonder

Reading Challenge Information

The reading challenge is a general challenge and also a contest with prizes!

The Hashtag

Use the hashtag #AsianLitBingo when posting on Twitter, Instagram or Tumblr about the challenge. Check out what other people are reading and find posts and reviews related to the challenge by searching the hashtag.

The Setup

Similar to the Diversity Bingo challenge, the Asian Lit Bingo challenge takes the form of a bingo board, a 5 by 5 grid with 25 total prompts for books to read. The baseline goal is to read prompts for a single line, vertically, horizontally, or diagonally on the board, for a total of 5 books. Post your progress on Twitter with the hashtag #AsianLitBingo.

Eligible Books:

Below is the bingo board, designed by Aentee. Note: “MC” stands for “main character” (though as specified above, it can be a book about a real person).

Book Suggestions

We have compiled a [far from exhaustive] list of book titles that fulfill each prompt. Here’s the link to the list.

Reading Challenge Sign-up 

To sign up for the challenge, simply make a blog post/vlog/etc. with a summary of what the challenge is about, a link to this master post, the bingo board, and your tentative TBR if you put one together (you won’t be penalized for the contest portion if you don’t follow your TBR). You can add any book recommendations as you see fit for other people who are interested in participating in the challenge (optional). You are welcome to use the header image of this post for your post. Once you’ve posted your announcement, add your post to the Sign-up Link-up below:

Contest Information

There are two contests associated with this reading challenge, each with a prize.

General Rules for Qualifying Books:

  1. Book must have an Asian main character (can be one of several main characters) and be by an Asian author to qualify. It does not have to be #ownvoices, but #ownvoices is strongly encouraged.
  2. Book can be a novel/novella/novelette or comic book/graphic novel.
  3. Book must be read during May 1st through May 31st to qualify.
  4. Review link-up will close end of June 1st at midnight PDT. The extra margin is to give people the opportunity to write up a review for a book they might have finished late May 31st. We’ll follow the honor system assuming you didn’t read the book on June 1st.

If you have any questions about whether something qualifies, feel free to message us through Twitter (@LitCelebrAsian) or our blog contact form.

Contest 1 – Equal Opportunity/Participation Contest

Every person who participates in the reading challenge and reads at least 3 books for the challenge will have one entry each for this contest. The winner will be randomly drawn. If somehow the winner drawn is the same as the winner of the second contest, we will draw a different winner.

Prize:

Contest 2 – Extra Credit/Merit-Based Contest

For the more competitive folks, the competition for the prizes is based on the number and type of books you read and review for the challenge. The person who accumulates the most points wins. Here is the point system:

Prize:

Wrap-Up Post Link-Up

In order to verify your participation and points for the contests, please make a post/video that lists all of the qualifying books you’ve read (please label whether they’re #ownvoices) and links to reviews for any books you’ve reviewed.

Review Link-Up

This is to keep all the reviews for the challenge in one place for easy access. Please add links to your reviews to the link-up below:

Social Media Events

Join us for a general  on 26 – 27 May this weekend!

Readers and writers are welcome to chat about books by Asian Authors.

We’ll be diving into representation, writing and sharing favourite stories, so drop by! Many readers and writers are in different timezones, so we’ll be chatting all weekend – even after the official hour is over.

Saturday 26 May – 9:30pm GMT | 5:30pm ET

Sunday 27 May – 7:30am AEST | 9:30am NZST

For more times, add your city to the time converter.

Asian Lit Posts

To be announced over May:

Guest Post: Five Steps to Getting a Literary Agent by Clarissa Goenawan

Interview: Veronica Montes

Character Interview: Kimberly Chang (from Girl in Translation by Jean Kwok)

Interview: Victoria Namkung

Credits and Acknowledgements

A huge thank-you to Aentee @ Read at Midnight for designing all the gorgeous graphics for this challenge.

I’d also like to thank each and every one of my co-hosts for their time, labor, dedication, and ideas. You transformed this reading challenge from a little pet project of mine to something so much bigger and better. I am grateful to be working with all of you.

– Shenwei, Asian Lit Bingo Founder.

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