Cha – Call for Submissions – Eighth Anniversary Issue (December 2015)

due out in December 2015.


Cha: An Asian Literary Journal
is now calling for submissions for the Eighth Anniversary Issue, scheduled for publication in December 2015.

Please send in (preferably Asian-themed) poetry, fiction, creative non-fiction, reviews, photography & art for consideration. Submission guidelines can be found here. Deadline: 15 September 2015.
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Arthur Leung (poetry) and Royston Tester (prose) will act as guest editors and read the submissions with the editors Tamara Ho and Jeff Zroback. Please contact Reviews Editor Eddie Tay at eddie@asiancha.com if you want to review a book or have a book reviewed in the journal.
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We love returning contributors – past contributors are very welcome to send us their new works.
If you have any questions, please feel free to write to any of the Cha staff at editors@asiancha.com.

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CHA Issue #24 goes live

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The June 2014 Issue of Cha is here. We would like to thank guest editors Michael Gray (poetry), Royston Tester (prose) and Reid Mitchell (prose) for reading the submissions with us and helping us put together this edition. We would also like to thank Eddie Tay for a fine selection of book reviews. The issue includes an editorial by Tammy Ho Lai-Ming titled “A Touch Of Cruelty In The Mouth” and poems from David McKirdy’s new collection, Ancestral Worship.

The following writers/artists have generously allowed us to showcase their work:

Poetry: David McKirdy, Timothy Kaiser, Kenneth Alewine, Joshua Burns, Daryl Yam, Daryl Lim Wei Jie, Insha Muzafar, David W. Landrum, Susan Kelly-DeWitt, Randy Kim, Zachary Eller, Divya Rajan, Mathew Joseph, Michael O’Sullivan, Tjoa Shze Hui
Fiction: Sarah Bower, Michael X. Wang
Creative non-fiction: Qui-Phiet Tran
Interviews
: Smita Sahay interviews Tabish Khair, Usha Akella interviews Marjorie Evasco, Sharon Ho interviews the organisers of three Hong Kong poetry-reading groups
Lost tea: Jonel Abellanosa
Photography & art: Franky Lau (cover artist), Divya Adusumilli, Allen Forrest
Reviews: Grant Hamilton, Sarah Bower, Emma Zhang, Michael Tsang, Drisana Misra, Carolyn Lau, Cecilia Chan

Our next issue is due out in September 2014. We are currently accepting submissions for the Seventh Anniversary Issue and entries for the “Reconciliation” poetry contest and the “Hong Kong Isn’t Going Anywhere Anytime Soon” section. If you are interested in having your work considered for inclusion in Cha, please read our submission guidelines carefully.

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Reconciliation

A Cha Poetry contest
This contest is run by Cha: An Asian Literary Journal. It is for unpublished poems on the theme of “Reconciliation”.  

Judges:

  • Tammy Ho Lai-Ming is a Hong Kong-born poet. She is a founding co-editor of Cha
  • Jason Eng Hun Lee has been published in a number of journals and he has been a finalist for numerous international prizes, including the Melita Hume Poetry Prize (2012) and the Hong Kong University’s Poetry Prize (2010).

Rules:

  • Each poet can submit up to two poems (no more than 80 lines long each).
  • Poems must be previously unpublished. 
  • Entry is free.
Closing date:
  • 15 September 2014
Prizes:
  • First: £50, Second: £30, Third: £15, Highly Commended (up to 5): £10 each. (Payable through Paypal.)
  • All winning poems (including the highly recommended ones) will receive first publication in a special section in the Seventh Anniversary Issue of Cha, due out in November/December 2014.
The prizes were generously donated by an expat reader residing in Hong Kong.
Submission:
  • Submissions should be sent to t@asiancha.com with the subject line “Reconciliation”.
  • Poems must be sent in the body of the email.
  • Please also include a short biography of no more than 30 words.

Previous Cha contests:


Cha – Call for Submissions – Seventh Anniversary Issue (December 2014)

due out in December 2014.
http://www.asiancha.com


Cha: An Asian Literary Journal
 is now calling for submissions for the Seventh Anniversary Issue, scheduled for publication in December 2014.

Please send in (preferably Asian-themed) poetry, fiction, creative non-fiction, reviews, photography & art for consideration. Submission guidelines can be found here. Deadline: 15 September, 2014.

Arthur Leung (poetry) and Royston Tester (prose) will act as guest editors and read the submissions with the editors. Please contact Reviews Editor Eddie Tay at eddie@asiancha.com if you want to review a book or have a book reviewed in the journal.

We love returning contributors – past contributors are very welcome to send us their new works.

We are also accepting submissions for the “Reconciliation” poetry contest (judges: Tammy Ho and Jason Lee) and the special poetry section “Hong Kong Isn’t Going Anywhere Anytime Soon”.

If you have any questions, please feel free to write to any of the Cha staff at editors@asiancha.com.
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Cha – Call for Submissions – Sixth Anniversary Issue (March 2014)

due out in March 2014.


Cha: An Asian Literary Journal
 is now calling for submissions for the Sixth Anniversary Issue, scheduled for publication in March 2014.

Please send in (preferably Asian-themed) poetry, fiction, creative non-fiction, reviews, photography & art for consideration. Submission guidelines can be found here. Deadline: 1 September, 2013 15 September 2013.

Arthur Leung (poetry) and Royston Tester (prose) will act as guest editors and read the submissions with the editors. Please contact Reviews Editor Eddie Tay at eddie@asiancha.com if you want to review a book or have a book reviewed in the journal.

We love returning contributors – past contributors are very welcome to send us their new works.

If you have any questions, please feel free to write to any of the Cha staff at editors@asiancha.com.
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Fatty Goes to China – book launch – Wednesday 20 June 2012 – 7-30pm – Revival, 783 College Street, Toronto

Fatty Goes to China

FICTION
150 PAGES, 5 X 7
FORMATS: TRADE PAPER
TRADE PAPER, $19.95 (US $19.95) (CA $21.95)
ISBN 9781926639482
RIGHTS: WOR
We at Cha are very happy to announce that Associate Editor Royston Tester‘s second collection of stories, Fatty Goes to China, will be launched tomorrow! If you are in the area  (see details below), do join the party! We have the honour to feature the title story from this collection in the March 2012 issue of Cha – and we highly recommend this book!

BOOK LAUNCH
Date & time:
Wednesday 19 June 2012; 7:30pm onwards
Venue:
Revival Bar 
(783, College street, Toronto, Canada)
Publisher:
Tightrope Books
Where is Royston?: 
Website | Facebook 
Where to buy Fatty Goes to China?:
iPg Books | Amazon



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Cha – Call for Submissions – Fifth Anniversary Issue (December 2012)

[click image to enlarge]


due out in December 2012.
Cha: An Asian Literary Journal is now calling for submissions for its Fifth Anniversary Issue (Issue # 19).

Please send in (preferably Asian-themed) poetry, fiction, creative non-fiction, reviews, photography & art for consideration. Submission guidelines can be found here. Deadline: 15 September, 2012.

Cha Associate Editors Arthur Leung (poetry) and Royston Tester (prose) will act as guest editors and read the submissions with co-editors Tammy Ho and Jeff Zroback. The issue will include the winning stories of our first flash fiction contest (open for submissions until 15 July) as well as a special feature on Hong Kong poetry, curated by Tammy. Please contact Reviews Editor Eddie Tay at eddie@asiancha.com if you want to review a book or have a book reviewed in the journal.

If you have any questions, please feel free to write to any of the Cha staff at editors@asiancha.com.
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New updates on 3 Cha contributors: Rumjhum Biswas, Bob Bradshaw and Royston Tester

Rumjhum Biswas

Rumjhum Biswas‘s poem “The Fish, The Sea, and Me”, previously published in Contemporary Rhyme, is now reprinted in Wisdom Crieth Without. The poem has this line: ‘There, right there, I found a fish on the sand’. What will happen to this fish? Read on.  
|| See Rumjhum Biswas’s Cha profile. 

*****

Bob Bradshaw

Bob Bradshaw’s poem “Coleridge” is now published in the May 2012 issue of Red River Review. Dorothy Wordsworth and her brother appear in the poem too.
|| Read Bob Bradshaw’s Cha profile.

*****

Royston Tester

 Congratulations to Cha‘s Associate Editor Royston Tester! His second collection of short fiction, Fatty Goes to China, published by Tightrope Books, will be launched on 20 June 2012  (7pm) at Revival, on College Street  in Toronto’s Little Italy. The title story “Fatty Goes to China” was published in the March 2012 issue of Cha.
|| Read Royston Tester’s Cha profile.

*****

Royston Tester’s story named finalist in Malahat Review’s Open Season Awards

Congratulations to Royston Tester! His story “Four Gentlemen and a Comfort Woman” has been named a finalist in Malahat Review‘s annual Open Seasons Awards competition. “Four Gentlemen and a Comfort Woman” is from Royston’s forthcoming collection Fatty Goes to China (Tightrope Books). We are honoured to have the opportunity to feature the title story “Fatty Goes to China” in the February/March 2012 issue of Cha in the “Excerpt” section.
Royston is Cha‘s regular guest editor and he has been jury member for the Commonwealth Fiction Prize and first reader for the Writers’ Union of Canada’s Short Prose Competition for Developing Writers. 

On Monday February 13th, Royston will be reading from Fatty Goes to China at The Painted Lady, 218 Ossington Street. The night is organized by Tightrope Books and is called ‘Valentine/Anti-Valentine/Love/Heartbreak’ readings.

Fatty Goes to China: Royston Tester reads | 25 August, 2011

Author Royston Tester Reading at the Opposite House


Reading
 :: 7pm, Thursday, August 25, 2011
Venue :: Atrium of The Opposite House
[limited seating available to the first 40 guests]
Where is ‘home’? Does an adopted one matter? Who’s adopting whom? In these eleven richly varied stories, set in and around a Beijing railway station, in a downtown Toronto neighborhood, in Berlin and Buchenwald, in England and in Romania, Fatty Goes to China explores the precarious lives of an accident-prone Chinese construction worker with a dark and violent secret, a Romanian carpenter with a ‘deathcamp hangover’ who finds that his teddy-bear named ‘Seriously’ is his harshest critic, a fatally ill Canadian artist who remains in Beijing after the 2008 Olympics and develops a surprising friendship, a teenaged KFC waitress who is tricked by an American student, a malingering heir who visits his childhood home in England for “the shoebox,” a grieving barber who, after risking his life, makes a gruesome discovery about his Czech lover, and a Chinese couple who make a shocking, last-minute decision about their adoptive child. Written in original, humorous, and innovative ways, these unforgettable narratives expose the risks in finding shelter in unaccommodating places.
Royston Tester [roystontester.com], is a British-Canadian short story writer who is currently an artist-in-residence at Red Gate [redgateresidency.com]. He is also the guest-editor for Hong Kong based Cha: An Asian Literary Journal. Tester’s short story, ‘A Beijing Minute,’ to be read at The Opposite House, is from Fatty Goes to China, and has recently been published in the Quarterly Literary Review of Singapore.
This event is organized by Red Gate Gallery in collaboration with The Opposite House, Beijing.
Address
The Opposite House, 11 Sanlitun Rd, Chaoyang, Beijing
tel/fax: +86 6417 6688



Read Royston Tester’s Cha profile.

Bernard Henrie, Royston Tester and Gilbert Koh in QLRS

The January 2011 issue of Quarterly Literary Review Singapore is live! Read Bernard Henrie’s poems “President Obama at Xavier’s College, India” and “I Was Only a Chambermaid”; Royston Tester’s short story, “Bird on a High Branch” (written when he was a resident at the Red Gate Gallery (Beijing) between 2008-2010); and finally, Gilbert Koh’s review of Chandran Nai’s Reaching for Stones.

  • Bernard Henrie’s poetry was published in Issue 9 of Cha
  • Read Royston Tester’s Cha profile.
  • Gilbert Koh’s poetry was published in Issue 4 of Cha and his poem “Not Home” was discussed here.

CHA — Call for Submissions — Fourth Anniversary Issue




Cha: An Asian Literary Journal is now calling for submissions for its November 2011 issue (Issue #15). Please send in (preferably Asian-themed) poetry, fiction, creative non-fiction, reviews, photography & art for consideration. Submission guidelines can be found here. Deadline: 15 September, 2011.

Cha‘s regular guest editor Royston Tester (prose) and poet Robert E. Wood (poetry) will act as guest editors and read the submissions with co-editors Tammy Ho and Jeff Zroback. Please contact Reviews Editor Eddie Tay at eddie@asiancha.com if you want to review a book or have a book reviewed in the journal.

We are also accepting submissions for “The China Issue” due out in June 2011. More details are available here.

If you have any questions, please feel free to write to any of the Cha staff at editors@asiancha.com.

CHA Beijing Launch at The Bookworm

Cha will be launched in Beijing by current guest editor Royston Tester.

Host: The bookworm Beijing
Location: Building 4, Nan Sanlitun Road, Chao Yang District, Beijing
Date: Monday 31st August
Time: 7.30pm
ADMISSION FREE
(By conincidence, the Beijing launch will be occuring during the city’s Biennale.)


A Double Literary Celebration! Joint launch of Cha: An Asian Literary Journal and Small Anchor Press and Dashan’s first bilingual chapbook series

Join us tonight to explore two great new Asian literary projects. Cha is an online literary journal collating fiction, poetry, reviews, non fiction prose and photographs from across Asia. Its brand new edition, guest edited by Royston Tester is available NOW at http://www.asiancha.com/. Royston joins us tonight for an informal launch of the new edition. Drop by to say hello, to hear more about the Cha project and to learn how you can submit work to be considered for Cha‘s Winter 2009 edition.

In our Double Literary Celebration tonight, we’re also very pleased to present a brand new series of bilingual chapbooks, co-produced by Small Anchor Press and Dashan International, an organisation set up in Sichuan in the wake of last year’s earthquake, to create sustainable economic development opportunities in the area. Tonight Jen Hyde of Small Anchor Press, and some of the collections’ featured writers, will be on hand to discuss the project.
Read Royston Tester’s Cha profile.

ASIAN CHA Issue#8 Editorial

The current issue of Cha features a review of Todd Swift’s latest poetry collection, Seaway: New and Selected Poetry. One of the poems in the book, “Kanada Post”, offers this meditation on the expatriate experience.

I remember some other life as if it’s mine.
My country has become a stamp, weather,
And what my mother says, over the phone.

As all the editors of Cha currently find themselves living outside of their home countries, we thought it may be interesting if we each wrote our individual responses to Swift’s lines. Below you will find these responses. You are also welcome to post your own responses on here.

Jeff
I have been thinking about home a lot over the last few weeks. I guess you tend to do this when you are travelling, and the idea of home is necessarily fluid. Every few days you are faced with the prospect of finding a new place to lay your backpack (an undersized tent, an antiseptic hostel, the bed and breakfast with the dictatorial landlady), learning new streets, and locating a restaurant at 10 o’clock at night. And then after two weeks and a string of temporary domiciles, you return to your actual home—although if you are an expat, return to your place of residence is more like it. Even in your own house, you discover the idea of home is fluid.

Stepping off the train last week at St Pancras station, being enveloped by London’s familiar unfamiliarity, I felt the ambiguity of home very strongly. I found a strange comfort in the scheduled tube station closures and obscene ticket prices, but I was still new enough to the city to be surprised by them. And I recalled similar experiences I had had while living elsewhere. Once while teaching in Korea, I had taken a ferry from Pusan to Fukoka in Japan for a brief trip. Despite having a perfectly fine time on my vacation, I was inexplicably relieved when I had set foot on the ferry back to the Hermit Kingdom; I almost enjoyed being rudely shoved by middle-aged Korean women, was at ease among men draining soju bottles. Boisterous Korea seemed much more like home than ordered Japan. But of course it wasn’t home; no one will ever confuse the Republic of Korea with Canada.

Perhaps it was because I was consumed by these thoughts that I was so taken by the quote by Swift, a fellow Canadian: “I remember some other life as if it’s mine. / My country has become a stamp, weather, / And what my mother says, over the phone.” I think that these lines offer some of the most concise and insightful I have read on the expat experience. Perhaps as a Canadian myself, his lines struck me particularly hard: there have been times that I too felt that the second largest country in the world had been reduced to a postage stamp, remembered Canada’s climate only through discussions of unseasonal weather with my mother. But the power of Swift’s words lies in their universality, as much as their Canadianess. I am sure they would resonate with expatriates from anywhere. They certainly did with my co-editor.

She seemed to experience the poem in a different way than I did. As someone who has been an expat for a number of years, I share the slight resignation in Swift’s tone, a sense that this disconnection from his homeland has become a matter of fact, the normal order of things. But my co-editor, who has been living abroad for a much shorter time, appeared to feel his words more directly, more poignantly. Although in the form of a shipping invoice instead of a postage stamp, her city’s post mark was very tangible; it decorated the box she received from home just last week.

Tammy
Last week, I received a parcel from my family in Hong Kong. It is the fourth they have sent me; and it is the biggest by far. The contents were nothing extravagant: some snacks, Chinese noodles, dresses, stockings, letters, pencils. Really, it was just an assortment of items my family could easily afford to lose in the post. But I would have been devastated if they had been lost. I was overjoyed for days after the box arrived. They have not forgotten me, I thought.

Although I have only been living in London for about a year, to my consternation I have started to slowly disremember life in Hong Kong. I am now used to the inconvenience of the public transport here, even expect it. I cannot recall exactly the taste of curry fish balls from street stalls. I wonder if my old bunk bed in my parents’ home still smells the same: of mothballs, of ancient stuffed animals. Perhaps they have stored junk on it: broken electrical appliances, redundant pillows. Where did I hide my old notebooks?
This brings me back to Todd Swift’s lines “My country has become a stamp, weather, / And what my mother says, over the phone.” However, there were no actual stamps on the parcels and I do not talk to my mom over the phone (we use MSN messenger). But there is weather, drastically different from that of London. I love to hear news of Hong Kong’s sticky summer. Has this all become “some other life”, as Swift says in his poem?

Eddie
When I first arrived several years ago, I thought I would never get used to Hong Kong, with all those pushy elbows and shoulders in the MTR. And what kind of abbreviation is “MTR” anyway? I kept thinking that the “R” had been misplaced. In Singapore, the subway is called the MRT.

Yet my five-year-old son enjoys riding on minibuses (which are ubiquitous in Hong Kong) and the MTR. He doesn’t talk about the MRT the way he used to, and he’s picking up Cantonese. My daughter is coming into the world at the end of this month. She will, in all likelihood, spend her formative years in Hong Kong as well.

I am beginning to think that Singapore and Hong Kong are to me what Hong Kong and Singapore will be to my children. They might grow up thinking that the MRT in Singapore is the subway with its “R” misplaced.

Royston
What is a migrant qualified to say? It’s an anxiety that besets many the creative person too, those who have up-anchored (up-ended?) and found another country…or a series of them. Where, in fact, is home—and does it even matter? This summer in Beijing—a city I have come to adopt— midway through a short story, “Fatty Goes To China”, I came to an abrupt and frustrating halt. Writer’s block, homesickness, midlife crisis: these are not concepts I believe in. There is always something going on beneath the surface. You learn a wily stoicism.
I needed a pilgrimage. On a sultry July morning, I trekked across this city to the National Library of China where I found, miraculously, an English copy of Flannery O’Connor’s Mystery and Manners. Here was a quirky, “grotesque” American author who never strayed far from her mother and the peacocks of her rural Georgia home. A writer’s country, she said, is “the region that most immediately surrounds him…with its body of manners, that he knows well enough to employ.”

How well do we know where we are? This, I think, is Todd Swift’s question too. With terror that I might know nothing of Beijing, let alone China, I rather blindly drifted into the woodland behind the imposing library and came upon a lake and adjacent fishing pond. Several days later—”Fatty” sputtering still—I cashed in my hundred yuan library card and, with a Chinese friend and angler, returned to the tree-encircled watering hole. We sat there, like ducks, for hours in the torpid heat contemplating an unbobbing float, retrieving bare hook after bare hook—such a mysterious disappearing bait! Two elderly passersby—a husband and wife, serious fishermen both—had a go and fared no better.

After an entire afternoon (and between humorous exchanges with our new friends) Lei once again idly, resignedly, pulled in the line. This time to discover a tiny fish wriggling, but hooked in its belly rather than lip. Meandering past, no doubt. We looked at one another in astonishment: the behooked, Lei and I, those elderly passersby. Couldn’t we even fish properly? How we laughed. For his part, our tiddler chuckled off the barb and swam away. Catch of the day, at the back of the National Library of China.

As Todd Swift puts it, us migrants, travellers, may have only stamps, weather and, if we’re lucky, mother calls…as passports. We may have Rilke in our ears, “this is the way we live, forever leaving”. Yet somewhere between a fish hook in the gut and wisdom from some peacock-ruffled spinster in Georgia, there lies a country as home as it is frightening, seductive and unpredictable.

Another life indeed. A place where you can finish even a “Fatty” story. And for all its unanswered questions, this existence is a match for “some other life…over the phone”. Defined by our “absence” from them, both are lives we crave and fear, as does Swift, betwixt and between. We find a sanctuary of our own devising, I suspect—the difficulty, as Swift implies, is whether we can recognize a “Kanada” when it comes at us sideways, as it so often does.

Home. All ours to write about…and certainly not a catch.

Jeff Zroback, Tammy Ho, Eddie Tay and Royston Tester / Editors and Guest Editor
Cha

18 August, 2009