Nancy Au

Writer, Artist, Educator, and Misfit

I am a genderqueer, bisexual artist and educator. I graduated from U.C. Berkeley with a degree in sociocultural anthropology. I have an MFA from San Francisco State University where I also taught creative writing (2015-2016, and 2019). I am an instructor at California State University Stanislaus where, in the summers, I co-teach a hybrid writing course for biology majors (2016-current). I am the co-founder of The Escapery, a collective of artists dedicated to diversity, and to writing and art as a form of resistance. I am a submissions editor with the fabulous flash fiction journal, SmokeLong Quarterly.

My full-length collection, SPIDER LOVE SONG AND OTHER STORIES, (Acre Books, September 2019), was one of just ten books longlisted for the 2020 PEN/Robert W. Bingham Award. My collection was also a finalist for the 2020 CLMP Book Award for Fiction, and listed among Entropy Magazine's Best Fiction of 2019.

My flash fiction won Redivider's 2018 Blurred Genres Contest, and The Vestal Review's 2018 VERA Flash Fiction Prize. My writing has been nominated for Best of the Net, The Best Microfictions, and the Pushcart Prize. I've been nominated multiple times for The Best Small Fictions (of which I won in 2018).

My short stories, flash fiction, creative nonfiction, interviews, and essays--which have appeared in over thirty literary journals--often center on the experiences of the elderly, the young, immigrants, and first-generation US born characters. I endeavor to write about (and to amplify, diversify, complicate) the voices that have been historically ignored (or stereotyped or diminished or demonized) within academia, literature, theater, film, television and other media. I am particularly interested in exploring the lives of American-born Chinese and Chinese immigrants.

In my workshops I utilize poetic constraints, art/drawing, and freewrites as a way to generate new material, to push the boundaries of language and syntax, and to create new access points and lines of inquiry for writers.

I love how mathematics informs poetry, anthropology informs fiction writing, art informs biology, theater informs astronomy, flash fiction informs physics...I love how different professional and academic disciplines enrich one another in ways that often defy our expectations.

In other words, I love words, I love language, I love science, I love to write, I love to teach, and I would love to hear from you! Thank you for visiting!