Every year we publish an anthology of short fiction, often mixed in with poetry and non-fiction too. These are one of the cornerstones of the Hong Kong Writers Circle and are a key part of the "career path" for our members. You can see our previous anthologies and look at some of the great reviews we've received.
All of our anthologies are "about" Hong Kong in one way or another. Stories might be set here, or feature characters from here, or be meditations on Hong Kong life through the prism of an alternate time or place. Each anthology has a theme, which may be a genre (such as Hong Kong Whodunnits or Hong Kong Gothic) or some form of writing restriction (such as Hotel China, which took place in a single hotel, or Of Gods and Mobsters, in which all stories were re-tellings of other famous works). The theme gives unity to each anthology and allows us to showcase our individual writers and provide a good, consistent read at the same time! All members can submit a story idea for each anthology and we strive to include as many as we can. Participation is geared towards the development of each writer, so feedback is provided by editors and through peer critique groups as the stories go through the drafting stages. Our anthologies are edited by volunteer members, which provides another skill set for more experienced writers. We also aim to engage local artists and designers for our covers (with Hong Kong Future Perfect, Hong Kong Gothic, Another Hong Kong and Of Gods and Mobsters being great examples of this). The process is rounded up by a launch party, which is always a celebration of the hard work that has gone before.
Our anthologies are available as e-books and can be bought from local bookshops.
Masking the City: Hong Kong in Allegory (2020)
Once upon a time, monster-men from the brave country stole nine dragons from the kingdom at the center of the world. As the property bubble inflated, fat cats stacked prison cell flats in towers that scraped the sky. In 2019, for the first time in the history of language, cockroaches made fire magic to hold black dogs at bay. We have a richesse of simple metaphor provided us by Hong Kong’s organic multiculture and the Darwinian way that new ideas work into the existing ideographs of written Chinese.
You are cordially invited to write us a story, a poem, or a piece of narrative non-fiction in the form of an allegory: an extended metaphor giving your unique take on some unique aspect of the Hong Kong experience. Make the macro mundane or make the mundane magical. Put a mask onto the city where you live.
The Task of Allegory is to elucidate by showing how this is like that.
The consolidation of Soviet power was like greedy pigs taking over the farm once the humans were gone. Mental illness is like waking to find yourself metamorphosed into a monstrous vermin. A lonely miser’s self reflection at Christmastime is like being haunted by ghosts.
What is Hong Kong like? What is it like, to be an unemployed ex-professional married to a well-compensated expat? What is it like to leave your own children in order to care for someone else’s children? What is it like, living next to the world’s longest open-sea fixed transport link, and not being allowed to drive your car on it? What’s a ride on a red minibus like? What is it like, when a public servant’s job description drops the requirement for care and pride? What is it like not speaking Cantonese? What is it like dealing with people who can’t speak Cantonese? What is it like when the road home is set aflame by angry children? What have the past seven months been like?
Interested? Here’s what to do... 1. Read the guidelines and notes from the editors:
2. Write an allegory in short or flash fiction prose, poetry, or narrative/creative nonfiction. 3. Email to email@example.com by 14 April 2020.
We will be forgoing the customary story proposal pre-authorization step for this anthology, but if you do have any concerns or questions please do not hesitate to contact the editorial team at maskanthology [at] gmail [dot] com: Nathan Lauer, Editor, with Wilson Li and Ruth Thomason, Assistant Editors.
Enquiries regarding a distinction between metaphor and simile can be directed to yourenglishteacherliedtoyou [at] gmail [dot] com.
All Hong Kong Writers Circle members are encouraged to take this opportunity to flex their creative muscles and see their work in print. Any interested non-members are encouraged to join the HKWC by 14 April and do the same.
Information for HKWC Members
Anthology announcements are always in the newsletter, so keep an eye out for the next round of submissions. This is usually in the first quarter of the year. There is a great deal of guidance for contributors and editors in the HKWC Code of Conduct on the Documents page but the general message is that being part of an HKWC anthology is a developmental process, with everything that that implies. And don't forget - HKWC anthologies make great Christmas presents!