Asian Prisoner Support Committee Anthology: Call for Writing Mentors

APSC and Hyphen are seeking writing/editing mentors for contributors to APSC's second anthology of narratives from incarcerated/formerly incarcerated people.
December 3, 2018

The Asian Prisoner Support Committee (APSC) seeks skilled writing mentors to work with incarcerated API writers in developing original pieces for our second anthology.

Through mail correspondence facilitated by APSC, each mentor will empower an incarcerated writer to polish their work through feedback and guidance.

We’re looking for mentors who are:

  • passionate about amplifying the voices of API community members impacted by the prison system;
  • capable writers and editors, as well as effective teachers and communicators; and  
  • able to commit to working with an incarcerated writer through mail correspondence (facilitated by APSC) for about six to nine months.

About APSC’s Anthology Project

APSC is partnering with Hyphen magazine to highlight stories from API voices who have journeyed along the pipeline from migration to prison to deportation and/or reentry and beyond.

Twelve years ago, Other: An Asian & Pacific Islander Prisoners’ Anthology was published to uplift the voices and narratives of currently incarcerated people in our community. At the time, there was no other platform to do so. We’ve seen how impactful the first anthology has been on a national level -- we’ve done five print runs to date.

Now, we are creating a second anthology so that even more currently and formerly incarcerated members of API communities can share their lived experiences, as a way to heal and challenge the cultural shame that perpetuates intergenerational trauma.

As the saying goes, “Behind every face, there is a story.” We want to amplify the stories of our prison-impacted community members through poetry, prose, and art.

About the Mentoring Process

Between each mentor and writer, we are expecting at least three rounds of substantive feedback and revision:

  1. Once APSC has matched you with a writer and shared that writer’s submission with you, you will have five weeks to edit the piece and provide written feedback. When sending material back, you may ask for specific revisions as well as provide general suggestions for further development.
  2. Upon receiving feedback, the writer should also strive to respond in five weeks. Please note, however, that prison mail delivery can be subject to delays.
  3. Repeat this process at least two more times, or until the piece is ready to be published.

As a mentor, the level of anonymity you maintain is up to you: you may use your own name, a pen name, or initials.

All mentors will receive guidance on how to provide feedback and help hone each piece while maintaining each writer’s unique voice, perspective, and story.

Applying to Be a Writing Mentor

If you’re interested in being a writing mentor, please complete and submit the brief online application form at by December 31, 2018.

If you’re unable to access the online form, please email us by December 31, 2018 at info [at] (subject: Writing%20Mentor%20Application, body: 1.%20Why%20do%20you%20want%20to%20get%20involved%20with%20this%20project%3F%20%0A2.%20What%20relevant%20experience%20do%20you%20have%20in%20writing%2Fpublishing%2Fediting%3F%20%0A3.%20What%20relevant%20experience%20do%20you%20have%20working%20with%20people%20in%20prison%2Fjail%3F%20%0A4.%20Is%20there%20a%20particular%20genre%20you%20prefer%20to%20work%20in%20(e.g.%20creative%20nonfiction%2Fessay%2C%20fiction%2C%20poetry)%3F%20%0A5.%20Please%20provide%202%20writing%20samples%20--%20preferably%20published%3B%20and%20preferably%20creative%20nonfiction%2C%20memoir%2C%20fiction%2C%20or%20poetry%20pieces%20(as%20opposed%20to%20academic%20or%20strictly%20journalistic%2C%20although%20we%20will%20accept%20those%20too).%20URLs%20are%20accepted.%20%0A6.%20Anything%20else%20you%20want%20to%20tell%20us%20about%20yourself%20or%20your%20availability%3F%20(optional)%0A) with the subject title “Writing Mentor Application,” and with your brief responses to the following questions:

  1. Why do you want to get involved with this project?
  2. What relevant experience do you have in writing/publishing/editing?
  3. What relevant experience do you have working with people in prison/jail?
  4. Is there a particular genre you prefer to work in (e.g. creative nonfiction/essay, fiction, poetry)?
  5. Please provide 2 writing samples -- preferably published; and preferably creative nonfiction, memoir, fiction, or poetry pieces (as opposed to academic or strictly journalistic, although we will accept those too). URLs are accepted.
  6. Anything else you want to tell us about yourself or your availability? (optional)

Please note that all mentor positions are volunteer and unpaid.



Karissa Chen


Karissa Chen is Editor-in-Chief of Hyphen magazine. She also serves as the Senior Literature Editor.