You’re a writer and you’ve got ideas on top of ideas, a pile of pages, and life limitations that feel utterly insurmountable. Do you ever just need a way to build life as a working writer—without having to “overcome” the very limitations that shape your life?
Well, you’re in just the right place.
That’s where I come in.
Part of my work is to provide resources for ambitious writers living with limitations. In addition to The Unexpected Shape™ Writing Academy, I've created online courses such as Dream Hunting with Limitations; teach live workshops online about writing fiction and nonfiction, including as a visiting professor at an MFA program; and lead writing workshops in person all over the country.
I’m also a woman who lives with chronic illness, including physical and mental illness (which I write about in The Collected Schizophrenias). These conditions create boundaries for my life; they also inspire me to guide and support others who are dealing with difficult times.
Finally: I'm a public speaker represented by the Tuesday Agency, and travel around the world to give talks, take part in documentaries, and visit with students. In doing so, I hope to bring awareness to the great stigma society carries to the topic of mental health, and to allow people who live with limitations to feel less alone.
I’m a writer and essayist—the author of the New York Times-bestselling essay collection The Collected Schizophrenias (2019), as well as the novel The Border of Paradise (2016), which was named one of NPR’s Best Books of 2016 and one of Electric Literature’s Top 25 Novels of 2016; I was selected by Granta for their once-a-decade Best of Young American Novelists list of 21 authors under 40. I’ve also made appearances on the Today Show, NPR’s Weekend Edition, KCRW, the New York Times, the CBC, Flavorwire, and the New Yorker Online.
Notion. Salty plum powder. Spring in Taiwan. Live theater. The curious feeling of wonder. BBQs. Bar karaoke. Fountain pens. Carol. Raw oysters. Long phone calls with my BFF.
Beloved. The Haunting of Hill House. Lolita. His Dark Materials. Babel. Gilead. Rebecca. Whatever book I'm considering blurbing at the moment. Some kind of decidedly predictable mystery/thriller that I nonetheless enjoy.
The Softies. The Decemberists. The Rondelles. Bikini Kill. Nicholas Britell. Atticus Ross & Trent Reznor soundtracks. Podcasts all the time: Normal Gossip, Love to See It & Rich Text, Ruined!, and more.
I'm a Gemini Sun and a Capricorn rising, a 4 on the Enneagram, and an INFJ according to Myers-Briggs. I used to be voice actor for educational DVDs, which I did after becoming a regular on a children's TV show. A Taiwanese dramatic miniseries was created about my grandmother, who is now deceased.
"[Esmé Weijun Wang] finds light in her daily quest to help others create, despite the limitations they may face."
— New York Times, Women in the World
I believe in eliminating the stigma around mental health so that we can create better policies and be kinder to others (and ourselves).
I believe in redefining ambition to better include people living with limitations like chronic illness and disability.
USC Gould Law School
Portland Book Festival
Starbucks Coffee Talk
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