My name is Shirley Wang. I'm a writer based in Iowa City, IA. I've written about diaspora, communities and culture for NBC News, Popula, WBUR, The Little Village, Metro U.S., Iowa Public Radio and WGBH News in Boston. As an audio journalist, I’ve worked as a talk show producer for Iowa Public Radio, interned at two NPR affiliates, and produced three podcast series. I graduated from Tufts University in May 2018 with a BA in anthropology.
Most recently, my radio story 'My Dad's Friendship with Charles Barkley' garnered around two million views around the world and was covered by the Today Show, Washington Post, Boston Globe, CNN, NPR's Here and Now and Buzzfeed among others. It was named as part of the top '13 moments in Asian America that moved us in 2018' by NBC and was shared by celebrities Roxane Gay, Seth Meyers, Celeste Ng, Eddie Huang, Gabrielle Union and Soledad O'Brien. The story was listed in 2019's Best American Sports Writing book and earned a Public Media Journalists Association (PMJA) Award. As a journalist, I want to use this attention to start a conversation about diaspora, loss, love and grief. Big emotions. If you liked that story, you can read this one about a Chinese church in Iowa City, where my dad used to host New Years parties.
I'm currently open for freelance assignments for essays, reported pieces, and audio stories.
One of the things on my mind lately comes from a quote from anthropologist and radical feminist Donna Haraway:
“We are training each other in acts of communication we barely understand.”
It reminds me of how hard it is to really know a person and to engage with them in powerful and deeply-felt ways; there are so many factors that affect whether or not a person can understand what they're hearing.
I see these human differences as a good thing because it means that humans are unpredictable. You know that feeling when your assumptions or stereotypes are disproved and suddenly the world becomes that much more surprising? I love that sensation.
So in my day-to-day and in my long-term goals, I am always looking for ways to start projects that complicate the human experience. I want to talk about our differences, and our intricate and disparate realities.
Here are some of the topics I'm currently interested in:
-Diasporic communities, building communities and new "homes"
-Ethical travel writing
-Healthcare and hope
-Housing, Section 8 experiences
-Spirituality and religion
-Books and their authors, creative journeys
-Regular celebrations and events: Weekly gatherings, rituals, associations, forums
*If English is not your first language and you’re nervous about being quoted, no problem! I will never misquote you and we can work together to make sure your words represent your perspective.
Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org even if you only have an inkling of an idea for collaboration!
Thanks for your time and energy put into this.