2014

Ricepaper Magazine: Canada’s only Asian Canadian Literary Magazine

 Ricepaper Magazine: Canada’s Asian Canadian Literary Magazine

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The covers of the two latest Ricepaper issues, available at your bookstore

Language and literature are some of the best ways to share cultures, ideas and feelings between different groups.  Canada is a diverse society that encompasses many different cultures and people with different world views and customs.  However, it is often strange and exciting to find that people from very different backgrounds can share very similar experiences and hold common values.  Storytelling is a way to communicate, to share the stories of the diverse groups of people that make up Canada.

Ricepaper Magazine is a quarterly Canadian literary arts magazine that showcases contents from Asian Canadian artists across the country.  Established in 1994 and published by The Asian Canadian Writers’ Workshop ( http://www.asiancanadianwriters.ca/ ), Ricepaper Magazine is dedicated to “providing voice and focus on East Asian and Southeast Asian culture.”  The magazine features original contents ranging from fiction, non-fiction, drama, poetry, graphic novels and any other creative writing by artists of different Asian Canadian backgrounds.  Over the years, the magazine has featured and profiled established Asian-Canadian writers as well as emerging writers who have great stories to share.  Many writers have contributed to the magazine, and Ricepaper remains a distinct platform to voice Asian-Canadian issues through literature.  The magazine is also accessible on-line at http://ricepapermagazine.ca/ where the contents of the current issue can be previewed.  Information about subscription (mail and on-line) and membership can be found on the website as well.

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Elliot Chan, editorial assistant, at Powell Street Festival in August

Unfortunately, there isn’t a strong Korean voice in the magazine, except for the occasional contributions from professional writers like Ann Shin.  As there is a growing Korean presence in Canada, through the growing Korean-Canadian community as well as a raised interest in the Korean culture, cuisine and arts, contributions from Korean writers are greatly encouraged.  Anna Ling Kaye, the Artistic Editor for the magazine, also wants to feature more diverse voices, including Korean voices that are vividly present in the everyday Canadian life, but yet quite absent from the literary scene.  While Ricepaper is an established magazine, it strongly encourages contributions from emerging and amateur writers, as one of its goals is to become a support platform for emerging Asian-Canadian writers.  All selected contributions are also paid.  Furthermore, the magazine welcomes anyone who is looking for volunteer experiences in the publishing industry.

The Korean-Canadian community in Canada is readily visible, although the Korean immigration history is much shorter than that of Chinese Canadians or Indian Canadians.   Nonetheless, the stories of struggle and triumph about being Korean and being Canadian at the same time can be similar to the challenges that other Asian Canadian groups have faced, and the stories of other Asian Canadians can empower Korean readers in return.  Many Canadians want to hear the special stories from the Korean-Canadian communities, and these untold stories can provide insight and understanding of the Korean culture and its impacts on Canada.

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