Allison was born and raised in Taiwan and arrived in the U.S. at age twenty-two as a university student. That’s when she realized her school English wasn’t much help when asking for directions on the street or opening a bank account. By recording each of the classes she took––including physical education––and .... more
Allison was born and raised in Taiwan and arrived in the U.S. at age twenty-two as a university student. That’s when she realized her school English wasn’t much help when asking for directions on the street or opening a bank account. By recording each of the classes she took––including physical education––and reviewing the tape every night for a year, she eventually learned English well enough to earn an MFA in Writing from Vermont College of Fine Arts. But please excuse her if she misuses the verb tenses or mixes up the genders in third-person pronouns when she speaks. It’s no secret––English is a hard language to learn.
Allison writes in both Chinese and English, both fiction and creative nonfiction, which means she spends a lot of time looking up words on dictionary.com. She's a Pushcart Prize nominee and the Grand Prize winner of the 2019 MAST People of Earth writing contest. She is also the inaugural winner of Sandra Carpenter Prize for Creative Nonfiction, first-place winner of the 2019 Segullah Journal writing contest, first-place winner of 2020 Opossum flash contest, third-place winner in the Storymakers Contest, and the runner-up winner in the 2020 Q2 Women on Writing Creative Nonfiction Essay Contest. She wins an Honorable Mention in the 2020 Tom Howard/John H. Reid Fiction & Essay Contest and in both the 79th and the 89th Annual Writer’s Digest Writing Contest. Allison is a finalist for the 2019 Eyelands Book Awards, the 2019 DL Jordan Prize for Literary Excellence, the 48th New Millennium Writing Award, the Serendipity Memoir Discovery Contest, the 2019 Fish Publishing Short Memoir Prize, the 2020 Midway Journal flash contest, and the 2020 Tulip Tree Publishing Stories that Need to be Told Writing Contest. Her work appears in the Life Story Anthology (Taipei, Taiwan), Liahona Magazine (Taipei, Taiwan), Ensign Magazine, Flying South Literary Magazine, Dialogue Journal, Motherscope Magazine, Past-Ten Journal, Cosmonauts Avenue, and LDS Beta Reader Mind Game Anthology. Her memoir, Ninety-Nine Fire Hoops, is forthcoming on September 21, 2021.
Allison is grateful to be able to live a creative life. It’s her dream come true. Aside from writing, she also models and acts for print and film. But her greatest joy is sharing her life with her husband and their three sons. Visit her at www.allisonhongmerrill.com, where you can sign up for her monthly newsletter.
Allison Hong Merrill's Projects
Ninety-Nine Fire Hoops
Allison Hong is not your typical fifteen-year-old Taiwanese girl. Unwilling to bend to the condition... more