Award-winning writer. Friend of ambitious writers living with limitations.

My name is Esmé.

(pronounced Ez-May)

I’m a writer. My essay collection, The Collected Schizophrenias, was a New York Times bestseller; its publication is the result of having won the 2016 Graywolf Nonfiction Prize. My debut novel, The Border of Paradise, has received accolades and kind words from places such as LitHub, NPR Books, and the Chicago Review of Books; I was selected by Granta for their once-a-decade Best of Young American Novelists list of 21 authors under 40; in 2018 I received the prestigious Whiting Award. I write essays that have been published in the Believer, Catapult, The New Inquiry, Lenny, Hazlitt, and Salon.

Finally, my short story, “What Terrible Thing It Was,” was featured in the Best American Short Stories 2018 anthology.

I also help ambitious, marginalized writers, usually living with limitations such as illness or disability, by providing a three-month nonfiction curriculum, so that they can publish essays, articles, and ultimately books in the gate-kept world of traditional publication. As a result, the canon of contemporary literature is enriched by a diversity of excellent voices.

This website is the place to be if you want to know more about my literary life. You’ll find links to pieces I’ve published, information about my books, dates for forthcoming literary events, press clips, and so forth. Dig in. (And if you want to learn about The Unexpected Shape™ Writing Academy, my three-month creative nonfiction program with guest teachers such as Hanif Abdurraqib, Leslie Jamison, and T Kira Madden, keep on scrolling.)

Esmé Weijun Wang

"Storytellers are a threat. They threaten all champions of control, they frighten usurpers of the right-to-freedom of the human spirit—in state, in church or mosque, in party congress, in the university or wherever."

Chinua Achebe (in his novel: Anthills of the Savannah)

Are you an ambitious writer living with limitations?

You can also find me as the founder of The Unexpected Shape™ Writing Academy, my signature three-month writing program where I teach workshops and provide community, office hours, and other resources for ambitious writers living with limitations such as disability and chronic illness. Learn more about this life-changing program here.

You may also be interested in sponsoring a scholarship for one or more students for The Unexpected Shape Writing Academy. To learn more, download this PDF.

Here, explore what I have to share about my literary life.

Do both! Either way: welcome.


P.S. To find links to articles about me and podcasts I’ve been on, as well as media-ready photographs and contact information, please visit the Press page.

I'd love to stay in touch with you

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