Allison Hong Merrill

Allison was born and raised in Taiwan and arrived in the U.S. at 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 is an editor at Dialogue Journal. She writes in both Chinese and English, both fiction and creative nonfiction, which means she spends a lot of time looking up words on She’s a Pushcart Prize nominee and her work has won both national and international awards, including National Championship in the 2010 Life Story Writing Competition in Taipei, Taiwan and the Grand Prize in the 2019 MAST People of Earth writing contest. She’s the inaugural winner of Sandra Carpenter Prize for Creative Nonfiction, first-place winner of the 2019 Segullah Journal writing contest, and first-place winner of 2020 Opossum flash contest, and many more. Visit her at, where you can sign up for her extremely short monthly email. 

Award Category
Screenplay Award Category
A Taiwanese immigrant bride––disowned by her father, abandoned by her American husband in Texas, and inarticulate in English––victoriously creates her own destiny.
This submission is private and only visible to judges.


Sienna Bates Sat, 11/06/2022 - 18:32

My heart goes out to you. As someone living in a foreign country where they don't speak English, I could really relate to your struggle. You did a great job of putting your emotions onto the page. I admire your courage to tell your story.

Roslyn Franken Tue, 27/09/2022 - 20:47

I truly enjoyed reading your story. It grabbed my attention right from the start and kept me going to the end. I want to know what happens next.