The Girl

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Kim Liao is a freelance writer and editor whose essays, articles, and book reviews have appeared in a variety of magazines and newspapers across the country. She is a 2010-2011 Fulbright Taiwan Research Fellow, and has also received writing grants from Harvard and Stanford Universities. Her creative nonfiction has appeared in Fourth River, Cha: An Asian Literary Journal, Hippocampus, Fringe, and others. Her essays were short-listed for awards by Bellingham Review and Fourth Genre, and she has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize. She currently lives in New York City.

Kim graduated from Stanford University with a BA in Modern Thought and Literature in 2006 and received her MFA in Creative Writing from Emerson College in 2009. In graduate school, she was the Nonfiction Editor of Redivider and founded the ensemble blog Vernacular, a blog of Emerson College graduate students in the Writing, Literature, and Publishing department. She taught Freshman Composition for several semesters, cementing a lifelong love of teaching and curriculum development, and co-wrote the Research Writing Instructor’s Manual with First Year Writing Program Director John Trimbur.

Kim began work on her first book, In Search of Formosa, in a creative nonfiction class with professor Doug Whynott.  She received an Oral History Grant from Harvard University’s Schlesinger Library to support the project, and conducted numerous oral history interviews to contribute to her MFA thesis, a partial manuscript of the book.  Throughout that process, she worked closely with advisor Megan Marshall to translate comprehensive research into an engaging narrative style.

In 2010, she received a Fulbright Research Grant to finish her historical research in Taiwan. She lived in Taipei, took Chinese classes, and conducted research as a visiting scholar at the Graduate Institute of Taiwanese History at National Chengchi University. Later in the year, she spent time in Siluo (also known as Silai, a town in southern Taiwan) to collect more oral histories from family and former colleagues of Thomas Liao, and to see firsthand the cultural origin of the Liao family.

Contact by email:

Feel free to contact Kim to express interest in In Search of Formosa, share any relevant Taiwanese historical information, ask questions, leave comments, or simply get in touch!  For more info about In Search of Formosa, please check out “The Book” page, or email Kim to request a book proposal.


Creative Nonfiction, Essays, and Articles:


Interviews Given:

Academic Writing:

  • Published Honors Thesis, “The Prolonged Creative Effort: Dramatic Authorship in Beckett’s Endgame.” Stanford Essays in the Humanities, No. 52, July 2008. Available in college libraries throughout the country.
  • Conference Paper, “Timing is Everything: When Should Students Write Self-Reflections?”  The Emerson-Virginia Tech Colloquium: Cross-Institutional Research on Curriculum Design in First-Year Writing Programs. “Rhetorical Situations, Research, and Genre.” May 2008
  • Academic Essay, “Polyphonic Tides of Revolution” in Stanford Undergraduate Journal of Research, Spring 2006.

Awards, Grants, and Fellowships Received

  • Nominated for a Pushcart Prize, 2012
  • Vermont Studio Center Resident, December 2012
  • Girl Meets Formosa blog featured by on “Freshly Pressed” feature, July 2011
  • Fulbright Research Grant, 10 month fellowship to Taiwan, Fall 2010
  • Critical Language Enhancement Award (given by Fulbright), Taiwan, Summer/Fall 2010
  • Honorable Mention, Fourth Genre Editors’ Prize for Nonfiction, 2009
  • Finalist, Bellingham Review’s Annie Dillard Award for Creative Nonfiction, 2009
  • Schlesinger Oral History Grant, from the Schlesinger Library at Harvard University, 2008
  • Robert M. Golden Award for Excellence in the Humanities, awarded by Stanford University for top 10% of honors theses, 2006
  • URO Major Grant, from Stanford Undergraduate Research Programs, awarded to conduct research at The Beckett Collection and the Stanford Libraries, 2005
  • Research and Writing Grant, from the Humanities Honors Program, awarded to do honors research and compile an annotated bibliography, 2005