2023 Festival of Debut Authors

Yellow graphic with "The Common," "2023 Festival of Debut Authors," and the authors' headshots.

Join The Common‘s team on March 22nd at 7:00pm for our 2023 Festival of Debut Authors, an evening devoted to emerging talents! This virtual celebration will highlight poets and prose writers Carey Baraka, Farah Ali, Stella Wong, Jordan Honeyblue, Jennifer Shyue and Cheryl Collins Isaac. 

The festival, hosted by previous awardees Carlie Hoffman and Cleo Qian, features readings and conversation by some of The Common‘s most dynamic emerging writers. Come to discover fresh voices and support the magazine’s Young Writers Program.

Register for the free event or make a donation to The Common Young Writers Fund here! 


Farah Ali's headshot: Pakistani woman in a scarf against a curtain.Farah Ali is from Pakistan. She is the writer of the short-story collection People Want to Live. Her work has been anthologized in Best Small Fictions and the Pushcart Prize where it has also received special mention. Her stories have appeared in Shenandoah, Kenyon Review, Ecotone, and elsewhere. Her novel, The River, The Town, is forthcoming in 2023.



Carey Baraka's headshot: black man in a navy shirt with a bookcase in the background.Carey Baraka is a writer of fiction and nonfiction from Kisumu, Kenya. He writes about books, food culture, politics, and the environment, among other topics. His nonfiction has appeared in Foreign Policy, Guardian Longreads, The Atlantic, Vogue Business, and Serious Eats, while his fiction has appeared in Slice Magazine, The Common, and Gay Magazine. He has received fellowships and grants from The Pulitzer Centre for Global Reporting, Macdowell, The International Writing Program and the Silvers Foundation. He is working on his first novel.


Cheryl Collins Isaac's headshot: black woman in a black and yellow shirt, holding Issue 23 of The Common (toast on turquoise background) Cheryl Collins Isaac is a Liberian-American writer. She has been an Edith Wharton–Straw Dog Writers Guild Writer-in-Residence and a MacDowell fellow. Her work has been anthologized in South Writ Large: Stories from the Global South. She has been published in Chicago Quarterly Review, The Common, Ocean State Review, Hawai’i Pacific Review, and more. She serves as a fiction editor at The Worcester Review.



Jordan Honeyblue's headshot: Black woman against a black background facing to the side.

Jordan Honeyblue is a writer from Baltimore, MD. She is a Morgan State University alumna and holds an MFA from the University of Kentucky. Her writing and poetry manuscript Heartwork explores what it means to be a (un)healthy Black girl and woman in America. Currently, Honeyblue works as a 6th grade teacher. She served as a 2021-2022 Antiracist Science Education Research Fellow for LabXchange, an online science learning platform created by Harvard University. Jordan has also received fellowships and/or participated in writing retreats from the following organizations and universities: The Furious Flower Poetry Center Fellowship for The Living Truth Legacy Seminar on the Life and Work of Nikki Giovanni (James Madison University, 2018); The Poets and Scholars Summer Writing Retreat through Rutgers’ Institute for the Study of Global Racial Justice (Rutgers 2021); The Watering Hole (2021), and The Wild Seeds Writer’s Retreat through the City University of New York (CUNY 2022). In 2021, she was nominated for Best New Poets and Best of Net. Poetry by Jordan Honeyblue has appeared or is forthcoming in the New Orleans Review, The Common, Virginia Quarterly Review, and InvertedSyntax.


Jennifer Shyue's headshot: Asian woman in a white shirt with a blackboard in the background.

Jennifer Shyue is a translator from Spanish and an assistant editor at New Vessel Press. Her work has appeared most recently in Astra MagazineOversound, and Poetry Daily and has received support from Cornell University’s Institute for Comparative Modernities, the Fulbright Program, the National Endowment for the Arts, Princeton University, and the University of Iowa. Her translations include Julia Wong Kcomt’s chapbook Vice-royal-ties (Ugly Duckling Presse, 2021) and Augusto Higa Oshiro’s novel The Enlightenment of Katzuo Nakamatsu (Archipelago Books, 2023). She can be found at shyue.co.


Stella Wong's headshot: Asian woman wearing a white tank top against a black background.

Stella Wong is the author of Spooks, winner of the Saturnalia Books Editors Prize, and American Zero, selected for the Two Sylvias Press Chapbook Prize by Danez Smith. A graduate of Harvard and the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, Wong’s poems have appeared in Poetry, Colorado Review, Lana Turner, Bennington Review, the LA Review of Books, and more.


2023 Festival of Debut Authors

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