Freelance Writing and Reporting
I do a lot of writing, and am available as a freelance writer and journalist, existing commitments permitting. These days, I’m mostly writing about games in Asia for Games in Asia, and you can find a lot of my political/social China blogging on ChinaGeeks, although I don’t update it often anymore.
I’m best at writing:
- Long and short-form news pieces on social issues and human rights in China. (See “China’s Missing Children” below and my work at 2Non.org for examples).
- Analytical pieces about Chinese social issues and human rights. (See my work on ChinaGeeks for examples).
- News and analytical pieces on Chinese social media and China’s tech industry. (See my work on Tech in Asia for examples).
- Personal/travel essays about social phenomena in China. (See “Spring Festival in Kedong” below for an example).
- Reviews and humorous rants about video games (see this and this for examples).
If you’re a publication looking for a freelance writer or reporter, feel free to get in touch with me. Here are some of my favorite paid freelance pieces for your perusal:
“Carried Off” (ChinaFile/The Atlantic)
In March 2011, Rose Candis had the worst lunch of her life. Sitting at a restaurant in Shaoguan, a small city in South China, the American mother tried hard not to vomit while her traveling companion translated what the man they were eating with had just explained: her adopted Chinese daughter Erica had been purchased, and then essentially resold to her for profit. The papers the Chinese orphanage had shown her documenting how her daughter had been abandoned by the side of a road were fakes. The tin of earth the orphanage had given her so that her daughter could always keep a piece of her home with her as she grew up in the U.S. was a fraud, a pile of dirt from the place her daughter’s paperwork was forged, not where she was born. Candis had flown thousands of miles to answer her daughter Erica’s question—who are my birth parents?—but now she was further from the answer than ever.
“Spring Festival in Kedong” (Danwei)
I’ve never really understood Spring Festival. Sure, I know the traditions and the stories, but I must admit, I’ve never really felt it. The first year I was in China, I spent the holiday wracked with fever, hallucinating in my apartment as exuberant Harbiners bounced fireworks off my windows. That’s fairly indicative of my Spring Festival experiences over the ensuing years.
Now that I’m married, though, I have the opportunity – nay, the obligation – to “return home” with my wife and celebrate the holiday in the Chinese way.
“After Forced Evictions, a Nightmare of Red Tape” (2Non.org)
On June 30, 2003, the deputy chair of the Wuxi New District Court burst through the door of Wu Xingyuan’s family home. Following the court official were police officers, demolition workers and other men Wu couldn’t identify. They began carrying Wu’s possessions out of the house. Within just three hours, the building had been razed to the ground, and most of the Wu family’s possessions had disappeared. But that was just the beginning. Nearly a decade later, Wu’s case remains unresolved. His family, which had been operating a highly profitable business out of Wu’s sizable home, is now significantly poorer. And Wu himself has grown tired and more than a little paranoid after waging a decade-long battle for justice with authorities.