The Desert Nights, Rising Stars
Writers Conference

Desert Nights, Rising Stars Writers Conference Fellow 2019 Yi Shun Lai

Yi Shun Lai

Desert Nights, Rising Stars Sponsored Presenter 2020
Piper Writers Studio Visiting Writer 2019
Desert Nights, Rising Stars Fellow 2019

About Yi Shun Lai

Yi Shun Lai is co-owner and fiction editor of the Tahoma Literary Review, a thrice-annual literary magazine. Her column on writing and publishing, "From the Front Lines," appears monthly in The Writer magazine. Her debut novel Not a Self-Help Book: The Misadventures of Marty Wu, was a semi-finalist for 2017's Thurber Prize in American Humor. She teaches in the MFA programs at Southern New Hampshire University and Bay Path University

View Conference Sessions by Yi Shun Lai

Ripple Effect: One Idea, Many Iterations
Yi Shun Lai

Friday, February 21, 2020, 10:15 a.m. to 11:15 a.m.
Location: Tooker, Old Main
Type: Lecture, Presentation, Seminar
Genre: Business of Writing, Creative Practice, Professional Development

This session will demonstrate new methods of looking at the ideas you generate: Where you had one idea, your time here will allow you to expand it into several viable forms. The techniques you'll learn in this session will help you to generate everything from article ideas to essays; panel proposals to teaching ideas, from the one or two things that might be currently rattling around in your brainpan.


More About Yi Shun Lai

Doucette, Elisa. "Writers' Rough Drafts - Episode #35 With Yi Shun Lai." Craft Your Content, July 4, 2018.

What You'll Learn this Week:

Intentionally creating a physical and mental creative space wherever you are.
Spending some serious time on kindness in your creative life.
Adding an origin story to inanimate objects to write better copy.
Finding your best writing “in the weeds”.
Writing for (and with) publications other than your own blog.
Demystifying what editors do for writers.


Duhr, David. "Q&A With Yi Shun Lai." Write By Night, May 10, 2016

This “waiting period” is hopelessly full of not-waiting. There is a ton of stuff to do. The pub date is a deadline: the day by which you hope the folks who have promised to review the book will have done so; the day on which you remind all the people who bought pre-sale copies to go to Amazon and Goodreads and review the living heebie-jeebies out of the thing.


Oliveira, Melissa. "[REVIEW] Not a Self Help Book: The Misadventures of Marty Wu by Yi Shun Lai.Pank Magazine, May 9, 2016.

As long as we suspect we’re falling short in some area of our lives, there’s really no end to the books we will buy to try to improve: a 2014 article I read stated that self-improvement was “a $10 billion per year industry in the U.S. alone.” As it turns out, when it comes to solving the problem of ourselves, we have very deep pockets — and solving herself is exactly what Marty, the smart but hapless narrator of Yi Shun Lai’s wonderful new novel, Not A Self-Help Book: The Misadventures of Marty Wu, seems on a quest to do.


Lai, Yi Shun. "Why I Had To Leave My Parents In Order To Finally Call The Place I Grew Up Home." Bustle, June 8, 2015.

“Home is where the heart is,” sure, but my parents prefer my brother’s variation. He says “home” is wherever Mom and Dad are. I thought a lot about that as my husband and I made the move from our home in New York to the place I’d left 17 years before: my hometown of Claremont, CA. I wasn’t sure I felt the same way.


---. "Kill book sales with kindness." The Writer, August 8, 2017.

Promoting your novel doesn't have to be a soulless affair. This debut author hit the best-seller list with gratitude, generosity, and plenty of engagement.