P.D. Soros Fellowship for New Americans


Ariel Chu, 2019

MFA/PhD, Syracuse University and University of Southern California

Ariel Chu is the child of immigrants from Taiwan

Fellowship awarded to support work towards an MFA/PhD in Creative Writing and Creative Writing and Literature at Syracuse University and University of Southern California

Ariel Chu is a Taiwanese American writer from Eastvale, California. She is the daughter of an engineer-turned-acupuncturist and a Chinese teacher-turned-real estate broker, both of whom sacrificed their passions to support their family in the United States. Today, Ariel writes stories about intersecting identities, everyday power differentials, and what it means to have “authentic” relationships given competing cultural influences.

Ariel pursued an undergraduate degree in English at Williams College, studying abroad at Oxford University for a year. In the summer of 2016, Ariel received a Robert G. Wilmers, Jr. 1990 Memorial Travel Fellowship to conduct literary research in Reykjavík, Iceland. In 2017, Ariel graduated with highest honors and the title of Class Poet. She was also awarded the Hubbard Hutchinson Class of 1917 Memorial Fellowship for excellence in creative writing.

In 2020, Ariel graduated from the Syracuse University Creative Writing MFA program, where she served as an editor in chief of Salt Hill Journal and won the Shirley Jackson Prize in Fiction. From 2020 to 2021, Ariel studied contemporary queer Taiwanese literature as a Luce Scholar in Taipei. Ariel’s work can be found in The CommonThe Masters ReviewThe Sonora Review, and more, and her fiction has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize, Best Small Fictions, and the Best of the Net Awards.

Ariel is currently an incoming first-year PhD Candidate at the University of Southern California, where she will study Creative Writing and Literature. She is currently working on a short story collection and novel with the support of a 2021 Steinbeck Fellowship. An aspiring creative writing professor, Ariel hopes to aid young writers in articulating and challenging their identities. Visit her at ariel-chu.com.

  • PhD Creative Writing and Literature | University of Southern California 2025
  • MFA Creative Writing | Syracuse University 2020
  • BA English | Williams College 2017
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