Allison was born and raised in Taiwan and arrived in the U.S. at twenty-two as a university student. That’s when she realized her school English wasn’t much help when asking for directions on the street or opening a bank account. By recording each of the classes she took––including physical education––and reviewing the tape every night for a year, she eventually learned English well enough to earn an MFA in Writing from Vermont College of Fine Arts. But please excuse her if she misuses the verb tenses or mixes up the genders in third-person pronouns when she speaks. It’s no secret––English is a hard language to learn.
Allison writes in both Chinese and English, both fiction and creative nonfiction, which means she spends a lot of time looking up words on Dictionary.com. She’s a Pushcart Prize nominee and her work has won both national and international awards, including National Championship in the 2010 Life Story Writing Competition in Taipei, Taiwan and the Grand Prize in the 2019 MAST People of Earth writing contest. She’s the inaugural winner of Sandra Carpenter Prize for Creative Nonfiction, first-place winner of the 2019 Segullah Journal writing contest, and first-place winner of 2020 Opossum flash contest, and many more. Her memoir, Ninety-Nine Fire Hoops, is available on September 21, 2021.
More About Allison's Work
- MFA in Writing with an emphasis in Creative Nonfiction from Vermont College of Fine Arts.
- National Champion (Grand Prize winner) in the 2010 Life Story writing contest in Taipei, Taiwan.
- Inaugural winner of the 2020 Sandra Carpenter Prize for Creative Nonfiction/First Pages Prize.https://www.scmemorialfund.com/creative-nonfiction-prizehttps://youtu.be/vjsUtO52Cbo https://www.firstpagesprize.com/ https://www.firstpagesprize.com/inspiration/allison-hong-merrills-first-pages-tips?fbclid=IwAR2Qgt5TbRa-XH38FtoVcia60tMvcfC3IptYF80_oGYC7cKI0au0Gps70OI
- Grand Prize winner of the 2019 MAST People of Earth writing contest.https://maststudio.org/screening/the-child-s-palace
- First Place Winner of the 2019 Segullah Journal writing contest. https://segullah.org/journal/2019-prose-contest-winner-goodbye-baba-by-allison-merrill/
- First Place Winner of the 2020 Opossum Prize Flash Prose Contest.
- 2020 Pushcart Prize nominee.
- Runner-up in the 2020 Q2 Women On Writing Creative Nonfiction Essay Contest.https://www.wow-womenonwriting.com/downloads/printable/95-FE1-Q22020EssayContest-Allison-Hong-Merrill.htmlhttps://muffin.wow-womenonwriting.com/search?q=Allison+Hong+Merrill
- Third Place in the 2015 Storymakers Conference First Chapter Contest.
- Honorable Mention in the 79th Annual Writer’s Digest Writing Contest.
- Honorable Mention in the 89th Annual Writer’s Digest Writing Contest.
- Honorable Mention in the 2020 Tom Howard/John H. Reid Fiction & Essay Contest.
- Finalist in the 2021 Pinch Page Prize.
- Finalist in the 2020 Midway Journal Flash Prose and Poetry Contest.
- Finalist in the 2020 Q3 Women On Writing Creative Nonfiction Essay Contest.
- Finalist in the Tulip Tree Publishing Stories that Need to be Told Writing Contest.
- Shortlisted finalist in the 2020 DL Jordan Prize for Literary Excellence.
- Shortlisted finalist in the 2020 Fish Publishing Memoir Award.
- Shortlisted finalist in the 2019 Eyelands Book Awards (Athens, Greece).
- Shortlisted finalist in the 2019 New Millennium Writing Award XLVIII.
- Shortlisted finalist in the 2014 Serendipity Memoir Discovery Contest.
- Featured interviewee for KSL (TV Show) Mormon Times, March 4, 2011.
- Featured interviewee for Roots Tech Conference 2015.
- Featured interviewee for the Latter-Day Saints Channel, May 30, 2020.
- Featured interviewee for the Dialogue Journal
- Committee member and Creative Nonfiction instructor of the Storymakers Writer’s Conference.
- Diverse Authors Panelist for Quills Writer’s Conference.
- Allison’s work appears in the following publications:
- Life Story Anthology (Taipei, Taiwan)
- Liahona Magazine (Taipei, Taiwan)
- LDS Beta Reader Mind Game Anthology
- Ensign Magazine
- Flying South Literary Magazine
- Dialogue Journal
- Motherscope Magazine
- Past-Ten Journal https://www.past-ten.com/single-post/AllisonHongMerrill
- Cosmonauts Avenue https://cosmonautsavenue.com/allison-hong-merrill/
Brigham Young University Harold B. Lee Library exhibit
- The Allison Hong Merrill Exhibit