[Photos: Owen Leong]
I write. I read my words onstage. I have a background in curating and producing arts projects.
My current project is a novel that answers some of life’s “Big Questions”. This novel-in-progress is an extravagant artistic and intellectual mash-up—a mix of fiction, philosophy of religion, and much more besides. The text explores perplexing questions such as “Does God exist?“, “How can we reconcile the existence of suffering with the premise of a good and almighty God?”, “What are the attributes of God?”, and even “What is the meaning of life?” Its working title: The Meaning of Life and Other Fictions.
My full-length debut was Look Who’s Morphing, a collection of fictions originally published in Australia and later released in North America and continental Europe. Brought to fruition as part of my PhD in Professional Writing from Deakin University, the collection was shortlisted for multiple awards, including the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize for Best First Book.
I also have almost 80 publications of fiction pieces in magazines and anthologies—among them, Electric Literature’s Recommended Reading, The Best Australian Stories series, Asia Literary Review, PRISM international, Review of Australian Fiction, The Best of The Lifted Brow, The New Quarterly, and many others.
Originally from Naarm (“Melbourne, Australia”), I’m now based in Tkarón:to (“Toronto, Canada”).
I also have many publications of individual fiction pieces in journals and anthologies. My fiction has been published in Australia, Canada, USA, Singapore, Italy, Sweden, Japan, Malaysia and France.
See a more extensive list of my publications or view some fiction publication highlights below:
A selection of fiction publications
- Cho, T. (2009). Look Who’s Morphing. Sydney: Giramondo. [Also published as Cho, T. (2014). Look Who’s Morphing. Vancouver: Arsenal Pulp Press.]
Individual fiction pieces
- ______. (2016). Are you there, God? It is I, Robot. PRISM International, 54.3, Spring, pp. 45-62
- ______. (2015). The bodyguard. Electric Literature, Recommended Reading, http://electricliterature.com/the-bodyguard-by-tom-cho-recommended-by-the-asian-american-writers-workshop/ (reprinted)
- ______. (2013). What are the attributes of God? In R. Scott (Ed.), The Best of The Lifted Brow: Volume One (pp. 221-234). Melbourne: Hunter Publishers
- Cho, T. (2012). How can we reconcile the existence of suffering with the premise of a good and almighty God? Meanjin, Vol. 71, No. 1, pp. 1-16 (published in Meanjin Papers, a project that highlights one longer work each edition)
- Cho, T. (2011). Dirty dancing. Storie, 66, pp. 56-63 (original story translated into Italian)
- Cho, T. (2011). What are the attributes of God? The Lifted Brow, 11, pp. 17-21
- Cho, T. (2011). Today on Dr Phil. The Best Australian Stories: A Ten-Year Collection (pp. 199-202). Melbourne: Black Inc (reprinted)
- Cho, T. (2010). Three dinner pieces. In H. McPhee (Ed.), Wordlines: Contemporary Australian Writing (pp. 51-59). Melbourne: The Five Mile Press (reprinted)
- Cho, T. (2009). Look who’s morphing. Asia Literary Review, Spring, pp. 27-35
A selection of grants, awards and residencies
- 2019, Further development of a full-length fiction manuscript, The Meaning of Life and Other Fictions. Literary Creation Projects (Works for Publication), Ontario Arts Council
- 2011, Further development of a full-length fiction manuscript, The Meaning of Life and Other Fictions. Literature – New Work grant, Australia Council for the Arts
- 2010, Further development of a full-length fiction manuscript, The Meaning of Life and Other Fictions. Arts Development (Creation) grant, Arts Victoria
- 2003, Tour of the show Hello Kitty to Lismore and Canberra. Kultour multicultural arts touring funding, Australia Council for the Arts
- 2002, Further development of a collection of fictions, Look Who’s Morphing. Arts Development – New Work (Creation) grant, Arts Victoria
- 2002, Tour of the show Hello Kitty to the Sydney Writers’ Festival. 2xcite U youth performance program, Australia Council for the Arts
- 2001, Further development of the collection of fictions, Look Who’s Morphing. Literature – New Work grant, Australia Council for the Arts
Awards and shortlistings
- 2016, Nominated, Pushcart Prize: Best of the Small Presses
- 2010, Shortlisted, Commonwealth Writers’ Prize for Best First Book (South-East Asia and Pacific)
- 2009, Shortlisted, The Age Book of the Year (Fiction)
- 2009, Shortlisted, Best Writing Award, Melbourne Prize Trust
- 2001, Winner, DJ (Dinny) O’Hearn Memorial Fellowship (also included a residency at the Australian Centre, University of Melbourne)
- 2000, Winner, Most Successful Show (Spoken Word/Text), Melbourne Fringe Festival
- 3 June-29 July 2019: Crosstown Arts artist residency (Memphis, Tennessee, USA). Host organisation: Crosstown Arts
- 18 September-11 December 2014: Helene Wurlitzer Foundation artist residency (Taos, New Mexico, USA). Host organisation: The Helene Wurlitzer Foundation of New Mexico
- 25 November-21 December 2012: Vermont Studio Center residency (Johnson, Vermont, USA). Host organisation: Vermont Studio Center. Included an artist grant from Vermont Studio Center
- 20 April-25 May 2012: Media, Culture and Creative Arts Writer in Residence (Perth, Australia). Host organisation: School of Media, Culture and Creative Arts, Curtin University. Included a stipend from Curtin University
- 22 March-19 June 2011: Asialink writing residency (Japan). Host organisation: Aichi Shukutoku University. Included funding from Australia Council for the Arts and Australia-Japan Foundation
A selection of invited readings and performances
- All of Us Witches (for AWP Conference off-site event), Los Angeles, 2 April 2016
- Sister Spit tour, West Coast USA and Vancouver, 1-15 April 2015
- Bent Over… With Laughter, Toronto, 29 June 2013 (programmed by Glad Day Bookshop for Toronto Pride)
- Singapore Writers Festival, 29 Oct 2011
- Sydney Writers’ Festival, 22 May 2010
- The Wheeler Centre, Melbourne, 1 March 2010
- Perth Writers Festival, 27 February 2010
- Ubud Readers and Writers Festival, Bali, 10 October 2009
- Canberra Theatre Centre and ACT Writers Centre kultour presentation, Canberra, 13 November 2004 (for a tour of the show Hello Kitty that was funded by the Australia Council for the Arts)
- Gay Games VI Cultural Festival, Sydney, 1 November 2002
My work included:
- various co-productions with Footscray Community Arts Centre, including the performance project Hello Kitty
- the 2003 National Young Writers’ Festival, which featured panels, performances, workshops, various art projects and Australia’s largest zine fair. The program was delivered with co-director Paul Byron and with co-curation by young writers from around Australia.
The work in the folio section of my website comprises a selection of creative projects that I’ve done over my 25+ years of professional practice, along with various highlights from my parallel career as a freelance writer, analyst and editor.
The creative projects in my folio span fiction, performance and even a prank:View my folio