2010 New Voices Award Winners
New York, NY—January 19, 2011—LEE & LOW BOOKS is proud to announce that Jane Bahk of Alameda, California, is the winner of its twelfth annual New Voices Award. Her fun and imaginative story, Juna's Jar, was inspired by her and her husband’s shared childhood experiences of collecting and playing with large empty kimchi jars. Kimchi is a spicy side dish, commonly made with seasoned cabbage, that is a staple of Korean cuisine. Juna, a young Korean American girl, misses her best friend—with whom she used to play with empty kimchi jars—after he moves away. But with the help of her caring older brother, Juna continues to find creative uses for the jars, which lead to new adventures and even a new friend.
Jane Bahk is a former public school teacher and an Emmy Award-winning television writer/producer. Some of her writing is influenced by magical realism, and she enjoys telling “stories from diverse cultural settings and experiences that also have universal themes to which all children can relate.” Bahk’s parents immigrated from Korea, and she was born and raised in Toronto, Canada. She and her husband are now the parents of a two-year-old daughter and a newborn son. Bahk will receive a prize of $1,000 and a standard publication contract.
LEE & LOW BOOKS is also proud to announce that Muon Van of San Francisco, California, has been chosen as an Honor winner for her manuscript, Village by the Sea, which is based on the fishing village in Vietnam where her family lived for generations. After the Vietnamese-American War, many people from the village moved to the United States, where they recreated their fishing village on the Gulf Coast. Van grew up in that community of Vietnamese immigrants. Written for her father, Village by the Sea captures his memories of home in spare language and evocative images. Van enjoys writing fiction, and her favorite stories relate to the immigrant experiences of people from her homeland. She also works as an interactive media designer and programmer. Van will receive a prize of $500.