By Leah Myers, graduate assistant
Being part of the Publishing Lab was an experience both unique and enlightening. In the class, students from different backgrounds and with different tastes came together to read through multiple entries each week, trying to separate out the bad from the good and the good from the best. It was an experience that came with some heated arguments of people defending their choices, and some unanimous decisions about what to move forward. Every entry was given the opportunity to impress, but only one could make it to the end.
Yang Huang’s My Good Son was one that I did not see in the early rounds, but I remember from the way others discussed it and passionately suggested it get moved forward. It seemed as though everyone could relate to some aspect of the book: its humor, the complex parent-child relationships, or the collision of cultures—young and old, East and West—that happen in various moments throughout the novel. The book had something for everyone, which is what made it a universally well-loved choice in the Lab. This universality is what gave it the lead over all the others, and ultimately led to it being chosen.
The Publishing Lab prize has opened back up to writers once again, giving someone new the opportunity to reach a classroom of students and bring them together, earning a book deal and $10,000 advance in the process. We are accepting full-length works of fiction, be they novels or short story collections, with no limit on word count or subject matter. We just want to see the best of what you’ve got.
Submissions are open until September 1, 2021 at unopress.submittable.com.
My Good Son is available now.