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Wai Chim

Author, Inspirational Speaker

Wai Chim is the Chinese-American-Australian author of a number of titles for kids and young adults including The Surprising Power of a Good Dumpling. Her dynamic and energetic presentations focus on culture, nurturing a love for story and a passion for the human experience.

Where were you born?

I was born and raised in New York. My parents were both migrants who didn’t speak much English but worked hard to give me the opportunities that they didn’t have.

What other jobs have you had?

I’ve been an English teacher in Japan, tutored Calculus online and have worked in magazine editorial and as a copywriter before switching to more technical jobs as a digital producer and frontend web developer. I am currently a business system analyst for Starlight Children’s Foundation in addition to being an author.

What themes are recurring in your work?

All of my works focus on my Chinese culture and heritage; growing up, I didn’t see many books that featured characters and situations that were familiar to me, so I was passionate about writing them!

Culture serves as the backdrop as I explore important topics about the human experience such as loss, grief, migration, mental health, family and identity, growing up and most importantly resilience.

What have been the highlights of your career?

I’m exceptionally honoured to have The Surprising Power of a Good Dumpling shortlisted for a few awards, including the Prime Minister’s Literary Awards. It also won the Indie Book Awards and was a Kirkus Prize Finalist in the US.

Where have your works been published?

My young adult titles are available with Allen & Unwin in Australia and the UK and through Scholastic Press in North America. The Surprising Power of a Good Dumpling will be available in Japan.

What are you passionate about?

I’m a loud and proud nerd so I’m passionate about a lot of things, especially arts and craft projects, brain teasers and puzzles, TVs show and Netflix series, a ginger cat named Freddie.

Most of all, I’m passionate about sharing my passions and enthusiasm with young audiences. I believe that you don’t have to pigeonhole or limit yourself to certain roles or social expectations. I have forged two very different careers as a writer and a technical analyst because I didn’t want to be limited by one or the other.

Haven’t I seen you before?

Maybe? I spent 44 days sleeping in dirt and cooking rice and lentils on Australian Survivor: Brains vs Brawn.

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