Vivian (Xiao Wen) Li is a queer and neurodivergent first-generation immigrant Chinese-Canadian writer, editor, musician, director, emerging filmmaker, playwright, and interdisciplinary artist. She is the author of Someday I Promise, I’ll Love You (845 Press, 2022). Her fiction and/or poetry can be found in The New Quarterly, The Massachusetts Review, League of Canadian Poets Anthology: In the Storm/Struggle, The Fiddlehead, filling station, CV2, and Vallum, among others. She was recently a Finalist for the The Kenyon Review Short Nonfiction Contest, a Finalist for the Peter Hinchcliffe Short Fiction Award, Longlisted for the Commonwealth Short Story Prize, Shortlisted for Federation of BC Writers Literary Contests – Flash Fiction, received Honorable Mentions from Muriel’s Journey Poetry Prize, and Shortlisted for the Vancouver City Poems Contest.
Her past acting/ playwright credits include Little Women (UBC Players Club), Guitar Strings (Green College Players; Coffeehouse Theatre Society; Festival Dionysia), and Twelfth Night (Green College Players). Her full-length play, The Unknown, My Child had its first staged reading with Arts Club Theatre in 2023. She was also a director at Brave New Play Rites Festival and Or Festival, and was a Playwrights’ Gym participant.
Her screenwriting, directorial, and producer debut for her short musical dramedy, In Silence, We Sing, premiered at the Toronto Reel Asian International Film Festival 2022. Her second short, a video poem, The Garden, Echoes, is a nominee for the Vancouver City Poems Contest. Her third short film is a documentary that will premiere at the Vancouver Queer Film Festival. She was the co-host of PRISM Presents… a monthly podcast/ radio show that featured readings and interviews from PRISM International’s pages, contest judges, as well as faculty and students from the UBC Creative Writing Program.
She enjoys exploring learning about and combining skills from different artistic disciplines, and participated in VIFF Amp Summit 2022, as well, she used to take opera classes and is now learning jazz/ soul. She plays the piano, violin, and guitar, and enjoys composing for fun. She is also a Critical Futures Program Art Critic and Reviewer, and was selected for Ins Choi’s Half-Hour TV Workshop Cohort.
In her free time, she enjoys taking nature walks, drawing, creating worlds, coding, learning engineering concepts, proposing inventions, and engaging with new ideas. Her passion is creation and co-creation between artists, collaborators, and communities. An MFA candidate at UBC School of Creative Writing, she was recently Prose Editor for PRISM international and is a current Editor for Augur. She is actively (and passively) working on her experimental adult thesis novel, where a woman returns to the past to save her sister, engaging with Chinese Philosophical and dreamy realistic themes. She can be reached on Instagram/ Bluesky @vivianlicreates.
She is currently a member of The Writers’ Union of Canada, League of Canadian Poets, Women in Film and Television, and Federation of BC Writers.
Find some of her creative works/ projects here.
She has edited for over twelve Canadian/ international journals and/or publications. She is currently an Editor for Augur as well as Prose Editor for PRISM international, and has edited for The Goose: an annual review of short fiction, IDIOM: U of T’s English Undergraduate Journal, Acta Victoriana, The Spectatorial, and Almagest: Undergraduate Journal in the History and Philosophy of Sciences. She has also written and edited for The Window Magazine, written for DEMO Magazine, curated works for Young Voices Magazine, and edited for Pensées Canadiennes: the Canadian Undergraduate Journal of Philosophy. She also served as an Associate-Editor-in-Chief of IDIOM, and Assistant-Editor-in-Chief for The Window Magazine.