Emilia Ong is a British-Chinese Malaysian writer who grew up in Hackney in the years before it was cool. Recent scholarship recipient at the Faber Academy, she has published work in Ambit Magazine, Hoax, and Litro. In 2021 her current novel-in-progress was shortlisted for the Morley Prize for Unpublished Writers of Colour, and her arts journalism was shortlisted for The Observer/Anthony Burgess Prize. She was commended for the Laura Kinsella Early Career Awards in 2022.
With a background in philosophy, a passion for ‘difficult’ literature, and an aversion to staying in any one place for too long, Emilia now lives in Margate, where she has no pets – only a plant, which is already dead.
Presently Emilia is working on her debut novel, a semi-autobiographical Bildungsroman which follows the life and loves of a young, mixed-race girl growing up in the early noughties. A constellation of fragments interspersed with snatches of memory, the structure of the novel reflects the unstable inner experience of those with multiple heritage, and asks how it is possible to form relationships with others when we have no fixed identity of our own.