“By pigeonholing writers by race, (this) anthology demonstrates they cannot be pigeonholed.”

— Julie Koh, editor, BooksActually’s Gold Standard 2016

BooksActually’s Gold Standard 2016 is a new annual anthology comprising short fiction by the best cult writers of East Asia, Southeast Asia and the diaspora. Published by Singapore-based indie bookstore BooksActually, this year’s inaugural all-star collection showcases nineteen of the most compelling and original voices of the moment.

Join local author and the anthology’s editor Julie Koh, contributors Tom Cho and Tiffany Tsao, guest writer Ramon Loyola (reading work by contributor John Bengan), and cultural studies expert Dr. Jane C. Park for wine, readings, and a spirited conversation on race and writing. Copies of the anthology will be available for purchase at $19.00 each.

WHEN: THURS 1 December 2016, 6:15-7:45PM

WHERE: Better Read than Dead Bookshop (265 King Street, Newtown, New South Wales 2042)


The event features the following authors:

JULIE KOH is an Asian-Australian fiction writer. She studied politics and law at the University of Sydney, then quit a career in corporate law to pursue writing. Her short stories have appeared in numerous venues, including The Best Australian Stories 2014, 2015 and 2016, 2016’s Best Australian Comedy Writing, The Sleepers Almanac, The Lifted Brow, and Fixi Novo’s HEAT. Her short-story collection Portable Curiosities (University of Queensland Press, 2016) was shortlisted this year for the Readings Prize for New Australian Fiction and the Queensland Literary Awards Steele Rudd Award. A new edition of her first short-story collection Capital Misfits is now available from BooksActually’s Math Paper Press.

TOM CHO is currently writing a novel about the meaning of life. His full-length debut was Look Who’s Morphing, a collection of fictions originally published in Australia by Giramondo and later released in North America by Arsenal Pulp Press. Look Who’s Morphing was shortlisted for multiple awards, including the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize for Best First Book. Tom also has over 70 publications of fiction pieces in magazines and anthologies—most recently, Electric Literature’s Recommended Reading and PRISM International. Originally from Melbourne and now based in Toronto, his website is at

TIFFANY TSAO is a writer and literary translator. Her debut novel The Oddfits was published by AmazonCrossing in 2016, and her short fiction, poetry, and criticism have appeared in numerous outlets, including The Sydney Review of Books, LONTAR, Mascara, and the anthology Contemporary Asian Australian Poets. Her translations of Indonesian literature include work by Man Booker Prize nominee Eka Kurniawan and LiBeraturpreis winner Laksmi Pamuntjak. After spending her formative years in Singapore and Indonesia, she moved to the US, where she received her PhD in English from UC-Berkeley. She now lives in Sydney.

RAMON LOYOLA is a Philippines-born writer and has worked as a clinical pharmacist, public relations specialist, television scriptwriter, magazine editor and medical writer. Coming to Australia in 1995, he had held various jobs before becoming a lawyer in 2005. He is the author of three books of poetry—not poems, just words (Finalist in the 2014 National Indie Excellence Awards for Poetry), I Look For You In Other Truths and The Heaving Pavement: Epistles on an Anxious Life, and a short story in a single pocketbook format, Words That Don’t Mean Anything. His latest poetry book, Swells In Tiny Rooms, is published by Blank Rune Press. He lives in Sydney’s Newtown and is currently co-editor of the creative arts journal Verity La’s Discoursing Diaspora project.

JANE C. PARK is a senior lecturer in Gender and Cultural Studies at the University of Sydney. Her work focuses on issues of representation, power and difference in film and popular media in the US and Asia Pacific. She is currently writing a book on embodied aesthetics and the globalization of Korean popular culture.

Event photo contains individual photos by: Hugh Stewart (Julie Koh photo); Leah Diprose (Tiffany Tsao photo)