“You’re stepping on my shadow, please back off,” she said.

Sun Yisheng / Nicky Harman

Twenty "Future Masters"

A small conference was held in Beijing in January announcing twenty young writers who'd made a list of "Future Masters". The idea behind the competition, run by People's Literature magazine, Shanda Literature (aka Cloudary) and a media company from Chengdu, is to identify 20 young writers of potential—something like the New Yorker's "20 under 40". The announcement of the list coincided with a special issue of People's Literature magazine titled "Twelve Xinrui", featuring works by another twelve young writers; there's a fair amount of overlap.

The twenty writers feature familiar names (Sheng Keyi, Zhang Yueran, Feng Tang), some nods towards genre fiction (Cai Jun, Tangjia Sanshao), and some marginalized-but-not-really writers (A Yi, Lu Nei). The full list:

  1. Feng Tang 冯唐
  2. Zhang Yueran 张悦然
  3. Di An 笛安
  4. Qiao Ye 乔叶
  5. Lu Min 鲁敏
  6. Sheng Keyi 盛可以
  7. Wei Hui 卫慧
  8. Ge Liang 葛亮
  9. Zhu Wenying 朱文颖
  10. Li Hao 李浩
  11. Wang Shiyue 王十月
  12. Tangjia Sanshao 唐家三少
  13. Cai Jun 蔡骏
  14. Yan Ge 颜歌
  15. Ji Wenjun 计文君
  16. Teng Xiaolan 滕肖澜
  17. Lu Kui 吕魁
  18. Lu Nei 路内
  19. A Yi 阿乙
  20. Zhang Chu 张楚

Nomination carries no cash prize nor promise of publication; it seems to be for the bragging rights only. A pool of 40 writers were chosen by a panel of eleven writers and editors (the panel included Mo Yan, Ge Fei, A Lai and other pretty big names), and those forty (see the link at top for the full forty, with photographs) were chopped down to twenty by online reader voting at the Rongshuxia website, a subsidiary of Cloudary.

With the net thrown that wide you're likely to get pretty much everyone who might be of interest—it's probably safe to ignore the final twenty, and take note of everyone who made the long list.