2021 / Imagine Little Tokyo Writing Workshop with Author Naomi Hirahara and Leader Bill Watanabe. Jan. 28, 5PM

Naomi Hirahara (left) and Bill Watanabe

Author Naomi Hirahara and community leader Bill Watanabe will be leading a free virtual writing workshop on Thursday, January 28, from 5 to 6:30 PM (PST) to help individuals create entries for the 8th annual Imagine Little Tokyo short story contest.

Presented by Little Tokyo Historical Society (LTHS) in partnership with Discover Nikkei, a Japanese American National Museum’s project, the Imagine Little Tokyo short story contest seeks to raise awareness of Little Tokyo through a creative story that takes place in the historic neighborhood.

The story must be fictional and set in a current, past, or future Little Tokyo, Los Angeles. The short story committee will be specifically looking for stories that capture the spirit and sense of Little Tokyo.

Deadline for this year’s contest will be February 28, 2021. Winners of three categories – adult, youth and Japanese language – will each win a cash prize of $500 as well as publication in The Rafu Shimpo, Discover Nikkei and LTHS website.

Noted actors will read the short stories as part of a special virtual awards ceremony.

“While we have to adhere to shelter-in-place orders, our imagination and minds can still travel to places that we’ve gone or wish to see,” said Hirahara, co-chair of the Imagine Little Tokyo Short Story Committee with Miya Iwataki.

“I personally have found comfort in writing and using my creativity. Our committee wants to inspire the same in other individuals, from the accomplished writer to the newbie. Past winners include individuals who submitted their first short story!”

RSVPs to the free workshop are required; go to http://www.janm.org/events/ and click the event link to register.

Registrants will be emailed links and instructions to join the conversation on Zoom. Contact publicprograms@janm.org for additional questions or specific access concerns.

For the guidelines for the short story contest, go to https://www.littletokyohs.org and click on Current Events.