Asian Pacific American Heritage Month Spotlight: Allison Thai

It’s May, and in honor of Asian Pacific American Heritage Month we wanted to feature one of our authors with Asian heritage within the Furry Writers’ Guild. We interviewed Allison Thai who has been featured in publications such as Zooscape, Infurno: The Nine Circles of Hell, and ROAR Volume 8. Without further ado, let’s get to the interview.


FWG: Tell the guild and our readers a bit about yourself.

Allison: I am the oldest daughter of Vietnam War refugees. My first taste in animal stories came from the Redwall and Warriors series. Though my fursona is a husky, according to Vietnamese myth I’m actually a fairy-dragon hybrid. No, I didn’t make that up. The Vietnamese creation story claims that the Vietnamese people are descended from a dragon lord and a fairy queen—con rồng cháu tiên: children of the dragon, grandchildren of gods. Pretty rad, huh?

FWG: What is your favorite work that you have written?

Allison: “In the Name of Science,” featured in Thurston Howl Publication’s Infurno anthology. It’s historical fiction set in WWII Japan, based on Unit 731 and written in the form of logs from a young ermine surgeon, who gradually becomes disillusioned and disgusted by the work she’s doing. Writing this story let me grapple with the horrifying reality that Japan had conducted covert human experiments upon other Asian groups. Giving this dark piece of our history an anthro twist doesn’t make the inhumanity of it any less.

On a lighter note, I absolutely love how THP went all out with the presentation of this hellish-themed anthology: black pages, white font, interludes to show the fates of characters who’ve committed sins. THP took a step further with my story: using cursive and courier fonts to reflect the alternation between my protagonist’s personal writings and her more objective, detached recordings of atrocities she took part in.

This was certainly no joy ride to write, and I came out disturbed by this story that I had pulled from the darkest, deepest recess of my mind. Still, I’m proud and grateful to have written it. What I hope to achieve with “In the Name of Science” is to raise awareness of an event sometimes known as the Asian Holocaust—not talked about as much as its Western counterpart—and share with the reader what scares me the most: not fictional monstrosities, but how man is capable of being the cruelest creature.

FWG: What do you think makes a good story?

Allison: I need to have characters who are grounded in reality, and a character arc I can resonate with and root for. Readers can suspend their disbelief and accept fantastical things like sentient spaceships, schools of wizardry, superhero societies, talking animals, etc., but if there are no believable, relatable characters, that’s when a reader like me puts down the book. The protagonist doesn’t have to be necessarily likeable, but plausibility and authenticity in the voice, personality, and drive is a must for me. I’m also a sucker for beautiful style, poetic prose, and poignant, succinct turns of phrase.

FWG: How long have you been in the guild, and what changes have you seen with regards to how writing is handled since joining?

Allison: I have been in the guild since 2016. Since then, I’ve learned a lot from being among other furry writers on how to approach worldbuilding and characterization specifically for furry stories. I appreciate that aspect of the guild and the furry writing community very much. Though I’m not entrenched in guild management, nor have I been at the helm of any anthro project, I’ve seen attempts to advocate the recognition and merit of furry literature, from the existence of things like Furry Book Review to the much-needed arrival of Zooscape, a new anthro magazine created and run by Mary E. Lowd. (I have a story there, by the way, a novelette on Arctic foxes in Iceland, and had the most fun writing it!)

As someone who has one foot in the furry writing community, and the other in the genre/SFF/speculative fiction community, I’m seeing the gap between them grow smaller and smaller as, for example, my fellow writers who normally stay behind the spec fic circle begin submitting and publishing their work in Zooscape. I look forward to a future of more overlap among the writing communities, and building enough readership and resources to get furry literature sold and published at professional paying rates.

FWG: What does your Asian Heritage mean to you?

Allison: It’s an important part of me, and will always be a part of me, but my awareness and acknowledgement of it comes and goes like a tidal wave. Sometimes, like when I go about my Americanized daily life, or I’m too occupied with studying or working, I don’t think much of it. Other times, though, thrust it from the periphery to the forefront. Those other times have been, among other things, Lunar New Year, or attending Vietnamese church with my parents, or the surge in anti-Asian sentiment during the coronavirus pandemic.

Being born and raised in Houston, I take it for granted that I had grown up in the largest Vietnamese-American population outside of California. Only when I travel outside of Texas, outside of Houston even, do I become very aware of how scarce Asians are in many other areas. I’m comfortable with my identity and wouldn’t want to trade it for anything else. While my Asian heritage is an important part of me, that’s not all there is to me.

FWG: Do you feel like the issues that affect the outside world affect your writing within the fandom or not?

Allison: COVID-19 is the prevailing issue I’m sure that’s on everyone’s minds lately! So far I haven’t written anything in response to the pandemic. I did, however, write a (non-furry) Russian plague doctor story 2 years before this COVID-19 mess came down. As someone studying to join the medical profession, this issue is close to my heart. The clinical setting, the people who work there, and the kind of work they do are familiar elements that I often return to in my stories. Given my experience of working in the ER, sometimes I wonder what an ER run by animals for animals would look like. Currently I have my sights set on writing a long-ish furry ER story this summer.

FWG: Do you have favorite Asian authors and has their literature affected your writing in the fandom?

Allison: Ken Liu, who’s Chinese-American, and Aliette de Bodard, who’s Vietnamese-French. What I admire most about their work is the incredible range they explore. Ken Liu is a versatile writer whose prose shines in whatever genre and topic he dabbles in. In addition to stories inspired by Vietnamese and Chinese culture, Aliette de Bodard has written Aztec alternative history.

All of that gives me inspiration and courage not to pigeon-hole myself into writing only Asian stories. I know that choice to write only from your background or not is a very, intensely personal and meaningful one for POCs, and there’s no right or wrong in going about it. Again, it’s a choice. But for me? I’d find writing only what I know to be restrictive, and quite frankly, boring. I don’t want to write about Vietnam and Vietnamese characters ALL the time. I wouldn’t enjoy that. I’m a highly curious creature and fascinated by all sorts of things. Norse mythology and Russian history are among those interests. I like that writing gives me the freedom to explore lands, cultures, and stories beyond my own experience. 

FWG: If you could convince everyone to read a single book, what would it be?

Allison: I’d probably have to point to the book that most recently made me cry: The Tsar of Love and Techno by Anthony Marra. No, it’s not furry, not even speculative fiction, but I recommend that writers should have a wide range and balance in their reading, and I recommend this book nonetheless. Lifting words from a review I had written for it a while ago: “Anthony Marra has a way with words and storytelling that frames and captures a vivid, bleak landscape of northern industrial Russia, and paints in a cast of characters whose triumphs and tragedies I resonated with as if they were my own. A myriad of relationships are explored, strengthened, and broken. Brotherhood transcends time, space, and the ruthless oppression of the Soviet Union. Romances spark, ignite, flicker, and fade.

Regardless of your preference for novels or short stories, I believe The Tsar of Love and Techno is the best of both worlds by delivering the poignant snapshots of short stories while interconnecting them to impart the satisfaction of a full-fledged novel. Characters come back in ways you don’t expect and their arcs come in full circle, all revolving around a mysterious, obscure Russian painting. This is definitely a book you’d want to revisit to connect the dots and pick up details you had missed before.”

Tell the guild where it can find you, to follow you and read your works!

I had dug out a neat little den for myself on Twitter as @ThaiSibir. As for my list of published short fiction (many of them in furry anthologies), you can find that on my website: 

FWG: Any last words for our readers and guild members?

Hold on to your love and passion for writing. When the payments and publications have great chances of not coming your way (because, let’s be real here, rejection’s the name of the writing game), what else do you have? To keep at this writing business, remember to have fun and write for yourself first. Everything else comes second.


You can find a list of Allison’s published short fiction on her website as well as follow her on Twitter @ThaiSibir. We hope you found this interview exciting and informative! If you have suggestions for future highlights and interviews, please contact our public relations officer here. Until next time: may your words flow like water.

FWG By-laws and Code of Conduct Official Vote

Hello again Furry Writers’ Guild members! We have allowed discussions to take place surrounding our previously suggested by-laws and code of conduct on the forums as planned and taken time after to formulate our newly suggested changes based on member feedback. With this in mind, it’s time to bring this to a vote! A link to the voting form will be included at the end of this blog post. Let’s get to it shall we?

We wish to bring to a vote an update to our by-laws. You can view our current by-laws >here. We discussed why they needed updating in our previous post. The amended by-laws being brought up for vote can be found >here. All changes are highlighted in red.

We also wish to strengthen our Code of Conduct. Our current Code of Conduct can be found >here. Based on suggestions from our members we have made the following changes:

  • Made an Unacceptable Conduct section with specific wording to protect subjects discussed in works of fiction
  • Removed specific language that looked to be policing kinks
  • Better detailed the process for filing complaints

We would like to offer a general content warning as some of these things listed in the Unacceptable Conduct section might be triggers for some within our community. >The full listing, alongside the changes we wish to make to the Code of Conduct can be found here. Changes to the Code of Conduct are highlighted in red.

We would now like to bring these amendments up for a vote! Voting will remain open for two weeks, from May 16th through May 30th. The link below will take you to the official voting form.

>FWG By-Laws And Code of Conduct Voting Form

Thank you again so much to all the FWG members that provided feedback and to everyone voting on these proposals. We’ll have an announcement on the results out to you all once the voting period is over.

Regarding Proposals And Discussion

Today, May 3rd, the FWG administration announced a series of proposed changes for which the membership was to hold a vote. It was soon made apparent that we had overlooked some significant details and that discussion and restructuring of the proposals would have to take place.

In accordance with this realization, we hereby announce a discussion period during which the finer points of the proposals may be analyzed with the care they deserve. This period will extend through May 9th, during which time all FWG members are invited to share their thoughts and concerns. A new vote will be held thereafter. Official discussion will be taking place >in this thread on our forums.

We apologize for the hasty rollout and thank you for your understanding. We look forward to hearing from you.

FWG Vote: By-Laws and Code of Conduct

Hello once again FWG Members! We know there’s been a lot of guild news going on lately, but we want to get a few big things done so we can focus on more fun projects. As mentioned in a previous announcement, while we did not need votes for our guild officers this year we will still be holding a very important vote.

First we intend to explain the changes being made. A link to a form for FWG members to vote will be included at the end of this blog post so be sure to go vote if you can!

We wish to bring to a vote an update to our by-laws. You can view our current by-laws >here. While these are well written, we noticed some things needed updating such as:

  • A general update to remove services we no longer offer (like a Shoutbox) and update to services we currently use
  • The addition of officer positions made by the previous administration that have been excellent and effective
  • A more detailed procedure for removing members of the guild if necessary
  • The ability for the Cóyotl Awards Chair to be voted for (we had no actual method for choosing our chairperson previously)
  • Actually have a procedure for if and when guild officers may not be able to perform their duties for how they could be replaced
  • Modernize voting procedures for the future

The amended by-laws being brought up for vote can be found >here. All changes are highlighted in red.

We also wish to strengthen our Code of Conduct. Our current Code of Conduct can be found >here. We wish to make minor changes like with the by-laws to update services, but also would like to make one other large change.

We would like to add a section on unacceptable content to the Code of Conduct. We believe there are certain subjects that should never be presented within a positive light. This is in line with what we have seen from publishers within the fandom and we want our guild to reflect this as a part of our core values.

We would like to offer a general content warning as some of these things might be triggers for some within our community. >The full listing, alongside the changes we wish to make to the Code of Conduct can be found here. Changes to the Code of Conduct are highlighted in red.

Edit: Due to fantastic feedback from guild members, we have realized the previous wording for the Code of Conduct may have created problems for many members of the guild. We have changed the language within the amended Code of Conduct to reflect this. We will be accepting any re-votes from members that would like to change their vote due to these changes.

We have also now created a forum thread for discussion that you can find >here.

We would now like to bring these amendments to a vote! Voting will remain open for two weeks, from May 3rd through May 16th. The link below will take you to the official voting form.

>FWG By-Laws And Code of Conduct Voting Form


We want to once again thank our members for being so awesome while we get a lot of work done within the guild. We hope these changes will be able to make the guild bigger and better than ever before!


Membership Directory Update Announcement

Hello there Furry Writers’ Guild Members, this announcement is especially for you! We have over 200 members in our guild listings including those with associate memberships. That’s an incredibly impressive number we should be proud of!

The truth of the matter is though, these numbers do not accurately reflect guild activity. We have run into specific issues while trying to do more work to support our members. Some of these things include:

  • Authors changing the handle they go by online
  • Authors changing fursonas in general
  • Authors transitioning in some way (we don’t want to use the wrong pronouns for members)
  • Links now going to dead websites
  • Links going to wrong accounts (having moved accounts on sites like FurAffinity)
  • The email registered with us is no longer accurate (we need this for confirming votes in things like the Cóyotl Awards)
  • Some writers have left the fandom entirely, have stopped writing, or are unable to be found with any information we have.
  • Without an accurate number of membership, running votes for things like changing membership criteria, which require 30% of guild members voting to make changes, is essentially impossible

With these things in mind we intend to do a full update of the guild listings beginning now and ending May 31st. We are asking all members of the guild to fill out this form to remain in our public listings.

>FWG Directory Listing Update Form

When we update our website we will be populating our membership listings to only show those that have updated their information to have a more accurate look at current guild membership. We want to stress no one is losing their guild membership through this. Any member will be free to rejoin our listings even after the deadline.

We sorely need updated information on members to promote them. We also want to show writers that are reasonably active for those that visit our website. Readers of anthropomorphic literature can use these listings to find authors to read and potentially commission, so we want this tool to be strong to help support our members.

To ensure we get the word out on this change we plan to do several things:

  • We intend to reach out to members on all available platforms we have available: email, social media, etc. to inform them of this update.
  • We will keep our previous list so that if any members miss the deadline they will only need to update information to be put up on the website
  • We will be respectful towards members of the guild who may have passed away since their listing was added. We’re hoping to research any names we can and maintain their membership in memoriam. If any guild members know other members specifically to mention, please let us know.

We understand this is a big shake up for the guild but it is important for our continued functioning to do this. We’ve needed to make these updates for a long time so it’s time to bite the bullet and make it happen. Thank you for your continued support! 


Regarding The Recent Ban

Recently, a (now former) FWG member made a series of controversial posts on Twitter. While we should point out that the FWG staff does not police members’ social media, there are certain positions so intensely radioactive that we cannot abide their presence in our ranks. The guild would not stand for it. The fandom at large would not stand for it. Thus, our hand was forced.

It should also be noted that this did not occur in a vacuum, and the aforementioned posts represent only the latest in a series of questionable and ill-advised public statements, many of which resulted in complaints.

The FWG has always preferred that members self-regulate their behavior. Even when lines are crossed, we would sooner exercise patience and magnanimity than we would punitive measures. The number of persons who have received such marked disciplinary action is small indeed, and each of those occasions remain regrettable to us. Nevertheless, our commitment to the FWG and its mission sometimes make it necessary. We hope you all understand.

Best wishes,

The FWG staff

Furry Writers’ Guild Election Reminder

Just a reminder that April is the FWG election season. Anyone who wishes to run for any of the guild officer positions (president, vice president, treasurer) should feel free to put together a platform and make a post on the forums in accordance with guild by-laws, as detailed here:

Our election protocol is the product of a different era, when the forums were the hub of FWG activity. However, since election season is already upon us, the current administration will not attempt to update the process. The election subforum can be found here:

Thank you, and best of luck to the candidates.

On the Future of The Coyotl Awards

As you may already be aware, the Coyotl Awards chairperson has stepped down from her position after six years. Not only that, but the Coyotl Awards website has been lost due to an unrelated technical issue and will have to be rebuilt.


It falls on us now to rebuild to the best of our ability. However, owing to the sudden and unexpected nature of these issues, we believe it would be best if the 2019 Coyotl Awards were delayed for one year while we try to put things back in order. Yes, this does mean we would have two years of awards at the same time, but this has happened before and so it is not without precedent.


In order to reconstruct the Coyotls, two things will need to happen:


  • The website will have to be rebuilt. We have hosting available, but someone will need to get into the nitty-gritty of coding the site afresh.
  • The establishment of a committee to oversee and administrate The Coyotl Awards. We find it unlikely any one individual will be willing and able to shoulder the workload that former chair Ryffnah did, but even if we found such a person, we would rather split up the assignments in order to avoid burnout.


The specifics regarding the roles and responsibilities of the Coyotl chairperson and their fellow administrators have yet to decided. This will be unexplored territory both for the Coyotls and for the FWG.

The Coyotl Awards have always enjoyed a great deal of autonomy from the FWG structure; we believe this is healthy since it bolsters them against outside tampering. Accordingly, we would like to preserve that autonomy for their next iteration.  The new chairperson will be given generous leeway in order to facilitate the reconstruction effort.

At this time, we believe that three individuals should be enough of a committee to make this happen, but the number may change as events unfold. If you would like to help with rebuilding the Coyotl Awards website and/or wish to volunteer your services as chairperson (or an assistant), please contact a guild officer.


Thank you. We look forward to hearing from you.

Future of the Furry Writers’ Guild

Recently, there was a lengthy discussion in the FWG Telegram chat wherein various changes to the FWG were proposed. The discussion then moved to the FWG forums, where it continues still (a link will be provided towards the end of this post). The scope of the discourse involved more than can be comfortably summated here, but we will touch on a few of the points raised.


  • First, we’ll address something that came up multiple times: the idea of the FWG collecting dues. Doing so would allow the FWG to expand its operation. But while many support this idea, I expect there are others who would not. Knowledgeable members have also said that if dues become a factor, it would be important that the FWG establishes itself as a full-fledged legal entity, a status it does not currently enjoy. This would add a new layer of complexity to the guild’s administrative requirements while also demanding additional officers to keep it all running.


The current FWG administration sees only two officers managing almost everything, and already stretched thin. Were we to attempt such a major overhaul here on the tail end of our terms, it would result in us quickly finding ourselves in over our heads and unable to proceed. Hence, while we are not opposed to the notion of dues per se, we do not have the capacity to implement them ourselves. That issue will have to be left for the next administration to decide and/or enact. Rather, we should like to set realistic goals that can be met in the remaining weeks of our tenure.


  • Some of our esteemed members have suggested the creation of additional offices within the administrative structure. We agree that this is a good idea, and propose the immediate establishment of two new positions, with the possibility of more to come. However, because we are approaching the end of our tenure, we will be fielding these officers on something of a “trial basis.” If it goes well, then they may become official positions in the future.


The first would be a chief PR (public relations) officer. They would be tasked with representing the guild on social media as well as developing and pursuing promotional strategies. One can imagine this position as a crucial one, so finding a person who’s a good fit for the office is paramount. If you are interested, please contact a guild officer.


The second proposed office is for a dedicated “markets manager.” This person is tasked with keeping the markets section of the website up to date. We have already filled this position, everyone please welcome and show your appreciation to WildWeiler!


  • There has been renewed discussion of member-generated instructional content related to writing. The FWG is always happy to host and help promote this sort of project, whether in the form of blog posts, forum threads, videos or sound clips, singly or as a series. Contributors have all the flexibility in the world at their disposal, so if you have an idea, contact a guild officer and we’ll work out the details together. If you’ve been looking for a way to help the guild, this would be a good way to do it.


  • This coming April is election season for the FWG. Activity may slow at that time as the current administration prepares to transfer power to the incoming one (we will not seek reelection). So, if you’d like to take a whack at running the FWG, go ahead and start putting together your platform.



This was originally going to include a statement regarding the Coyotl Awards, however, that will have to come as its own post. So, look forward to that!

The Rehoused FWG Forums

For those unaware, the FWG forums have been successfully transferred to their new home (thank you Sean and Makyo!). While there remains work to be done to restore their former functionality, they are operational and open to use.


For security reasons, passwords were not transferred over; you will need to log in with your email, then set a new password. To do so, once you have logged in, click your avatar in the upper right-hand portion of the screen, then click your name in the drop-down menu and select “preferences.” The password-setting process can be a little tedious, so please be patient.


A consequence of the move/merger is that many accounts were automatically deleted by the system. This was more likely to occur if you had not used the forum for some time. If that is the case, you will need to make a new account. We apologize for the inconvenience.


The link to the new forums will follow. Note that we plan to change the URL in the future.


A thread for suggestions regarding the forums is here: