My name is Shirley Wang. I'm a writer from Iowa City, Iowa. 
My radio story “My Dad’s Friendship with Charles Barkley” for NPR’s Only A Game, about my late father and his unusual friendship with a basketball celebrity, came out in 2018 and received millions of listeners around the world. I got to hear from all sorts of people about how they were moved by this story of grieving, as they reflected on their own meaningful life experiences. 
Their reactions (which I wrote about here) reminded me that with the right combination of care and story craft, it is possible to tell powerful, memorable stories about anyone. Using the stories I've found through reporting or my work as a journalist, I produce in-depth and emotional pieces with standout characters around issues of everyday life. I focus on diasporic culture and immigrant families, because attention to these communities is long overdue. I am fascinated by complicated interpersonal dynamics, miscommunication, and the rich inner lives people have whilst they go about their day. Hopefully, reading my writing makes people feel seen, and less alone.
If you liked my radio story, you can read this one about the Chinese Church in Iowa City, where my family hosted New Years parties — or this one about Vedant Gupta, an 13-year-old aspiring sports media influencer whose dad is also greatly entertaining. 
I’m currently living in Melbourne, Australia. Email me at
Shorter, more professional bio: 
Shirley Wang is a writer and radio journalist from Iowa City, Iowa, She has published pieces with 99 Percent Invisible, NPR, The Washington Post, the New York Times, NBC, Popula and Chinese-language newspaper The World Journal. She was the recipient of best 'Soft Feature' from the Public Media Journalists Association, and was noted in Best American Sports Writing. She attended Tufts University and received a BA in Anthropology in 2018. Most recently, she was a fellow of The Thousand Miles Project TV lab led by Soo Hugh. 
if you'd like to reach out with a story idea:
*If English is not your first language and you’re nervous about being quoted, no problem! I will never misquote you and we can work together to make sure your words represent your perspective.
Email me at even if you only have an inkling of an idea for collaboration! 
Thanks for your time and energy put into this.
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