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Min "Matthew" Choi

Korean, American

First Language(s): Korean
Second Language(s): English


Min "Matthew" Choi is a first-generation South Korean immigrant that combines the folklore of his home country with scenes from his present residence in the United States. Currently, he attends University of California, Santa Barbara as a Writing and Literature major, and has been published in Catalyst and Open Ceilings and received both the Keith E. Vineyard Short Story Contest and Brancart Fiction Award.


What was your favorite book as a child?

I was obsessed with Percy Jackson as a kid — up until I entered high school, I owned every official Percy Jackson novel or any related books. I'm not sure that I remember any of them well enough to specify a favorite but the series as a whole shaped my interest in folklore, which continues to be an important part of my work.

Do you remember the original reason or motivation why you started writing creatively?

As a child who had just immigrated to the United States from South Korea, comic books and adventure series were some of the only forms of entertainment I had, so I spent most of my time at home deep in these books. But I often found myself disappointed or saddened by the endings I read and began writing alternate timelines where nobody got hurt, or where everything ended up happy. Since then, I've let go of my need for happier endings but have continued to write.

What was the most adventurous or thrilling thing you ever did/experienced?

When I was around 14 or 15, I went backpacking in Yosemite for half a week with a group of kids and a park ranger. The sights were gorgeous and spending so much time in silence was new to me, having grown up with so much technology and noise around me at all times.

Do you listen to music while reading or writing?

Reading music while reading can be distracting, but I often listen to music to either inspire my work or set the tone depending on the piece that I'm writing at the time. Sometimes, even if the music is unrelated to the piece at hand in tone or content, the pacing of the song can help me get through writing the piece. While writing “Snake Baby,” I listened to a lot of Omar Apollo and Duckwrth; though neither are artists that I would relate to the content of “Snake Baby.”


Short Story
Snake Baby
Issue Fall '22

Supported by:

Land Steiermark: Kultur, Europa, Außenbeziehungen
U.S. Embassy Vienna
Stadt Graz