Jessica Larson-Wang

Freelance Writer and Editor

United States

I am a freelance writer and editor with over fifteen years of experience. I have recently returned to the United States after living in China for fifteen years, and much of my writing has to do with China and China-adjacent topics, although I also write on education, the arts, travel, books, culture, politics, parenting and language, and am co-writer at the blog Prentice Pieces. I have taught high school English and history in both China and the United States, and am a parent to two children who were born and attended elementary school in China. Thus, I am particularly interested in the differences between the educational systems in China and the United States. I also enjoy writing about China's non-Han ethnic groups, having spent the majority of my time in China in Yunnan province, where many of China's ethnic minority groups also live.

As an editor, I specialize in academic editing, including research, dissertations, admissions essays, academic journals, and books. I also have experience as a developmental and copy editor for fiction, specializing in literary fiction, contemporary women's fiction, fantasy, and young adult fiction.



Culture Trip
A Round Route Through Paradise: An Itinerary for Roadtripping in Yunnan

Total Distance (approximate): 680 kilometers (423 miles) Hours of Driving: 10 hours Recommended number of days travelling (approximate): 1 week Best for: Adventurous types who are comfortable driving long distances Day 1: Kunming to Dali Distance: 360 kilometers (224 miles) Hours of Driving: 4 hrs 40 mins Toll Fee: RMB165 (19 GBP/24 USD) From Kunming, get on the HangRui Expressway, G56.

Culture Trip
The Ultimate Guide to Road Tripping in China

Driving in China Before you embark on your epic road trip, you have to become a legal driver. Unfortunately, China does not recognize international driver's licenses, so if you want to drive in the country, you'll have to procure a Chinese driver's license.

Culture Trip
How to Travel Overland from China to Laos

You have several options for getting to the border. The most direct route is to take the long distance bus from Kunming, departing from the south bus station, to Vientiane or Luang Prabang directly. The tickets are cheap, roughly 500 RMB (73 USD) at the time of writing, but the trip is long, exhausting, and not particularly pleasant.

Personal Essay

A Child's First Novel: Lessons Learned From Twelve Year Old Writers

My first attempt at a novel was a thinly veiled Star Trek fan-fiction that I wrote at age thirteen. This was pre-internet, and I had no idea fanfiction was even a thing, much less that people my age wrote it. Had I known, I probably would have been all over it, but I didn't, and...

The Poetry of Names

Naming our characters can be one of the best parts of writing fantasy, or even contemporary fiction. Many writers choose their characters' names with as much love and care as they would give to choosing their own children's names. Poring over baby name sites, foreign language dictionaries, studying mythologies and genealogies, they finally arrive at...

Marrow and Bone

Sometimes I miss China so much I can't breathe. I get a panicky sort of feeling, as if my old life is drifting into the background and soon will become nothing more than an anecdote told affectionately at holiday gatherings. "When we lived in China ..." "Back when we were in China..."


Is There Really No Racism in China? |外国人网|

Is There Really No Racism in China? Most of us have heard a Chinese friend say, quite confidently, that there is no racism in China. Students have asked me about racism in America, imagining, perhaps a 1950s pre-civil rights era place, where African Americans are forced into separate schools and routinely beaten.

Culture Trip
The Loss and Revival of the Dongba Script

The Naxi are an ethnic minority native to Lijiang in northwestern Yunnan province, and are close relatives of their neighbors the Tibetans. Said to have originated on the Tibetan plateau, the Naxi migrated southward when other tribes began to encroach upon their territory.

Culture Trip
Far from the Steppes: A History of Mongols in China

Origins on the Steppes The Mongols come from the vast grasslands that stretch across northern China and far eastern Russia, with the modern country of Mongolia situated between the two. The term "Mongol" actually refers collectively to the various steppes tribes which share a common linguistic root, their different dialects being labelled "Mongolian."