Maine Artist Fellowship | Literary Arts

  • December 20, 2023

Kendric Chua | Portland, ME 

Photos: Amanda Huebner Photography

Artist Statement: 

Kendric is most in his element when he writes from the perspective of those who feel like their voices struggle to be heard. Though the prioritization of character is what drives his writing from beginning to end, most of his work contains elements of horror and the supernatural, both of which he considers to be powerful tools that help society face the realities and issues it so often avoids. He pays special attention to the finer details of human expression -- a furtive glance, a glib remark -- showing readers the trust he has for their own intuitions. He starts everyday with three pages of writing from the moment he gets up and then continues with the bulk of his work in the afternoon, sometimes through the night, and usually next to his two cats: Eleanor Roosevelt and Wanda Maximoff.


Kendric’s connection with Maine began years ago within the pages of his first Stephen King novel, across the Pacific Ocean, on the northernmost island of the Philippines. A product of an international Catholic school, Kendric learned English not just from foreign teachers but from books and television; both of which had nurtured a strong sense of wonder and passion for the English language. Growing up gay in a community with strong Catholic roots, Kendric spent most of his childhood in his imagination and within the fictional worlds of others. It was through his insatiable consumption of fiction – both on screen and between the covers of a book – that Kendric first came across the state of Maine through the vivid and captivating descriptions of Stephen King. Picking up a copy of Carrie and watching the films “Cat’s Eye” and “Rose Red,” in early adolescence had sealed the deal. He emigrated to the United States when he was fifteen, attended high school in New Jersey, then earned his BFA in Visual Effects from the Savannah College of Art and Design in Atlanta. After a short period as a graphic designer, Kendric took a leap of faith, switching careers to pursue his life-long dream of becoming a published author. Today, he proudly calls Maine home. He has finished the first draft of his first novel and written several short stories, most of which are set in Maine. Kendric is currently being coached by Maine novelist and transgender activist Alex Myers. In addition, Kendric volunteers his design skills to benefit non-profit organizations, providing professional graphic design services free of charge. He strives to celebrate the stories of underrepresented groups and to prove that even those “from away” with enough grit, a true heart, and a taste for lobster can call “vacation land” their home. 

On winning a Maine Artist Fellowship

Since being notified of my selection, I’ve already begun to see the positive impact this has had on my work, particularly in the way of a newfound faith in my ability to reach people’s hearts through story. This fellowship is invaluable in the pursuit of my career. Not only would this fellowship allow me to have a more visible presence in the eyes of future agents and publishers, but it would also give me the opportunity to connect with others who've come before me and to continue to learn and grow from their wisdom and experience. In addition, I'm most excited about having a platform to shed light on the societal issues I care deeply about. On a personal note, the past few years have been tough on my writer’s journey. Having no professional background in writing or any formal literary degree, opportunities to get published and noticed have been hard to come by. Each day had been a struggle, and though I have begun to build a thicker skin for rejection, it had no doubt began to take its toll. Receiving this fellowship signals the beginning of the long overdue healing process of my creative self-worth. I look forward to being able to share this reassurance with other emerging writers and to help and encourage their creative efforts in whatever way I can! 


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Contact Information

Maine Arts Commission

193 State Street
SHS 25
Augusta  ME  04333