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Sci-fi author Hao Jingfang on writing, education and parenting

By Li Wenrui | chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2019-12-05 13:00

Devote yourself to the work you do, not the prize you might get. Hao Jingfang, a Tsinghua University alumna, is pursuing her passion for writing and education.

In 2016, she won the prestigious Hugo Award with her novella, Folding Beijing, which made her the first female writer in China to bring home this prize. Later on, the author turned to education. She set up Tongxing Academy for public welfare education and WePlanets to foster children's creativity after school.

In this interview with Easy Talk, Hao discusses her life experience — not only as a writer and educator, but also a parent.

Hao Jingfang wins the Hugo Award for her work Folding Beijing in 2016. [Photo provided to chinadaily.com.cn]

"The major task for society is to help people get better education, to elevate their skill set in line with future technological advancements, and to broaden their horizons," Hao said.

Since founding her company, Hao has been carrying out voluntary teaching programs in rural areas. "We really want these kids to have better education resources like kids from the cities," she said. "We hope that the children from rural China, if one day they manage to live in the cities, can do more than car maintenance, for example. They will have the skills to take on other jobs."

Different from the typical Chinese parents so ambitious for their children, Hao suggests giving kids more space for trial and error. "I do believe the best mentality for parents is to stand behind your children," Hao said. "Let the child cope with the reality and decide for themselves. If they struggle with obstacles, you can offer them some guidance or encouragement."

Hao poses for a photo with children in an outdoor learning program. [Photo provided to chinadaily.com.cn]

"I've had a wide variety of interests since childhood. I've got used to doing different things," says the 35-year-old.

Being an economic researcher, a writer and entrepreneur herself, she encourages all women to discover their passions. "We live in a big, big world with boundless possibilities, various trades and different vocations. Don't be too afraid to try something new. When you find the one thing that you want to commit to, you will become fearless to follow your dream."

Explore more exciting topics from Easy Talk, a cultural interview series by China Daily.

Guest: Hao Jingfang

Reporter: Li Wenrui

Camera: Zhou Bing

Lighting: Yang Xiaoyu

Editing: Li Wenrui

Copy Editors: Ian Goodrum; Gu Xin

Subtitles: Sun Jiao

Producer: Li Wenrui

Executive Producer: Feng Minghui

Acknowledgements: Tongxing Academy

Contact the producer at liwenrui@chinadaily.com.cn

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