Founded in 2004 by Hmong writer and poet Burlee Vang, HAWC has served as a forum to discover and foster creative writing within the Hmong community. For more than 10 years, members have participated in writing residencies, fellowships, and conferences at Kundiman, CantoMundo, Tin House, UCross, Hedgebrook, Community of Writers at Squaw Valley, and Napa Valley, among others. HAWC members have published their work in full-length anthologies and books with Random House, City Lights, New Rivers Press, Heyday, Swan Scythe Press, Imaginary Friend Press, University of Arizona Press, and the Minnesota Historical Society Press. Their writings have also appeared in literary journals such as Ploughshares, North American Review, Ninth Letter, American Poet, The Journal, Prairie Schooner, Paj Ntaub Voice, Hyphen Magazine, Alaska Quarterly Review, Massachusetts Review, the Missouri Review Online, The Collagist, the Asian American Literary Review, among many others.
Since its inception, HAWC’s efforts and achievements have been geared toward the creation of a visible body of Hmong American literature, the establishment of a Hmong literary culture, as well as to provide a nurturing space within a writers' workshop setting for members to dialogue and hone their writing.