Mid-Autumn Mice: art by Joyce Chng

I invited Singaporean writer and artist, Joyce Chng to create a Mid-Autumn Festival illustration.

Mid-Autumn Mice: art by Joyce Chng


There was some paid subscriber interest in illustration, so I invited Singaporean writer and artist, Joyce Chng to create a Mid-Autumn Festival illustration. I have been  delighted by Joyce’s Mid-Autumn mice for years, so I was very excited to  get to ask for some especially for this.

I also asked Joyce if they wanted to provide any explanatory context, and what follows are their words and illustrations.


Mid-Autumn Festival Mice

by Joyce Chng

I  love Mid-Autumn Festival. It is the festival I always look forward to  after the spooky and grim Ghost Month (Seventh Month). Lanterns,  mooncakes, full moons… I love all of them. I started sketching and then  illustrating the mice around 2016-7. It began with tooth mice, followed  by the idea “why not combine mice and Mid-Autumn Festival together?”

A black and white illustration of a mooncake by Joyce Chng
Mooncake by Joyce Chng

2016-2017 were stressful years for me. Teaching, coping with breast  disease, dealing with a myriad of issues, I was spread thin. Sketching  the Mid-Autumn Mice was a balm to my soul.

Fast forward to 2021… I am still sketching Mice and always Mid-Autumn Festival. It is a festival of joy and hope.

Black and white illustration by Joyce Chng of two mice.  One on the the left is seated atop a pomelo, while one on the right is  carrying a latern. A hand written caption says, “mouse on pomelo, his  friend carrying a lantern …”
Mid-autumn Mice by Joyce Chng

I was also delighted when Joyce allowed me to reprint one of their earliest Mid-Autumn mouse sketches! Here is one from 2015:

an early black and white sketch of a Mid-Autumn mouse by Joyce Chng. This mouse is holding a calabash, sourrounded by a twirling  vine and leaves. This sketch is on lined notebook paper, the original  pencil lines are visible under the ink. The caption says, “Happy  Mid-Autumn!” and the sketch is dated 9/7/2015
Early mid-autumn mouse sketch by Joyce Chng

Joyce Chng’s fiction has appeared in The Apex Book of World SF II, We See A Different Frontier, Cranky Ladies of History, Accessing The Future, The Future Fire and Anathema Magazine. Joyce also co-edited THE SEA IS OURS: Tales of Steampunk Southeast Asia with Jaymee Goh. Fire Heart, a YA fantasy under Scholastic Asia, will be published soon. (Pronouns: she/her, they/their)

Thank  you so much for supporting me in my quest to pay creators for new work!  These drawings were exclusive to paid subscribers until the 21st of September, 2021, at which point they became publicly available.

If you’d like to read and/or listen to a story by Joyce that takes place around the Mid-Autumn Festival, you can check out “Metal Can Lanterns” in the 2019 Banned Books Week edition of Cast of Wonders.  I was the guest editor for that week, and found some truly wonderful  stories about hope in the face of censorship. “Metal Can Lanterns”  imagines children trying to preserve the Mid-Autumn Festival on a  distant planet with a restrictive government. It’s the last flash piece  of three in this episode, and was ready by John Chu. All the stories are  great (and short!), so you might like to listen to the whole thing!

If you’d like to see more of Joyce’s art, you can check out the February 2021 issue of Mermaids Monthly, which includes a pair of their illustrations!