Tiffany Yii, a third year student majoring in English and minoring in Linguistics, was recently awarded a Cécile E. Mactaggart Travel Award for Narrative Writing for her entry, “Three Stories.”
This award is given annually to both an undergraduate student and a teaching staff member in the Faculty of Arts. The winners receive up to $12,000 each to fund travel that will provide a stimulating educational and cultural experience.
We caught up with Tiffany to find out more about her winning story and her travel plans.
1. Have you always enjoyed creative writing?
It was more of a childhood pastime than anything, which I sort of rediscovered through writing this story.
2. How would you describe your story?
It’s a disjointed and somewhat bleak retelling of three fairy/folk tales: Little Red Riding Hood, Snow White and the frame story of The Arabian Nights. None of the stories end well, and that’s the general point of it.
3. What inspired you to write it?
I’m not entirely sure, but it most likely grew out of vague recollections from a comparative literature course about fairy tales that I took earlier in the year. And possibly, other adaptations of fairy tales I’ve read or watched (I really like Sondheim’s Into the Woods, for instance). I like the idea that folktales can be used as templates, essentially, that there are infinite ways of twisting the same story.
4. What does winning this award mean to you?
Endless possibility. I had planned to travel after I graduate anyway, since I have a long break before my next degree; winning this award allows me to extend the trip and expand my itinerary, which I’m very grateful for.
5. Where do you plan to travel with your prize money?
So far I’ve only settled on a few countries in Europe. I’m hoping to fit another destination into my trip, but that destination seems to change whenever I try to make any plans. It’ll possibly be New Zealand, or perhaps a few major cities in Asia. (Or Australia. Australia also sounds appealing.)
To read Tiffany’s winning story, click here.