Cassi Smith is completing her MFA in writing.

Alumna receives prestigious writing award

Cassi Smith (BA’13), currently a student in the writing graduate program in the College of Arts and Science, is the recipient of the prestigious RBC Taylor Emerging Writer Award for 2017.

By Chris Putnam

Smith was chosen for the award by author Ross King, winner of this year’s RBC Taylor Prize. Along with receiving a $10,000 cash prize, Smith will have the opportunity to be mentored by King.

“It wasn't until this year that I really began to put my creative work out there, and to receive this kind of recognition so early—I’m absolutely thrilled and stunned,” said Smith, who previously earned an honours BA in English and political studies from the University of Saskatchewan.

Smith is currently working on a project titled Kasayak: The Wise Ones, a collection of nonfiction short stories based on her interviews with elders of Saskatchewan First Nations. The project grew out of her relationship with Cree-Métis culture, which she was introduced to through her Métis stepfather and extended family.

The RBC Taylor Prize commemorates Charles Taylor’s pursuit of excellence in the field of literary non-fiction, and is awarded to the author whose book best combines a superb command of the English language, an elegance of style, and a subtlety of thought and perception.

Read more at the College of Arts and Science.