Skip to main content

Toads and Birch Trees: Utilizing Themes of Chinese Mythology to Construct Original Myths


When first working on world building for my original piece, I knew I wanted to write a story with original mythology. In order to do this, I had to create my own mythology and folk stories inspired by the real world culture my world was based in. Over the course of the semester, I researched common themes and tropes in Chinese mythology and read various myths as I constructed my own stories from what I learned. Researching and analyzing helped inform the writing of my own mythology in a Chinese-inspired fantasy world. I ended the semester with two short stories. The first story was about the creation of the capital city that my larger work takes place in and the second was an origin story about one of the minor spirits in the larger work. I will be reading an excerpt from the second myth title 'Tian and the Toad Lord'.


Hiley Davis is a senior originally from Charlotte, North Carolina and majoring in Creative Writing. They have loved writing since they were young and were grateful for the chance to study creative writing at the college level. They are equally grateful for their parents, who supported them throughout, and their younger sister, who served as one of their earliest readers.