Author Ian Rankin awards Fife scholarships

From left:  Ian Rankin, Hugh Hall, new principal at Fife College,  Andrew Wilson and Caitlin Sharkey.
From left: Ian Rankin, Hugh Hall, new principal at Fife College, Andrew Wilson and Caitlin Sharkey.

Three creative students from Fife College have been awarded scholarships from one of the world’s leading crime writers, Ian Rankin.

Ian, famous for his Rebus series, took time out from writing his latest book to meet with the three students, Andrew Wilson, Isla Fairfield and Caitlin Sharkey, at St Brycedale campus in Kirkcaldy.

He presented the students with their awards at a celebration managed by the Adam Smith Foundation.

To take part, students had to submit a piece of creative writing and their work was read and judged by Ian Rankin himself.

Two of the winning students, Andrew (20), and Caitlin (19) from Leven, both study HND Practical Journalism, while Isla (18) studies HND Acting and Performance. Andrew was delighted to receive an Ian Rankin scholarship for the second year running.

As well as being awarded £600 each, the winning students also received a signed copy of Ian’s latest book, ‘Rather Be The Devil’.

Ian said: “The scholarship programme is a great initiative and I am delighted to be involved and to give my support. I always look forward to reading the students’ work  - each year they surprise me with their breadth of ideas, inspirations and talent.

“It was great to meet this year’s award winners in person and to also come home to Fife and Kirkcaldy for a short visit. I hope the scholarship inspires this year’s winners on to great things and I wish them the very best for the future.”

Prior to the presentation, the students joined Ian for lunch where they chatted about course work.

He also gave an insight into his writing process and where he gets ideas from for writing his next bestseller.

Dougi McMillan, head of the department for creative industries, said: “We are delighted that Ian was able to give up his time again to come in to college and to present this very prestigious scholarship award.

“Not only has Ian supported the award for the past 13 years, he also takes a great interest in the students’ work and gives up his time to review and judge their creative writing which is a very valuable experience for the students.

Andrew, from Aberdeenshire, plans to use his scholarship to buy a new laptop while Isla, who is from Dunfermline, will use the award to attend workshops for young playwrights.

Caitlin said: “I was really honoured to meet and receive a scholarship from Ian Rankin who has inspired my grim dark taste in fiction. I plan to put the award towards buying a car - which I’ll need to be able to work as a journalist.”

To find out more about creative courses on offer at Fife College visit www.fife.ac.uk or call 03442480115.