A LOCAL student is planning to build on the success of his podcast, after winning an Ian Rankin scholarship at Adam Smith College.
Matthew McLean (28), from Thornton, is studying HND creative industries radio at the Stenton Campus in Glenrothes. He was delighted to be one of the three winners, picking up a £600 prize and a signed copy of Rankin’s latest book.
He said: “It was really good. I didn’t really expect to win it.
“I decided to do a short horror story with a wee twist. It was only about 800 words long. I think because it had a wee twist it caught the judges eye.
“I like wee twists in books. You tend to read them again.
“It was really good to meet Ian Rankin, he is a very down to earth guy. Not in any way intimidating.
“I picked up a lot of advice and experience from him. I have read a couple of his books and really enjoyed them.
“We each got a signed book on the day as part of the scholarship- his most recent book.”
Matthew revealed more about his successful podcast.
He said: “A classmate (Robert Cudmore) and I got together a few months ago to set up yapaudio.co.uk. We started making audio dramas.
“We had been listening to American ones, so we decided to do one ourselves, but set it in Fife- a post-apocalyptic drama set in Fife.
“It got a bit of interest and we were invited onto the Fred McAuley radio show a few weeks ago to talk about it.
“We have had over 200 downloads in a couple of weeks for the first episode.
“We are in the process of writing the second and third episodes.
“After we were on the BBC it got quite a bit of interest.”
Maththew now hopes to use the money to help turn his hobby into a job.
He said: “The money will help us to keep working on that.
“We currently use the college facilities but we will be finished the course soon, so after that we will use our own stuff.
“We are looking to get some good equipment, like better software and better mics. It will make life easier.
“It’s a gradual thing. Anything that we can improve on as we go is a bonus.
“It has been a wee hobby so far, it’s just satisfying to make something and get positive feedback.
“We are quite skilled at making things like podcasts so it would be good to do that as a venture in the future.
“It’s currently a hobby but it would be great to earn a living out of it at the end of the day.”