Crime writer Ian Rankin paid an annual visit to Fife College last week to award scholarships to a group of creative students.
Ian, famous for his popular fictional character Rebus, took time to meet with the four students.
Among them were a Kinghorn couple – award winner Catriona Ross (49) and husband, runner-up Malcolm Ross (40).
Catriona said: “My lecturer thought one of my written pieces for my Higher English course was really good so I put it forward for the scholarship – I couldn’t believe I had won and I was delighted to meet Ian and receive the award – it is a fantastic confidence boost.
“I plan to go on to do HNC social sciences next year and winning this award has helped me realise I can do this”
And it was second time lucky for journalism student Joe Hunt (20), from Dunfermline who was runner up last year and delighted to be a winner this time.
Scott Duncan (26), also from Dunfermline, was delighted with the scholarship which he plans to use towards publishing a graphic novel.
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Ian presented the students with their awards at a special awards celebration managed by the Adam Smith Foundation which looks after the scholarship programme.
This year’s scholarship was open to students studying a wide range of courses that include elements of creative writing including journalism, TV, radio, acting and performance and Higher English.
To take part, students had to submit a piece of creative writing and their work was read and judged by Ian Rankin himself.
At the event the students got the chance to have lunch and chat with Ian and find out more about him.
Ian said: “The winning entries were of a high standard, with good storytelling, new viewpoints and surprising plot twists which were a pleasure to read.
“It was great to meet this year’s award winners, 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.”
As well as being awarded £600 each, the winning students also received a signed copy of one of Ian’s latest books ‘In a House of Lies’.
After lunch Ian was interviewed and filmed by NC Broadcast Media students, Maryam Almhameed and Alasdair Wallace, which gave them an opportunity to practise their media skills.
Gaynor Jamieson, trust fundraiser for the Adam Smith Foundation, said: “Receiving a scholarship from such a well-known author as Ian means a great deal to the students and is a fantastic achievement which will help them secure future study and employment opportunities as well as providing some extra financial support which is always very welcome.”
“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.
“Ian has been supporting this scholarship for 15 years and awarded over 50 students in that time.