Kirkcaldy pupil’s writing efforts recognised

Niamh Corkey
Niamh Corkey

A Kirkcaldy teenager is celebrating after her writing was awarded a ‘Highly Commended’ in a national competition.

Niamh Corkey, an S5 pupil at Balwearie High School, received the Highly Commended in the Scottish Schools’ Young Writer of the Year competition.

Pupils, aged 15 to 18, from across the country were invited to take part in the contest organised by the Institute of Contemporary Scotland (ICS) in association with the Young Programme charity.

The young people were asked to imagine they were writing a feature or column for an intelligent magazine or serious newspaper.

Examples given in the briefing were a commentary about something in the news; thoughts about a cultural event; or a personal experience of some kind.

The work was to be that of the author alone, unedited by a teacher or anyone else.

Niamh’s piece of writing was described as ‘gentle reflections on what it means to be happy’.

The 16-year-old, who is currently studying for her Highers, said: “I am really delighted to have been Highly Commended in this competition.

“I was already working on a piece of non-fiction for my English Higher folio so I submitted that.

“It’s a discursive essay about happiness and the premise that genuine happiness is being driven out by our reward-seeking, fast-paced lifestyles.

“I had a bit of fun writing it, and became interested in the topic after reading Derren Brown’s book ‘Happiness: Why More or Less Everything is Absolutely Fine.’”

Niamh will now have her work published in a future edition of the Scottish Review.

The teenager is no stranger to success in writing.

While a primary pupil at Kirkcaldy West, she won a national competition on GLOW and met children’s author Lari Don.

Then, when she was in S1 at Balwearie she was a Pushkin Prize winner and attended a creative writing course with Carnegie medal-winning author, Cathy MacPhail.