Talented pupils from Fife become published authors

Scottish pupils who have their work included in a new SQA book celebrating the work of pupils studying English.
Scottish pupils who have their work included in a new SQA book celebrating the work of pupils studying English.

A number of Fife school pupils have become published authors after the Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA) launched a brand new collection of creative writing, produced by students from across Scotland.

The new book, Write Times 2, compiles essays, prose, poetry, and drama written by SQA candidates as part of their English courses at National, Higher, and Advanced Higher level, and also includes selected work from students who have achieved the Creative Industries: Media and Communication Higher National Certificate at college.

Gemma Heneghan of Kirkcaldy High School, a National 4 student, used a visit to a fast food restaurant to show that small details can add together to make a bigger picture.

Bell Baxter High School’s Juliet Downes keeps the reader gripped in her essay inspired by the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

Meanwhile, Waid Academy student Morgan McAlpine-Wemyss tackled the issue of cyberbullying when she wrote her drama piece.

Also featuring the book is a short play by Dunfermline based student Madeleine Trepanier. Written as part of her Advanced Higher English course, Madeleine was influenced by the playwright Tennessee Williams, particularly by the toxic mother-daughter relationship in ‘The Glass Menagerie.’

The book has received the backing of a number of renowned writers; among them the Scots Makar Jackie Kay; journalist turned novelist Anna Smith; dramatist and artistic director of the Tron Theatre, Andy Arnold; and broadcaster Kaye Adams.

Writing in her introduction to the poetry section of Write Times 2, Jackie Kay says: “Here’s a fantastic selection of poetry – ambitious, inspiring and very moving, these poems clearly demonstrate the instinctive power of poetry. They revel in great insight, and give me faith and hope for the future.”

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has offered her support for the project. The First Minister writes in the book: “Now, more than ever, it is important for young people to be able to express their thoughts, feelings and ideas with confidence. It is heartening to see the young writers in Write Times 2 engaging with the issues facing us, and giving their views with such thoughtfulness, intelligence and sensitivity.”

Deputy First Minister John Swinney added: “Write Times 2 gives us examples of writing from young people producing fantastic work for their SQA assessments, at various stages of their development: from National 3, 4, and 5 through to Higher and Advanced Higher and Higher National qualifications.”

SQA Chief Executive, Dr Janet Brown, said: “We’ve compiled the very best creative writing demonstrated by SQA candidates from across the country. Our young writers have used poetry, and prose, drama and non-fiction, discursive writing to great effect, to convey their ideas and emotions, their hopes and beliefs. The works we’ve reproduced in Write Times 2 are a fantastic testament to the effort these young authors, and the work they have put into achieving their qualifications. They are also a fabulous learning recourse, and copies of Write Time 2 will be issued to every school and college in the country.”

The publication of Write Times 2 is part of SQA’s commitment to celebrating Year of Young People 2018, celebrating the achievements of young people, and showcasing their talents. Copies of Write Times 2 will be sent to every school and college across the country. A free e-book version is also available to download on compatible devices.