27 May 2024

Acclaimed crime writer Sir Ian Rankin has once again recognised the creative talents of Fife College students, awarding his annual creative writing scholarships to three well-deserving recipients.  

Famed for his Rebus novels – the subject of a new highly-acclaimed BBC series adaptation – Sir Ian continues to support budding writers through the Ian Rankin Scholarship, a tradition he has upheld since 2005. This year, the scholarships were awarded to Arron Cuthbert, Megan Lewis, and a learner from HMP Glenochil, whose impressive creativity and writing stood out amongst the rest. 

The Ian Rankin Scholarship, managed by Adam Smith Scholarships at Fife College, is open to all full-time students. It provides a unique and very exciting opportunity for students to submit their creative work, which is then reviewed by the world-renowned author himself. 

The 2024 winners each received a £600 scholarship, a signed book from Sir Ian's latest selection, and of course the chance to meet him and discuss their work at a special presentation lunch held at The Academy, the College’s highly acclaimed restaurant at the Kirkcaldy Campus. 

Sir Ian Rankin commented on the event: 

“I thoroughly enjoyed reading this year’s scholarship entries and was extremely impressed with the high quality of submissions. The winning entries stood out for me for their compelling detail, emotion and confident use of language and technique. 

"It was great to meet the award winners in person and to discuss their work and influences. I hope this scholarship encourages and inspires them on to great things and I wish them the very best for the future.” 

One of this year’s winners, HNC: Social Science student Megan Lewis from Glenrothes reflected on her entry and motivations: 

“My submission was a very personal poem centred around the grief of losing my dad. Although I felt a bit of 'imposter syndrome' throughout the process, winning the Scholarship and receiving feedback from Ian Rankin has given me a lot of encouragement. It’s definitely made me consider doing more creative writing in my spare time, because most of my previous writing experience has been non-fiction, creating online guides for 'World of Warcraft’ for example, but this has inspired me to be more in touch with my creative side. 

“Knowing that my dad, who was a huge fan of Ian Rankin's work, would be proud makes this achievement even more special.” 

Fellow winner, and fellow HNC Social Science student, Arron Cuthbert from Dunfermline spoke about his experience: 

“Winning the Ian Rankin Scholarship has been overwhelming in the best way, from the writing process and the pride of winning to actually meeting and discussing my work with a world-renowned writer like Ian Rankin. I didn't know what to expect going into this scholarship, but it's been a very positive experience. 

“It was quite surreal to hear feedback from Ian, especially since he has always been held in such high regard and an inspiration for me, having attended the same high school. I'm now looking forward to continuing my studies with the HND in Social Sciences.” 

Lyn Gold, the Scholarship and Alumni Engagement Lead at Fife College, highlighted the significance of Ian Rankin’s ongoing support: 

“It was an honour to welcome Ian Rankin again this year at The Academy in our Kirkcaldy Campus to present his scholarships. His ongoing support for our students is really remarkable. 

“Ian’s enthusiasm for the students’ creative work and his commitment to reviewing and judging their submissions is an invaluable experience for everyone involved.” 

The Adam Smith Scholarships at Fife College is among the largest programme of its kind in Scotland, annually awarding substantial funds to help students achieve their educational and career goals.

Ian Rankin Creative Writing Scholarship 2024 winning entries: 

Photograph: Ian Rankin Creative Writing Scholarship winners Arron Cuthbert (left) and Megan Lewis (right) are pictured with Sir Ian Rankin (middle) at the College's in-house restaurant ‘The Academy'.