Screenshot from online presentation of the Ian Rankin (pictured top right) annual creative writing scholarship for Fife College students.

World renowned crime writer Ian Rankin ‘zoomed in’ to award his annual creative scholarship to a number of Fife College students.  

Famous for his popular fictional character Rebus, Ian virtually met with this year’s winners Malcolm Ross and Chole Robertson as well as runners up Abbie Stokes, Jamie Campbell, Bruce Henderson, Lana Cowie and Abby Grubb on a Zoom call.

Organised by the Adam Smith Foundation, which looks after the College’s scholarship programme, the call offered students the chance to chat with Ian, ask questions and find out more about him.

As well as getting the chance to virtually meet Ian, the winning students also received a monetary award to support them in their studies. Both winners and runners up also received certificates to mark their achievement and will each be sent a signed copy of Ian’s exciting new book, ‘A Song For The Dark Times’ once it is released in October.

This popular scholarship was open to all full-time Fife College students giving everyone with a creative flair the opportunity to submit a piece of writing and have their work read and judged by Ian Rankin himself.

The Zoom call was arranged, due to the coronavirus pandemic, as an alternative to the usual scholarship award presentation which Ian normally attends in College.

Ian, who has generously offered a scholarship through the Adam Smith Foundation since 2004, said:

“I always really look forward to reading the students’ entries each year. Often there is a dark tone to the pieces, but it was also great to see some comedy coming through this year too – something which is sometimes harder to write than tragedy.

“All of this year’s winning entries were of a very high standard and were a pleasure to read. 

“This is the first time I have done an awards ceremony online – it was great to get the chance to meet this year’s award winners, albeit in a slightly different way than normal due to current circumstances.  I hope the scholarship inspires this year’s winners on to great things and I wish them the very best for the future.”

Malcom Ross from Kinghorn, who was a scholarship runner up last year, said: “I felt a huge sense of achievement, not only winning the scholarship but just having my entry recognised by someone as well renowned as Ian Rankin.

Malcolm, who is studying an Intermediate Certificate in Acting and Theatre Performance added:

“Winning this scholarship has encouraged me to keep writing and re-ignited my creative side, which will help me in furthering my education on my course next year. I will be using the money awarded by Ian to purchase equipment that will help my in progressing my academic studies.”

Chloe Robertson, from Dunfermline, said: “I’m super excited and cannot believe that I won. I’ll be spending the money on a laptop to better my education.

Mary Mayo from Glenrothes, a third scholarship winner who unfortunately could not make the Zoom call, said: “To win the Ian Rankin Scholarship is a great achievement, especially given that it's a direct response to a piece of creative work and is a boost. I'll be looking to use the award fund towards materials for University.”

Lyn Gold, Adam Smith Foundation Scholarship Co-ordinator, said:

“We were really excited that Ian was able to ‘virtually’ join us to award his personal scholarship this year. There was some fantastic creative chat during the call which the students, and staff present, found truly inspiring.

“To have a world class writer like Ian continue to support our students, particularly during these challenging times, really is phenomenal.

“Ian has been supporting this scholarship for over 16 years, awarding and recognising over 50 students in that time.  We are very grateful for his ongoing support which makes such a difference. He always takes a great interest in the students’ work and gives up his time to review and judge their creative writing which is a very valuable experience for them all.”

The Adam Smith Foundation scholarship programme was created to support College students to develop opportunities for them which help open doors and transform their lives.

Through partnership with businesses, charitable trusts and individual donors, the Foundation has developed a Scholarship Programme which provides recognition, a financial award, and in some cases, work experience, internships and trips to support and encourage students to achieve their full potential.

For further details about scholarships at Fife College visit the Adam Smith Foundation pages or email 

Ian Rankin Creative Writing Scholarship 2020 winning entries: