2 June 2023
One of the world's renowned crime writers, Sir Ian Rankin, has awarded special writing scholarships to three students from Fife College.
Popular for his fictional character Rebus, Sir Ian generously supports the annual creative writing scholarship which this year was awarded to students Stephanie Philbin, Murron Carscadden and Eileen Walls.
Offered through Adam Smith Scholarships, part of Fife College, the Ian Rankin Scholarship is open to all full-time students, giving all students with a creative flair the opportunity to submit a piece of writing and have their work read and judged by the celebrated author.
This year’s winning students each received £600, a signed copy of his latest book, A Heart Full of Headstones, and the chance to meet Ian at a special presentation lunch event held at the College’s Kirkcaldy Campus training restaurant, The Academy.
A donor of the College’s scholarship programme since 2005, Ian has supported 55 students, giving up his time to read and critique the written entries and providing feedback on the winners, as well as attending the presentations in person each year.
This year’s recipients were also joined by previous winners, Chloe Robertson, Malcolm Ross, Daniel Savage and Sonia MacPhee, who unfortunately did not get the opportunity to meet Ian previously due to Covid when presentations had to be held online.
Sir Ian Rankin said:
“I thoroughly enjoyed reading all of this year’s scholarship entries. There was fantastic quality and range, along with the confident use of various techniques. All entrants used their imaginations and writing skills to good effect.”
“It was lovely to get the chance to meet this year’s award winners, and previous winners, in person too. I hope their scholarships inspire them to great things and I wish them all the very best for the future.”
HND Counselling student, Eileen Walls, from Dunfermline said:
“I was absolutely delighted to hear that I had been awarded an Ian Rankin Scholarship. Writing poetry has always been one of my greatest loves in life. To have my work read and critiqued by such a creative mind has been a real honour and a wonderful boost to my confidence."
Intermediate Certificate: Pathway to Further Study student Stephanie Philbin, from Kirkcaldy, said:
“I felt shocked and excited to be awarded this scholarship. The money will be used for items to help me prepare for university next year."
Lyn Gold, Scholarship and Alumni Engagement Lead at Fife College, said:
“We were thrilled that Ian was able to join us to award his scholarships at The Academy in our Kirkcaldy Campus this year. To have a world-renowned writer like Ian continue to support our students really is amazing.”
“He always takes great interest in the students’ work and generously gives up his time to review and judge their creative writing, which is a hugely valuable experience for them all.
“Ian has been offering this scholarship for 18 years now, inspiring over 50 students in that time. We are so grateful for his ongoing support which we know makes such a difference to our students.”
Adam Smith Scholarships, part of Fife College, is one of the largest college scholarship programmes in Scotland, awarding thousands of pounds each year to support students, develop opportunities, open doors, and transform lives.
Ian Rankin Creative Writing Scholarship 2023 winning entries:
- Stephanie Philbin – Writer in a Coffee Shop (PDF)
- Murron Carscadden – Free Sample (PDF)
- Eileen Walls – The Lossscape (PDF)
Photograph: Ian Rankin Creative Writing Scholarship winners Eileen Walls (far left), Murron Carscadden (centre right) and Stephanie Philbin (far right) are pictured with Ian Rankin at the College's Kirkcaldy Campus.