Ian Rankin awards annual creative writing scholarship to Fife College students

Friday, 28 May 2021

Three Fife College students have been given a huge boost after they were awarded a special scholarship by one of the world’s leading crime writers.

Ian Rankin, popular for his fictional character Rebus, awarded his annual creative scholarship to students Daniel Savage, Sonia Macphee and Ashley Lewis during a virtual meeting organised by the College’s scholarship programme, the Adam Smith Foundation.

As well as the chance to chat with Ian, ask questions and find out more about him, the winning students received a monetary award of £600 each to support them in their studies.

The 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 three winners, and seven runners-up, also received certificates to mark their achievement, and will each be sent a signed copy of Ian’s upcoming book, ‘The Dark Remains’ once it is released in September.

Based on a handwritten manuscript by the late Scottish crime-writing legend William McIlvanney, ‘The Dark Remains’ tells the story of the first ever case of McIlvanney’s famous detective, DI Laidlaw.

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

“I enjoyed reading all of this year’s entries. There was quality and great range, along with confident use of various techniques. All entrants used their imaginations and writing skills to great effect.”

“It was nice to get the chance to meet this year’s award winners too, albeit virtually. I hope the scholarship inspires them on to great things and I wish them the very best for the future.”

Daniel Savage, who is studying Start Here for Social Sciences and SWAP at the College, was delighted to be named one of this year’s three winners.

Daniel, from Dalgety Bay, said:

“I am overwhelmed and extremely happy, this really boosts my motivation. I plan on spending the money on a laptop that I can write on as I love reading and writing outdoors and in public places such as parks or cafes.”

Sonia Macphee, from Inverkeithing, was also thrilled to receive her scholarship. She said: 

“It is such a fantastic feeling to know Ian has read my work and that he deemed it worthy of an award. I'm truly honoured and this is such a motivational boost to continue working hard and persevering with my studies.

“The money I have been awarded will go towards driving lessons as I will be applying for university next year and traveling to and from St Andrews will be much easier when I can drive.”

Third scholarship winner Ashley Lewis, from Kelty, said:

“I was so happy and thrilled to know Ian Rankin had even read a piece of my writing, to actually win one of the scholarships is just amazing.

“Winning this scholarship is a massive boost and will really motivate me as I continue my studies.”

The online meeting was arranged, due to coronavirus restrictions, as an alternative to the usual scholarship award presentation which Ian normally attends in College.

Dorothee Leslie, Vice Principal – Academic Strategy at Fife College, said:

“We were thrilled that Ian was able to ‘virtually’ join us to award his scholarships again this year. To have a world-renowned writer like Ian continue to support our students in this way really is amazing.”

“He always takes a 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 17 years now, inspiring over 50 students in that time. We are grateful for his ongoing support which makes such a difference.”

The Adam Smith Foundation is Fife College’s scholarship programme and awards thousands of pounds each year to support students, develop opportunities, open doors and transform lives.

For further details about scholarships at Fife College visit the Adam Smith Foundation page on the College website or email [email protected].

Ian Rankin