Students Receive Scholarships from World Famous Crime Writer Ian Rankin

4th June 2019

Ian Rankin, one of the world’s leading crime writers, paid an annual visit to Fife College on Friday, to award scholarships to three deserving creative students.

Ian, famous for his popular fictional character Rebus, took time out from writing and book tours to meet with the four students; award winners Catriona Ross, Scott Duncan and Joe Hunt - also runner up Malcolm Ross.

Ian presented the students with their awards at a special awards celebration managed by the Adam Smith Foundation which looks after the scholarship programme.

Gaynor Jamieson, Trust Fundraiser for the Adam Smith Foundation, welcomed Ian to the College’s Kirkcaldy Campus alongside Dougi McMillan, Director of Creative Industries.

This year’s scholarship was open to students studying a wide range of courses that include elements of creative writing including Journalism, TV, Radio, Acting and Performance and Higher English. To take part, students had to submit a piece of creative writing and their work was read and judged by Ian Rankin himself.

At the event the students got the chance to have lunch and chat with Ian and find out more about him. He was delighted to meet them and told them how much he enjoyed judging this year’s scholarship. Said Ian: “I always look forward to reading the entries – often there is a dark theme running through the pieces however this year had a more playful and upbeat tone. It was also great to see a graphic novel entry this year which is a first for the scholarship. The winning entries were of a high standard, with good storytelling, new viewpoints and surprising plot twists which were a pleasure to read.

“It was great to meet this year’s award winners, and to also come home to Fife and Kirkcaldy for a short visit. I hope the scholarship inspires this year’s winners on to great things and I wish them the very best for the future.”

As well as being awarded £600 each, the winning students also received a signed copy of one of Ian’s latest books ‘In a House of Lies’.

Curriculum Manager Kathryn McVicor and Journalism lecturer Marie Penman were also delighted to attend the event along with Student President, Carol Hunter, who is also a Trustee of the Adam Smith Foundation.

After lunch Ian was interviewed and filmed by NC Broadcast Media students, Maryam Almhameed and Alasdair Wallace, which gave them an amazing opportunity to practice their media skills.

Gaynor Jamieson, Trust Fundraiser for the Adam Smith Foundation said: “Receiving a scholarship from such a well-known author as Ian Rankin means a great deal to the students and is a fantastic achievement which will help them secure future study and employment opportunities as well as providing some extra financial support which is always very welcome.”

“We are delighted that Ian was able to give up his time again to come in to College and to present this very prestigious scholarship award. Ian has been supporting this scholarship for 15 years and awarded over 50 students in that time. The Adam Smith Foundation, staff and students of the College are very grateful for his ongoing support which makes such a difference. We are also thankful to Ian for presenting the awards in person and taking time out of his busy schedule to visit the College and meet the students.

“He 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.”

It was second time lucky for Journalism student Joe Hunt, age 20, from Dunfermline who was runner up last year and delighted to be a winner this time. Said Joe: “Having such a high profile author such as Ian read your work and give you such positive feedback is amazing, especially when you enjoy writing and want to make a career out of it like I do. It was great to meet Ian, he made us feel special.”

Scott Duncan, age 26 and also from Dunfermline was delighted with the scholarship which he plans to use towards publishing a graphic novel with help from artist friend and fellow student Nick Coad. Said Scott: “Having Ian Rankin say your work is good is a big compliment which I’ll never forget – long term I hope to go to go on to University and pursue a career in journalism.”

Husband and wife Catriona Ross, 49 and Malcolm Ross, 40, both from Kinghorn were delighted to attend the event - Catriona as a scholarship winner and Malcolm as a runner up. Said Catriona: “My lecturer at College thought one of my written pieces for my higher English course was really good so I put it forward for the scholarship – I couldn’t believe I had won and I was delighted to meet Ian and receive the award – it is a fantastic confidence boost. I plan to go on to do HNC Social Sciences next year and winning this award has helped me realise I can do this!”

Students at Fife College benefit from a wide range of scholarships which are available for application throughout the year. For further details about the Adam Smith Foundation visit the Fife College website or email [email protected]

To find out more about creative courses on offer at Fife College call 03442480115 or visit

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