World-renowned crime writer Ian Rankin zoomed in to Fife College to present his annual creative scholarship awards.
The Fife-born author met virtually with this year’s winners Malcolm Ross and Chloe Robertson, as well as runners-up Abbie Stokes, Jamie Campbell, Bruce Henderson, Lana Cowie and Andy Grubb on a Zoom video-conference call.
Organised by the Adam Smith Foundation, which looks after the college’s scholarship programme, the call allowed the students to chat with Rankin and ask questions.
The winning student also received a monetary award to support them in their studies.
They, and the runners-up, will also be sent a signed copy of the author’s new book, A Song For The Dark Times, to be released in October.
The popular scholarship is open to all full-time Fife College students and gives them the chance to submit a piece of writing to be judged by Ian Rankin himself.
He normally attends the award presentation but social distancing rules meant an online version had to be arranged instead.
Mr Rankin, who has offered a college scholarship since 2004, said: “I always really look forward to reading the student’s 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.
“All of this year’s winning entries were of a very high standard and were a pleasure to read.”
Winner Malcolm Ross, from Kinghorn, was a runner-up last year and said he felt a huge sense of achievement.
Chloe Robertson, from Dunfermline, added: “I’m super excited and cannot believe that I won.”
Adam Smith Foundation scholarship co-ordinator Lyn Gold 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.”