TV fiction writing course announces first scholarship recipients

THE first scholarships on an university-based TV fiction writing course have just been awarded.

Four applicants for places on the Glasgow Caledonian University’s MA programme have been accepted, among them an actress and playwright who has funded her writing career by working as an intensive care nurse.

The scholarships have gone to Alicia Devine, Daniel Jackson, Joseph McAdam and Mark Westbrook.

Intensive care nurse, Alicia Devine’s current projects include adapting her Edinburgh Fringe show, Loving Burns, for the big screen. She has been awarded the Eileen Gallagher and Ann McManus Scholarship, worth £15,000.

Playwright and cartoonist, Daniel Jackson, is currently writing for the National Theatre of Scotland and the Royal Court, as well as creating a sitcom. He has been awarded the Scottish Screen Scholarship, again worth £15,000.

Joseph McAdam, who has been awarded the BBC Writers Room Fees Scholarship (£7500), as well as a £4,230 grant, is currently working on a range of film and TV projects.

And former academic, Mark Westbrook, who has been writing for the theatre, and has been awarded the Shed Productions Scholarship (£15,000).

Says course leader, Dr Catriona Miller: “We were delighted by the strength of the applications we received. It was a tough job drawing up the short list and the scholarship panel also felt that they had a tough job choosing the final recipients.

“The scholarships are bringing talented and passionate people to the course who otherwise couldn’t afford to do it, and this, in the longer term, will bring fresh voices to television drama. It’s an exciting start to the new Masters and we can’t wait to see what the students are going to come up with over the coming year.”

The university is still inviting applications from Gaelic speakers for a scholarship sponsored by MG Alba.

The MA, which is the first full-time university course in fiction writing for TV, has widespread industry support and has been created in collaboration with Shed, the production company behind some of television’s most popular dramas including Footballers’ Wives and Bad Girls.

Television dramatist, Ann Marie Di Mambro, who has written for shows including EastEnders, Casualty, Taggart, Holby and River City has been appointed as a lecturer on the course.