First scholarship awarded in honour of the late David MacLennan

13 November 2015

First scholarship awarded in honour of the late David MacLennan

Glasgow Caledonian University (GCU) has awarded its first scholarship for creative writing established in honour of Scots writer, actor and honorary graduate, the late David MacLennan.

Funded by the University, the David MacLennan Scholarship for Creative Writing pays tribute to the commitment and support he showed towards the University's flagship MA TV Fiction Writing programme and its students, many of whom have gone on to have successful careers in the television industry.

GCU Principal and Vice-Chancellor Pamela Gillies CBE FRSE presented the award to post-graduate student Dorothy Stewart at an event hosted by broadcaster STV to celebrate the success of the programme. The event was attended by students, graduates and industry leaders. GCU Cultural Fellow, actor Juliet Cadzow, who was married to David MacLennan also attended.

Speaking at the ceremony, Dorothy, from Glasgow, who originally started out in the industry as an actor, said: “My first love is theatre and to be awarded the David McLennan scholarship is a great honour.

“I had been looking at the MA TV Fiction Writing programme every year, for five years, and was determined to do it, but personal circumstances stood in the way. The scholarship has given me the opportunity to give it my all and make the most of it.”

MA TV Fiction Writing programme leader Dr Catriona Miller said: “Dorothy wowed the panel with her on-the-spot storytelling abilities, together with her passion for telling those stories through the medium of television. They were hooked.”

The MA TV Fiction Writing programme is the only dedicated full-time postgraduate programme of its type in the UK and has attracted more than £500,000 in scholarship funding from, among others, Warner Bros, Shed Media and MG ALBA. Previous success stories include graduate Mark Stevenson, who writes for EastEnders, Casualty and Holby City; Hollyoaks writer Philip Wright; and Chrisella Ross, writer for ground-breaking Gaelic drama Bannan, who was named ‘one to watch’ by the Edinburgh International TV Festival.

The event was organised by the Glasgow Caledonian University Foundation in partnership with its hosts STV, which supported this year’s Student of the Year and Best Script awards.

The recipients of the 2015 MA TV Fiction Writing scholarships are: Dorothy Stewart (David MacLennan Scholarship for Creative Writing); Aimee McGuinness (BBC Scotland); Jake Arnott (Larkhall Films); and Damian Mullen (Warner Bros.). Student of the Year was awarded to Mark Anderson, and Colin Bell’s ‘The Best Kept Small Town’ was awarded Script of the Year.