Scholarship set up to celebrate the life of the late David MacLennan

19 November 2014

Recipients of the 2014 MA TV Fiction Writing scholarship

Recipients of the 2014 MA TV Fiction Writing scholarship

A scholarship for creative writing has been established by Glasgow Caledonian University (GCU) in honour of Scots writer, actor and Honorary Graduate, the late David MacLennan.

The announcement was made by the University during an event to celebrate GCU’s flagship MA TV Fiction Writing programme, which has now attracted more than £500,000 in scholarship funding from, among others, BBC Scotland, Warner Bros. and FremantleMedia.

The University is funding the David MacLennan Scholarship for Creative Writing in honour of his commitment and support towards the MA TV Fiction Writing programme and its students, many of whom had been offered the opportunity to write and perform on stage. Mr MacLennan, who died in June this year, co-founded stage companies 7:84 and the Wildcat Theatre Company in the 1970s and was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Letters by GCU in November 2011. His wife, actress Juliet Cadzow, was a guest of honour at the event.

Students, graduates and television industry leaders attended the annual prize giving and scholarship awards ceremony, which was held this year at Oran Mor. Speakers included Eileen Gallagher of Shed Media; MA TV Fiction Writing Programme Leader Catriona Miller; lecturer Chris Dolan; and graduate Ross Murray.

Professor Ann Marie di Mambro presented the Student of the Year award to Ewan Muir and Script of the Year to Austin Low.

Dr Miller said: “The success of the programme is largely down to the support our students receive from leading individuals and organisations.

“We develop close relationships with key industry figures and organisations, who work with students to hone their skills. That, and the input from lecturers Ann Marie di Mambro and Chris Dolan, who are themselves practising writers, adds invaluable credibility to the programme.”

Nine industry-sponsored scholarships were presented to students from the 2014 cohort, who began the programme in September. The awards support talented writers who are pursuing a career in television.

The MA TV Fiction Writing programme is the only dedicated full-time postgraduate programme of its type in the UK. Success stories include graduate Mark Stevenson, who has gone on to write for EastEnders, Casualty and Holby City; and Hollyoaks writer Philip Wright.

Guests at the scholarship awards included Scottish actors Blythe Duff and Libby McArthur; Executive Producer of BBC Scotland Gaynor Holmes, who is also a member of the programme’s advisory board; Iseabail MacTaggart from MG ALBA and Amanda Millen, ScreenHI.

The recipients of the 2014 MA TV Fiction Writing scholarship are: Colin Bell; Sonya Kunawicz; Lorna Martin; Stephen Callaghan; Charles Ward; Daniel Donnelly; Gemma Copping; Seumas MacMillan; and Daisy Lucas.

This year’s industry scholarship providers are: BBC Scotland; FremantleMedia UK; Warner Bros.; Shed Media; Shelagh Anne Venning Trust, Larkhall Films and MG ALBA.