A new annual award of £750 has been won this year by Local Student Kirstie Ross. The award is given to the student who has achieved the highest mark overall on the creative writing module within the MLitt Highlands and Island Literature programme.
Kirstie who is 25 years old has recently returned to Thurso with her two small sons aged 3 and 1, told me she began the Highlands and Islands Mlitt immediately after graduating with Honours in Literature from The University of the Highlands and Islands (UHI).
Kirstie had studied her first 3 years at Glasgow University but transferred to UHI when she moved back to Thurso. She realised during her Honours year that she definitely wanted to stay in academia and that she’d like to pursue a career in English Lecturing, seeing this as her clearest route toward her PHD. She went on to say “A lot happened during my Honours and Masters years, including having a my second baby, so it was never that easy to balance the workload but I enjoyed what I was doing so much that it never became a chore trying to manage it.”
Her creative writing portfolio is based on family and being a Mum and was written as a poetry sequence.
When asked how she felt upon discovering that she had won this years award Kirstie said “Winning the Highland Society of London Creative Writing Award was a huge surprise. Somehow I hadn’t even heard of it, so when I was emailed and told I had won £750 for my writing I wasn’t even immediately sure what it was for! When I realised that it was for my Creative Writing portfolio, completed as part of my Mlitt, I felt honoured, as I am very critical of my own work and I didn’t really think what I had produced was that great! Writing the Creative Portfolio never felt like work, it was always more like fun to me, so it was such a surprise to receive such a prestigious and sought after award. I was absolutely delighted and so glad that my work has had this kind of recognition. It has made me realise the value of the creative writing I produce and given me a lot more confidence in this sphere. I’m now going to be teaching on UHIs new Creative Writing degree which is amazing- basically I’ve got my dream job already and winning this award and the production of the creative portfolio has definitely helped with getting that!”
Kirstie shall receive her prize at this years graduation ceremony which shall take place at The St Magnus Cathedral on Friday 29th September.