​​Fringe Society announces winner of award for young critics

​Following a two-year hiatus due to the pandemic, a scheme to encourage young critics on the Fringe is up and running once again, with ​the Fringe Society revealing that Suzanne O’Brien, 21, ​has won the 2022 Fringe Young Writers Award.

As a recipient of the prize, Suzanne will receive one-to-one mentoring from arts writers at the Scotsman and paid work as part of the paper’s review team at Fringe 2023.

Established in 2018 to encourage the next generation of arts writers at the Fringe, the award is open to anyone aged 16–21, submitting work either published or unpublished.

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Flora Gosling won the 2018 award, and, following three mentoring sessions with Scotsman critics, joined the paper's review team in the summer of 2019.

2022 Fringe Young Writers Award winner Suzanne O'Brien
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Due to the pandemic, the 2019 award-winner Ariane Branigan was unable to join the review team in 2020 or 2021, but contributed reviews to The Scotsman and scotsman.com in August 2022.

Shona McCarthy, chief executive of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe Society, said: “We were delighted to support the return of the Young Fringe Writers’ Award this August. Fringe reviews are critical for our artists and venues, and this award gives us the opportunity to support and encourage young and emerging writers. Our many congratulations to Suzanne on receiving the 2022 award and we look forward to following her future career. Our thanks also to the Scotsman team for their package of support to Suzanne over the coming months.”

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Currently studying towards a BA in English Literature, O'Brien is also a professional actor, and is working for Rolled Up Productions as assistant director of a new schools theatre touring production which explores the impact gambling can have on young people.​

Her submission, which consisted of reviews written for the All Edinburgh Theatre website, impressed the judges both in terms of the range of shows covered, and with its attention to detail.

Commenting on her win, ​​O’Brien said: "I am beyond delighted to be recognised with the Fringe Young Writers Award 2022, and to receive mentoring from The Scotsman team. I feel as a young person it is incredibly important for young voices to be out there, seen and heard​,​ which is exactly what this award champions and supports.​​"