A TEENAGER who started a theatre blog 18 months ago has won a major new award which will see her join The Scotsman’s team of critics at next year’s Edinburgh Festival Fringe.
Flora Gosling will be mentored over the next year after being named winner of the inaugural Fringe Young Writers’ Award.
The 18-year-old, from Newburgh, in Aberdeenshire, has already been writing for The Wee Review website.
Open to aspiring critics aged 16-21, the award was instigated to coincide with Scotland’s Year of Young People.
Ms Gosling won with her write-up in The Wee Review of the play De Fuut, which was written and performed by Bastiaan Vandendriessche at Summerhall.
The judging panel said: “Unlike many of the reviews we read today, Flora was careful not to put herself into the review and instead let the review speak for itself, handling a difficult topic with real promise.”
Ms Gosling, who is about to start a course in English literature and theatre studies at Glasgow University, has reviewed more than 90 shows over the past 18 months. She said: “I was absolutely jubilant to hear I’d won this award. I’m incredibly happy that my work has paid off and that my writing has been validated. I hope I’ll eventually be able to make a career of it.”
The new Fringe Young Writers’ Award was judged alongside entries for the long-running Allen Wright Awards, which are named after the former arts editor at The Scotsman.
Tim Bano won the features category in the competition, which recognises writers under the age of 30, while Kate Wyver was recognised for her reviews.
Shona McCarthy, chief executive of the Fringe Society, said: “We work to support everyone who participates in the Fringe and we’re acutely aware of how important quality arts journalism is to the success of the festival.”