Lochalsh woman Anna-Roisin Ullman-Smith (pictured) will find out this week if she has won a young writers’ award established by the successful musical ‘Wicked’.
A ceremony in London’s Apollo Victoria Theatre on Friday for all 120 finalists will be attended by the judges, which include Camilla, HRH The Duchess of Cornwall and children’s author Cressida Cowell, best known for the ‘How To Train Your Dragon’ series.
The Wicked Young Writer Awards was created to link the important messages of the production with a competition that would inspire young people to use creative writing to look at life a little differently. It recognises excellence in writing, encourages creativity, and helps develop writing talent in young people between 5-25 years old from all backgrounds and areas of the UK. Anna-Roisin’s science fiction short story ‘Shades’ made it through to the long list of 120.
Anna-Roisin (21) grew up in Auchtertyre and went to Plockton High School where she won the Cundiff Cup for English. She is due to graduate from Napier University, Edinburgh, with a BA in Journalism later this month and was a runners up at the Scottish Student Journalism Awards in May this year. She was entered in the Student Publication Category, for her fashion magazine ‘No Edit’. The magazine highlighted fashion with no air brushing or digital enhancement of models and was a celebration of ‘body norms’. It was the main publication allowed to photo story the end of year fashion show for the fashion students at Glasgow School of Art and was featured at the end of year show at Napier. The magazine was issued on a limited print run in Glasgow.
Diagnosed with dyslexia at the age of 18 in the first year of her HNC Journalism course at Glasgow Clyde College, Anna-Roisin said: “Apparently my dyslexia was balanced by my memory which is extremely good. I can remember shapes of words rather than how individual letters work together. Up to that point I thought everyone worked in the same way, so it was a huge surprise to me that the world looks at writing differently to me.”