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Ian Rankin honours blind teenage creative writing student

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Andrew Pettigrew was presented with his Pushkin Prize creative writing award for Scottish students yesterday

One of Andrew’s Pushkin Prize entries was a poem about Louis Braille, who is his hero. The others were a fantasy short story and an article about death. Part of Andrew’s prize is a week of creative writing workshops in the Scottish Highlands.

‘I wasn’t interested in reading until I lost my sight when I was young,’ said Andrew. ‘Then I used action figures to tell stories and from there I started writing them in Braille. I was so happy when I found out I won the awards I did a bit of a victory dance. It was really exciting to meet Ian Rankin.’

Andrew has also won the Seeing Ear Creative Writing Competition, with the prize of assistive technology software worth more than £800.

He was presented with his Pushkin Prize by Ian Rankin at a special event at his school, The Royal Blind School in Edinburgh, yesterday.

‘All human beings have imagination and creativity, especially when you’re young, you have endless imagination and endless creativity,’ Ian Rankin said to Andrew. ‘At some point the adult world usually says you’ve got to grow up and stop doing that, you’ve got to put away your imaginary friends and stop creating these imaginary worlds in your head and on paper.

‘Writers say no thanks, I’m going to be a kid the rest of my life, I’m going to keep those imaginary friends and I’m going to keep creating these other worlds, these other universes where I can control it and its great fun as well as being therapeutic.
‘I will congratulate you again, this is a wonderful two prizes you’ve won, I’m so thrilled for you pal.’




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