This year’s winner is Joe Christie. Joe graduated this summer with a first class honours degree in English Literature. Whilst at Edinburgh, he divided his time between his academic career and his involvement in student theatre, serving as President of the Edinburgh University Theatre Company during his second year. Joe performed in and directed various productions at Bedlam Theatre by playwrights such as David Grieg. His passion for Scottish writers nurtured through a curriculum where he read works as diverse as Walter Scott’s Ivanhoe and Muriel Spark’s The Ballad of Peckham Rye. During his third year abroad at McGill University in Montreal, much of Joe’s coursework examined the cultural links between Scotland and Quebec and this inspired him, on his return to Edinburgh, to focus his final honours study on Scottish literature. Alongside a first-class dissertation that examined how notions of belonging sit within the queer literary canon, it is Joe’s writing on critically overlooked Scottish women writers of the 20th century, the likes of Jessie Kesson and (fellow Shetlander) Willa Muir, which has led him to be awarded the Walter Scott Medal for 2018.
The medal was accepted by Penny Fielding on his behalf.