Jason Allardyce, Sunday Times, 2 August 2009
Ian Rankin, the best-selling author of the Rebus novels, is to join some of Scotland\’s leading politicians, business figures and academics on the judging of the Sunday Times Scotland essay-writing competition. The contest, organised in conjunction with Reform Scotland, an independent think-tank, seeks to promote political debate among the under 25-s and encourage fresh thinking on how to improve political accountability in the light of the debate on the future of Scottish devolution and the recent Westminster expenses scandal. The best entry in two age categories, 16-18 and 19-25, will wine a prize of £300 and a work experience placement with the Sunday Times Scotland, the country\’s best-selling quality newspaper, and Reform Scotland. Runners-up will be given a year\’s free subscription to the newspaper.
Rankin will be joined by Michael Fry, a writer and historian, Jim Mather, the enterprise minister and Wendy Alexander, the former Scottish Labour leader. The other judges are Keith Skeoch, chief executive of Standard Life Investments, Dan Macdonald, chief executive of Macdonald Estates Group, Ben Thomson, chairman of Reform Scotland and of Noble Group, Dr Craig Smith, a lecturer in moral philosophy at St Andrews University and Carlos Alba, the editor of The Sunday Times Scotland. The deadline for entries is October 9 and the winners will be announced next year.