The Wee Review’s Ariane Branigan has won the Fringe Young Writer’s Award, awarded by the Fringe Society to a journalist aged 16 – 21 years old, for her review of Matt Parker’s comedy science show Humble Pi. The award comes with an offer of mentorship and paid writing experience with The Scotsman newspaper during next year’s Fringe.
Ariane started writing for The Wee Review in 2017, while still a student at James Gillespie’s High School, and has produced over 60 reviews for the site, as well as acting as a sub-editor. She now studies Linguistics at Edinburgh University.
‘I’ve been a sub-editor for The Wee Review during both the 2018 and 2019 Fringe, but my true love is writing, which is why I’m so pleased to have won this award. I’m so excited to be working under the mentorship of The Scotsman and I’m very thankful to them, the Fringe Society and The Wee Review for giving me this amazing opportunity.’
It is the second time The Wee Review has won the award, following Flora Gosling’s win in the inaugural competition last year. Ariane was commended in that competition and has taken the step up this year.
The Wee Review’s editor, Robert Peacock, said, ‘I’m delighted to see three of our writers recognised for their work in this way and in particular, Ariane, who has been a valuable part of our Fringe team from the moment she joined us. As with the shows we review, so with our writers – we’re looking to support and reward talent. Age is not a barrier if you’re keen, reliable and have a flair for writing – which Ariane definitely has. I am not surprised she won, although with respect, it can never match the four pigs review she got from Fringepig in 2018.’
Announced at the same time were the winners of the 2019 Allen Wright Award which recognises the best feature writer and best reviewer under the age of 30. These went to Katie Hawthorne and Deborah Chu respectively.
Winners were selected by a judging panel that included Peacock, Arusa Qureshi (Editor of The List), Neil Cooper (Theatre Critic at The Herald), Amy Taylor (Media and Marketing Adviser at Edinburgh Festival Fringe Society, and former Theatre Editor of The Skinny) and Oliver Davies (Head of Marketing and Development, Edinburgh Festival Fringe Society).