Sam Heughan offers students chance to win mentoring and cash prize

The Outlander star is funding three annual scholarships for undergraduate students in the School of Drama, Dance, Production and Film.

Sam Heughan offers students chance to win mentoring and cash prize James McCarthy via Getty Images
Creative contest Write Start launched on Monday at The Royal Conservatoire of Scotland (RCS).

Outlander star Sam Heughan is offering students at his old drama school the chance to win a mentoring session with him and £5000 in funding to bring their ideas to life.

Creative contest Write Start launched on Monday at The Royal Conservatoire of Scotland (RCS) where Heughan, 41, graduated from in 2003.

It is set to encourage students to expand their skills across music, drama, dance, production, film and education.

The student or team of students behind the successful submission will receive £5000 as well as mentoring support from Heughan and industry professionals.

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Heughan, who graduated with a BA in acting, is funding three annual scholarships for undergraduate students in the School of Drama, Dance, Production and Film.

The Scots actor went on to find worldwide fame playing the lead character of Jamie Fraser in smash-hit time-travelling drama series Outlander.

Write Start is open to all undergraduate and postgraduate students at RCS, ranked in the world’s top three destinations to study the performing and production arts.

Students from any discipline can submit either a pitch for a performance such as a play, musical, film, opera, performance piece, ballet or an innovative production idea.

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Write Start follows the announcement in July of Heughan’s plans to fund a new ten-year drama scholarship programme at RCS.

Heughan said: “There are so many wonderful disciplines at the Conservatoire and that collaboration can be really interesting.

“It’s important for students to think outside the box.

“Maybe a ballet dancer has a burning ambition to be a writer or just has a really good idea.

“From my own career, I’ve realised that there’s a lot of fluidity.

“You might find that there are other avenues that you can explore that you didn’t even think about that can also help support your chosen career.

“It energises you and keeps you adaptable to the industry.

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“When we see people from all walks of life or different departments collaborating on something, that’s when real creativity can shine.

“I’ve started writing a little bit.

“I never thought I’d be a writer, I never thought I could do it, but once you sit down and start it just surprises you.

“I’m really looking forward to seeing what the students come up with.”

Write Start: The Sam Heughan Creative Commission is part of the Royal Conservatoire’s 175th anniversary celebrations in 2022.

Professor Jeffrey Sharkey, principal of the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, said: “Sam Heughan is a shining example of how to pay it forward, who uses his platform for good to make a difference in the world and enables others to reach their own potential.

“Through the Sam Heughan Scholarship and Write Start, he is helping to nurture the next generation of performing and production artists at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland by sharing the opportunities that he experienced while studying here.

“We are deeply grateful to Sam for his passionate support and incredible generosity.”