Jillian Smith (Now Jillian Mannion)
Jillian Smith is the first writer to win a Dewar Arts Award. She has been writing since a very young age.
Described as a precocious talent by her university tutors, Jillian demonstrated as an undergraduate that she was equally fluent in writing poetry, academic essays or film scripts.
Jillian worked regularly with the Writer in Residence at Dundee University and joined Creative Writing Groups to hone her writing skills. Like all budding writers she has been sending her work away since a teenager.
In 2005 Jillian gained a first in English at Dundee University and is now fulfilling her life's ambition of studying writing for film and TV at the prestigious Vancouver Film School.
Towards the end of her course, an agent who specialises in selling feature film scripts to major Hollywood production companies visited the Film School to have students pitch their ideas to him. Jillian wrote to say that her idea for a feature film had caught his eye.
Katherine Montagu, a tutor on the Vancouver Film School writing course wrote to the trustees after Jillian's graduation, "You should be very proud that you had the foresight to invest in the education of a brilliant young writer like Jillian Smith."
How the Award Helped
Jillian received a Dewar Arts Award to support her studies at the Vancouver Film School.
Since the Award
"Love Bites", a feature film romantic comedy that Jillian co-wrote, went into production in early 2009, directed by Katrin Bowen and produced by Cherry-Lee Fast of Fast Productions.