Christine Kennedy Award 2023
It is with great sadness that we have to inform our members that Veyatie Astley, the winner of the 2023 Christine Kennedy Award Bursary died very suddenly and unexpectedly at her home in August, following a brave battle with the eating disorder anorexia nervosa.
The Bursary had been won by Veyatie in June, and the first instalment of the four-year award was due to be presented to her at an event at the Nairn Book and Arts Festival in early September.
The elder daughter of Tanera and Robin Astley of Easter Tomloan, Cawdor, and sister of Pollaidh, Veyatie had been accepted for a place this autumn at Edinburgh University to study English Literature and History.
In her Personal Statement submitted to the Committee of the Nairn Literary Institute in application for the 2023 Award, Veyatie's enthusiasm for school, learning and life shone through as she described her love for singing, dancing and musical theatre, art and painting, and also sports - particularly hurtling down the Cairngorms on skis. It was, however, her love of English Literature and History that became her main passion and focus, and set her on an aspirational path towards tertiary education and her dreams of becoming a writer herself. At her Memorial Service her father Robin read a short story called 'The Gate', which Veyatie had written. It was a charming, imaginative and very well-written piece, which left all those present wondering just what this young lady of such talent might have achieved in future had life dealt her a fairer hand.
The Committee of the Nairn Lit, on behalf of all our Members, can only pass on our most heartfelt condolences to Veyatie's parents, sister and wider family on the loss of such a bright light, and let them know that although we did not know her in person, she will be remembered by us all.