Booker Prize winner to return to Heriot-Watt for online event



Winner of the 2020 Booker Prize, Douglas Stuart, will revisit his roots at Heriot-Watt University this week when he will talk about his remarkable career and passion for writing.

The renowned author will take part in an online interview hosted by Honorary Professor, Sheila-Mary Carruthers, on Wednesday 2 December at 7pm (GMT). They will explore his experiences whilst studying at Heriot-Watt’s Scottish College of Textiles Campus - now known as the School of Textiles and Design - how he started his career, his advice for today’s students and the journey that led him to write his debut novel.

Douglas graduated with a BA Honours in Textiles in 1998 and awarded the Watt Club Medal in recognition of his exceptional academic achievement. After leaving the Galashiels campus, he moved to New York where he worked as a Senior designer for Calvin Klein and Ralph Lauren.

But 2020 proved to be a pivotal year for the Glaswegian with the release of his debut novel, Shuggie Bain, which was published to international critical acclaim and culminated with the Booker Prize.

Honorary Professor, Sheila-Mary Carruthers, is looking forward to talking with Douglas, a man who she remembers fondly from when he first arrived at Heriot-Watt University more than 20 years ago. She said: “Douglas has always had a flair for creativity and energy when he arrived at the University.

“You could tell, even all those years ago, that he would always provide an extra creative detail to his work, which made him stand out. It’s absolutely wonderful to see that he has gone on to achieve such massive success.

“It’s not every day you get the chance to speak with the Booker Prize winner so I cannot wait to sit down with Douglas and hear about his extraordinary life and career.

“Heriot-Watt School of Textiles and Design has distinguished alumni across the world who have climbed to the very top of their respective professions and Douglas is a great example. Throughout his career, his skill was to apply his outstanding creativity to produce amazing design outcomes for a number of important fashion markets.”

The event is the first in a new series of interviews called ‘Talent in Conversation’ and will feature prominent alumni predominately from the University’s School of Textiles and Design.

If you wish to listen to Douglas this week, the event is free to view and can be booked online.


Craig McManamon

Job title
Communication officer