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About Us

Birlinn Limited is an independent publishing house based in Edinburgh, Scotland. Established in 1992 by Managing Director Hugh Andrew, Birlinn Limited is composed of a number of imprints, including: Birlinn, which publishes Scottish and general UK interest books, from biography to history, military history, and Scottish Gaelic; Polygon, publishes literary fiction and poetry, both classic and modern; BC Books is dedicated to publishing children’s books; Arena Sport is a sport imprint and is designed for the general trade; and John Donald publishes academic books.
 
 
Birlinn publishes Scottish and general UK interest books, from biography to history, military history, and Scottish Gaelic. The name comes from the old Norse word ‘birlinn’, meaning a long boat or small galley used especially in the Hebrides and West Highlands of Scotland in the Middle Ages. 
 
Polygon publishes literary fiction and poetry, both classic and modern, by writers as highly acclaimed as James Kelman, Liz Lochhead, Agnes Owens, Norman MacCaig, Robin Jenkins, George Mackay Brown and the author of the No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency series, Alexander McCall Smith, and counts among its authors some of the best in contemporary Scottish writing – Kevin MacNeil, Denzil Meyrick, Michael Pedersen, Shirley McKay and Rosemary Goring – as well as international writers such as Leila Aboulela and Jan-Philipp Sendker. Music journalists Stuart Cosgrove, Tom Doyle, Vic Galloway and Zoë Howe also publish non-fiction with Polygon.
 
 
BC Books – Bold Books for Curious Kids – is designed to provide writing and illustration of the highest quality for young readers throughout the UK and beyond. BC Books is dedicated to nurturing young readers and helping them discover a passion for reading that will last a lifetime. 
 
Arena Sport is a sport imprint and is designed for the general trade. The sport books range from football and rugby, to golf and cycling. These books have an international as well as national appeal. 
 

Birlinn eBook publishes Birlinn Limited's eBooks across all imprints.

John Donald publishes academic books.