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  • Alexander McCall Smith
    Alexander McCall Smith

    Born: 1948, Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe)
First Book: The White Hippo (Hamish Hamilton, 1980)
Awards: The No.1 Ladies’ Detective Agency received two 1998 Booker Prize for Fiction Judges’ Special Recommendations and was voted as one of The Times Literary Supplement’s International

  • Muriel Spark
    Muriel Spark

    Muriel Spark was born in Edinburgh in 1918. A poet, essayist, biographer and novelist, she won much international praise, including being twice shortlisted for the Booker Prize. The Times placed her eighth in its list of the Fifty Greatest British Writers Since 1945. She died in Tuscany in

  • Alan Taylor
    Alan Taylor

    Alan Taylor has been a journalist for over 30 years. He was deputy and managing editor at the Scotsman , and for the last 15 years has been Writer-at-Large for the Sunday Herald . He has contributed to numerous publications, including The TLS , The New Yorker and The Melbourne Age , and

  • Denzil Meyrick
    Denzil Meyrick

    Denzil Meyrick was educated in Argyll, then after studying politics, joined Strathclyde Police, serving in Glasgow. After being injured and developing back problems, he entered the business world, and has operated in many diverse roles, including director of a large engineering company and

  • Roseanne Watt
    Roseanne Watt

    Roseanne Watt is a poet, filmmaker and musician from Shetland. She is currently poetry editor for The Island Review and was the winner of the 2015 Outspoken Poetry Prize (Poetry in Film) and runner-up in the 2018 Aesthetica Creative Writing Award. She lives and works in Edinburgh.

  • Tom Doyle
    Tom Doyle

    Tom Doyle has written for Q, Mojo, Elle and Melody Maker. He was born in Dundee and lives in London.

  • Jane Menczer
    Jane Menczer

    Jane Menczer lives in Cambridge and teaches drama at a local comprehensive school. She won an Escalator Literature Award and a Grant for the Arts to help fund the completion of An Unlikely Agent , which is her first novel.   Q & A with Jane Menczer 

  • Ron Butlin
    Ron Butlin

    Ron Butlin is a poet, playwright, novelist, short story writer and opera librettist whose works have been broadcast in the UK and abroad and have been translated into many languages. His volumes of poetry include the award-winning Ragtime in Unfamiliar Bars (Secker & Warburg, 1985) and

  • Mark Muller Stuart
    Mark Muller Stuart

    Mark Muller Stuart is a senior advocate who specialises in public international law, advising international bodies on humanitarian issues and conflict resolution. He is a senior mediator to the United Nations Department of Political Affairs and has conducted international missions throughout

  • James Robertson
    James Robertson

    James Robertson is a multi-award-winning poet, editor, novelist and publisher in both Scots and English. He is a Brownsbank Creative Writing Fellow and was the first Writer-in-Residence at the Scottish Parliament. James was a contributor to the crime anthology Crimespotting ,

  • Joan Lennon
    Joan Lennon

    Joan Lennon , born in Canada, has lived in Scotland since 1978. She has written a large number of children’s books, including a number of successful series – The Wickit Chronicles, Tales from the Keep and the Slightly Jones series. Her books have been translated into numerous

  • Stuart Cosgrove
    Stuart Cosgrove

    Stuart Cosgrove is a television executive with the UK broadcaster Channel 4. Originally from Perth, he was a fanzine writer on the northern soul scene before joining the black music paper Echoes as a staff writer. He became media editor with the NME and a feature writer for a range of newspapers

  • Kevin MacNeil
    Kevin MacNeil

    Kevin MacNeil is an award-winning writer from the Outer Hebrides now living in London. He is a novelist, poet, editor and screenwriter. The Brilliant & Forever is his third novel. Listen to the Polygon podcast with Kevin MacNeil: Find out more about Kevin and his

  • Malachy Tallack
    Malachy Tallack

    Malachy Tallack is a young writer and musician who has recently been awarded a New Writers Award by the Scottish Book Trust and an Artist’s Bursary by Creative Scotland. He is currently being mentored by John Burnside. He has worked as a reporter on the Shetland Times and his writing has

  • Rosemary Goring
    Rosemary Goring

    Rosemary Goring was born in Dunbar and studied social and economic history at the University of St Andrews; and, after graduation, worked at W&R Chambers as a reference editor. Rosemary was the literary editor of Scotland on Sunday , followed by a brief spell as editor of Life & Work

  • Vic Galloway
    Vic Galloway

    Vic Galloway is a BBC Radio broadcaster and TV presenter whose radio programmes have been broadcast for more than a decade on Radio 1, Radio Scotland and 6 Music. He has presented the T in the Park coverage and other music shows and documentaries for BBC1 and 2, and his music journalism has

  • Christopher Rush
    Christopher Rush

    Christopher Rush was born in St Monans and taught literature for thirty years in Edinburgh. His books include A Twelvemonth and a Day and the highly acclaimed To Travel Hopefully. A Twelvemonth and a Day served as inspiration for the film Venus Peter , released in 1989. The story was

  • Gregory Dowling
    Gregory Dowling

    Gregory Dowling grew up in Bristol before studying English at Christ Church, Oxford where he obtained a First Class Degree. He moved to Venice in 1981, where he is Associate Professor of American Literature at Ca’ Foscari University of Venice. Gregory has published four novels, co-edited

  • Stuart Clark
    Stuart Clark

    Stuart Clark’s career is devoted to presenting the complex world of astronomy to the public. He holds a first-class honours degree and a PhD in astrophysics, and is a Fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society and a former Vice Chair of the Association of British Science Writers and space

  • Liz Lochhead
    Liz Lochhead

    Photograph  ©  Alastair Cook Liz Lochhead was born in Motherwell in 1947. While studying Drawing and Painting at the Glasgow School of Art she began to write seriously, gradually losing her way with her initial dream of becoming a painter. Her first book of poetry,

  • George Mackay Brown
    George Mackay Brown

    Born: 1921 in Stromness, Orkney Islands Died: 1996 in Stromness First Book: The Storm (Orkney Press, 1954) Awards: Short-listed for the 1994 Booker Prize for Beside the Ocean of Time George Mackay Brown is considered to be one of the greatest Scottish poets and authors of the twentieth

  • Norman MacCaig
    Norman MacCaig

    Born: 1910 in Edinburgh Died: 1996 in Edinburgh First Book: Far Cry (Routledge, 1943) Awards: Awarded an OBE and the Queen’s Gold Medal for Poetry in 1986 Norman MacCaig was born in Edinburgh on 14 November 1910. His father was an Edinburgh chemist and his mother hailed from the island

  • Sorley MacLean
    Sorley MacLean

    Sorley MacLean was born on the island of Rasaay in 1911. He was brought up within a family and community immersed in Gaelic language and culture, particularly song. He studied English at Edinburgh University from 1929, taking a first class honours degree. Despite this influence, he eventually

  • Agnes Owens
    Agnes Owens

    'Agnes Owens' hallmarks have been a frank irony, a deadpan gothic quality and a down-to-earth insistence on the surreality of most people's normality' – Ali Smith 'Agnes Owens was the most unfairly neglected of all Scottish authors. I don't know why'

  • Michael Pedersen
    Michael Pedersen

    Michael Pedersen has published two successful chapbooks and an acclaimed debut collection Play with Me (Polygon). He was named a ‘Canongate Future 40’; was awarded the John Mather Trust Rising Star of Literature Award 2014 (appointed by Scottish Poetry Library); received a funded

  • Scott Hutchison (illustrator)
    Scott Hutchison (illustrator)

    Scott Hutchison  was a Scottish singer, songwriter, guitarist, and artist. He was best known as the founding member – and primary songwriter – of the indie rock band Frightened Rabbit, with whom he recorded five studio albums. The band conquered the UK Top Ten Album Charts,

  • Kate Leiper (illustrator)
    Kate Leiper (illustrator)

    Kate Leiper is an artist and illustrator who regularly exhibits and undertakes commissions throughout the UK. She is particularly drawn to mythical and animal subjects and has previously worked on Illustrated Treasury of Scottish Folk and Fairy Tales and An Illustrated Treasury of Scottish

  • Jill Calder (illustrator)
    Jill Calder (illustrator)

    Jill Calder has been working as an illustrator since 1993. She is also a calligrapher, digital artist and lecturer with a love of drawing, ideas, colour, ink, typography, book-binding and sketchbooks. Her clients include Visa, The New Yorker , Adobe, Penguin, Siemens, Kellogs and a snail farm

  • Katie Scott (illustrator)
    Katie Scott (illustrator)

    Katie Scott is the illustrator of Botanicum , and of the best-selling Animalium , which was chosen as the Sunday Times Children’s Book of the Year, 2014. She studied illustration at the University of Brighton and is inspired by the elaborate paintings of Ernst Haeckel. The

  • Iona Lee
    Iona Lee

    Iona Lee, born in Edinburgh in 1996 and raised in East Lothian by two theatre actors, is a poet, visual artist and performer. Iona fell into the spoken word scene when she was seventeen and, in 2016, won the title of Scottish Slam Champion. Iona has performed at the Edinburgh International Book

  • Robin A. Crawford
    Robin A. Crawford

    Robin A. Crawford was born in Glasgow. His degree is in fine art and has in his time catalogued the print collection at the Hunterian Art Gallery, University of Glasgow and lectured on Art History at the University of Edinburgh. For the past 25 years he has been a bookseller and bookshop

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