‘literary lock-in’

Catherine Brown

A former food columnist, restaurant critic, catering lecturer, hotel chef and co-presenter – with Derek Cooper – of STV and Grampian’s Scotland’s Larder, Catherine’s first food book was Scottish Regional Recipes in 1981. It was followed by seven other books on Scotland’s rich food and drink heritage and its unique quality. To encourage the catering industry to celebrate this asset, she has also written several regional food guides, among them The Isle of Arran Taste Trail. She now lives on the island.


John grew up in Merseyside. His passion for the outdoors was ignited by a school trip to the Lake District followed by walking the Pennine way. Thirty years ago he moved to the Highlands to spend his free time in the mountains.  John began writing ten years ago and now writes about the hills and bothies he loves.  He is currently working on his fourth book, Wild Winter, and increasingly writes about the environmental challenges facing our wild places.


Before turning to writing, Karen was a police officer, and her early novels focus on the people behind the uniform. Her fifth novel This is Where I Am, about a Somali refugee in Glasgow was a Radio 4 Book at Bedtime, and has been optioned for TV – as have her police books. Originally from Glasgow, Karen now lives in Galloway, where she completed Rise, set in the run-up to the independence referendum. In 2015, Karen was awarded a Creative Scotland Artist’s Bursary for research into her most recent novel, The Sound of the Hours.


Martin Edwards received the CWA Dagger in the Library for his body of work and is President of the Detection Club, consultant to the British Library’s Crime Classics, and ex-Chair of the CWA. His latest novel is Mortmain Hall. His whodunits include The Coffin Trail, shortlisted for the Theakston’s Prize for best crime novel. He has also won the Edgar, Agatha, H.R.F. Keating and Macavity awards, the CWA Short Story Dagger, and the Poirot award for his contribution to the crime genre.


Andrew O’Hagan grew up in Ayrshire and is one of Scotland’s best-known novelists. Three of his books have been nominated for the Booker Prize, he won the Glenfiddich Writer of the Year Award, the Lost Angeles Times Book Award, and is Editor-at-Large of the London Review of Books. Andrew is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature and was editor of the anthology A Night Out With Robert Burns. His new novel Mayflies is published by Faber & Faber in 2020.


Robin Robertson is from the north-east coast of Scotland. He has published six books of poetry, most recently The Long Take, which won the Walter Scott Prize for historical fiction, the Goldsmiths Prize for innovative fiction and was the first narrative poem to be shortlisted for the Booker Prize. The film rights to The Long Take have just been sold.