‘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.

Alex Gray

Alex Gray is the Sunday Times bestselling author of the Detective William Lorimer series. Born and raised in Glasgow, she has been awarded the Scottish Association of Writers' Constable and Pitlochry trophies for her crime writing and is the co-founder of the international Bloody Scotland Crime Writing Festival.


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 latest novel Mayflies was published by Faber & Faber in 2020.


Robin Robertson is from the north-east coast of Scotland. He has published eight books of poetry, including the prose poem 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. His latest work Grimoire: New Scottish Folk Tales has been widely lauded for mixing Scots, English and Gaelic to mesmerising effect.