Writers Famous Writers from Scotland

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List of famous writers from Scotland, listed alphabetically with photos when available. Scotland is home to many prolific writers, including those who write fiction, non-fiction, poetry, biographies and more. These are some of the best Scottish writers that have ever lived, so if you're a native of Scotland and an aspiring writer then use this list as inspiration to achieve your own writing goals.

List writers include William Robertson, Jacob Aagaard and many additional writers as well.

This list answers the questions, "Who are popular Scottish writers?" and "Which writers are from Scotland?"

You can click on the names of these renowned writers of Scotland in order to get more information about each one. Some of these historic writers may no longer be living in Scotland, but they're all of Scotland descent.

1
Arthur Conan Doyle is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list Famous Writers from Scotland
Died at 71 (1859-1930) Sir Arthur Ignatius Conan Doyle KStJ, DL was a Scottish writer and physician, most noted for his fictional stories about the detective Sherlock Holmes, which are generally considered milestones ...more

2
Robert Louis Stevenson is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list Famous Writers from Scotland
Died at 44 (1850-1894) Robert Louis Balfour Stevenson was a Scottish novelist, poet, essayist, and travel writer. His most famous works are Treasure Island, Kidnapped, and Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde. A ...more

3
Iain Banks is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list Famous Writers from Scotland
Died at 59 (1954-2013) Iain Banks was a Scottish author. He wrote mainstream fiction under the name Iain Banks, and science fiction as Iain M. Banks, including the initial of his adopted middle name Menzies. Following ...more

4
J. M. Barrie is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list Famous Writers from Scotland
Died at 77 (1860-1937) Sir James Matthew Barrie, 1st Baronet, OM was a Scottish author and dramatist, best remembered today as the creator of Peter Pan. The child of a family of small-town weavers, he was educated in ...more

5
George MacDonald is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list Famous Writers from Scotland
Died at 81 (1824-1905) George MacDonald was a Scottish author, poet, and Christian minister. He was a pioneering figure in the field of fantasy literature and the mentor of fellow writer Lewis Carroll. His writings ...more

6
Alexander McCall Smith is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list Famous Writers from Scotland
age 70 R. Alexander "Sandy" McCall Smith, CBE, FRSE, is a Rhodesian-born British writer and Emeritus Professor of Medical Law at the University of Edinburgh. In the late twentieth century, ...more

7
Kenneth Grahame is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list Famous Writers from Scotland
Died at 73 (1859-1932) Kenneth Grahame was a Scottish writer, most famous for The Wind in the Willows, one of the classics of children's literature. He also wrote The Reluctant Dragon; both books were later adapted ...more

8
Carol Ann Duffy is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list Famous Writers from Scotland
age 63 Dame Carol Ann Duffy, DBE, FRSL is a Scottish poet and playwright. She is Professor of Contemporary Poetry at Manchester Metropolitan University, and was appointed Britain's Poet Laureate in May ...more

9
Muriel Gray is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list Famous Writers from Scotland
age 60 Muriel Gray is a Scottish author, broadcaster and journalist. She first came to public notice as an interviewer on Channel 4’s alternative pop show The Tube, and then appeared as a regular ...more

10
Josephine Tey is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list Famous Writers from Scotland
Died at 56 (1896-1952) Josephine Tey was a pseudonym used by Elizabeth Mackintosh a Scottish author best known for her mystery novels. She also wrote as Gordon Daviot, under which name she wrote plays with an ...more

11
Jack Whyte is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list Famous Writers from Scotland
age 78 Jack Whyte is a Scottish-Canadian novelist of historical fiction. Born and raised in Scotland, Whyte has been living in Canada since 1967. He resides in Kelowna, British Columbia. Whyte's major ...more

12
Steven Moffat is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list Famous Writers from Scotland
age 57 Steven Moffat is a Scottish television writer and producer, known for his work as showrunner, writer and producer of the British television series Doctor Who and Sherlock. Moffat's first ...more

13
Muriel Spark is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list Famous Writers from Scotland
Died at 88 (1918-2006) Dame Muriel Spark, DBE, CLit, FRSE, FRSL was an award-winning Scottish novelist. In 2008 The Times newspaper named Spark in its list of "the 50 greatest British writers since 1945", at

14
Walter Scott is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list Famous Writers from Scotland
Died at 61 (1771-1832) Sir Walter Scott, 1st Baronet, FRSE was a Scottish historical novelist, playwright, and poet. Scott was the first modern English-language author to have a truly international career in his ...more

15
William Boyd is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list Famous Writers from Scotland
age 66 William Boyd, CBE is a British novelist and screenwriter.

16
Val McDermid is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list Famous Writers from Scotland
age 63 Val McDermid is a Scottish crime writer, best known for a series of suspense novels featuring Dr. Tony Hill.

17
Andrew Marr is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list Famous Writers from Scotland
age 59 Andrew William Stevenson Marr is a British broadcaster and journalist. Beginning his career as a political commentator, he subsequently edited The Independent, and was political editor of BBC ...more

18
John Gabriel Stedman is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list Famous Writers from Scotland
Died at 53 (1744-1797) John Gabriel Stedman was a distinguished British–Dutch soldier and noted author. He was born in 1744 in Dendermonde, which then was in the Austrian Netherlands, to Robert Stedman, a Scot and an ...more

19
Jackie Kay is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list Famous Writers from Scotland
age 57 Jackie Kay MBE is a Scottish poet and novelist.

20
Ewan McGregor is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list Famous Writers from Scotland
age 47 Ewan Gordon McGregor, OBE is a Scottish actor who has had success in mainstream, indie, and art house films. His first professional role was in 1993, when he won a leading role in the Channel 4 ...more

21
Dorothy Dunnett is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list Famous Writers from Scotland
Died at 78 (1923-2001) Dorothy Dunnett OBE was a Scottish historical novelist. She is best known for her six-part series about Francis Crawford of Lymond, The Lymond Chronicles, which she followed with the eight-part ...more

22
Tilda Swinton is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list Famous Writers from Scotland
age 58 Katherine Mathilda "Tilda" Swinton of Kimmerghame is a British actress and fashion muse known for both arthouse and mainstream films. She has appeared in several films, including Burn ...more

23
A. L. Kennedy is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list Famous Writers from Scotland
age 53 Alison Louise "A. L." Kennedy is a Scottish writer of novels, short stories and non-fiction, and stand-up comedian. She is known for her characteristically dark tone, a blending of ...more

24
Brian Cox is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list Famous Writers from Scotland
age 72 Brian Denis Cox, CBE is a Scottish actor. He is known for his work with the Royal Shakespeare Company, where he gained recognition for his portrayal of King Lear. He has also appeared in many ...more

25
Norman MacCaig is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list Famous Writers from Scotland
Died at 86 (1910-1996) Norman Alexander MacCaig OBE was a Scottish poet and teacher. His poetry, in modern English, is known for its humour, simplicity of language and great popularity.

26
Alan Cumming is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list Famous Writers from Scotland
age 53 Alan Cumming, OBE, is a Scottish actor who has appeared in numerous films, television shows and plays. His London stage appearances include Hamlet, the lead in Bent, and the National Theatre of ...more

27
David Byrne is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list Famous Writers from Scotland
age 66 David Byrne is a Scottish musician and a founding member and principal songwriter of the American new wave band Talking Heads, active between 1975 and 1991. Since then, Byrne has released his ...more

28
Armando Iannucci is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list Famous Writers from Scotland
age 55 Armando Giovanni Iannucci, OBE is an Oscar and Emmy-nominated Scottish satirist, writer, television director and radio producer of Italian descent. Born in Glasgow, he studied at Oxford ...more

29
Billy Connolly is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list Famous Writers from Scotland
age 76 William "Billy" Connolly, CBE is a Scottish comedian, musician, presenter and actor. He is sometimes known, especially in his native Scotland, by the nickname "The Big Yin". ...more

30
Frank Lloyd is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list Famous Writers from Scotland
Died at 74 (1886-1960) Frank William George Lloyd was a Scottish American film director, scriptwriter and producer. Lloyd was among the founders of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, and its president ...more

31
Robert Burns is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list Famous Writers from Scotland
Died at 37 (1759-1796) Robert Burns was a Scottish poet and lyricist. He is widely regarded as the national poet of Scotland and is celebrated worldwide. He is the best known of the poets who have written in the Scots ...more

32
Craig Ferguson is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list Famous Writers from Scotland
age 56 Craig Ferguson is a Scottish-born American television host, stand-up comedian, writer, actor, director, author, producer and voice artist. He was the host of The Late Late Show with Craig ...more

33
Peter Capaldi is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list Famous Writers from Scotland
age 60 Peter Dougan Capaldi is a Scottish actor and film director. He has played numerous roles in film and television, and is best known for being the twelfth and current actor to play the lead role ...more

34
Andrew Lang is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list Famous Writers from Scotland
Died at 68 (1844-1912) Andrew Lang was a Scots poet, novelist, literary critic, and contributor to the field of anthropology. He is best known as a collector of folk and fairy tales. The Andrew Lang lectures at the ...more

35
Peter Mullan is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list Famous Writers from Scotland
age 59 Peter Mullan is a Scottish actor and filmmaker who is best known for his roles in Trainspotting, My Name Is Joe and the Harry Potter film series.

36
Compton Mackenzie is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list Famous Writers from Scotland
Died at 89 (1883-1972) Compton Mackenzie is a writer.

37
Graeme Garden is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list Famous Writers from Scotland
age 75 David Graeme Garden OBE is a British comedian, author, actor, artist and television presenter, best known as a member of The Goodies.

38
Paul Laverty is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list Famous Writers from Scotland
age 61 Paul Laverty is a Scottish lawyer and scriptwriter.

39
Tony Blair is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list Famous Writers from Scotland
age 65 Anthony Charles Lynton Blair is a British Labour Party politician who served as the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 1997 to 2007. He now runs a consultancy business and performs ...more

40
Eric Linklater is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list Famous Writers from Scotland
Died at 75 (1899-1974) Eric Robert Russell Linklater was a Welsh-born Scottish writer of novels and short stories, military history, and travel books. For The Wind on the Moon, a children's fantasy novel, he won the ...more

41
Ian Rankin is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list Famous Writers from Scotland
age 58 Ian James Rankin, OBE, DL, FRSE is a Scottish crime writer, best known for his Inspector Rebus novels.

42
Nigel Tranter is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list Famous Writers from Scotland
Died at 91 (1909-2000) Nigel Tranter OBE was a Scottish historian and author.

43
Debi Gliori is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list Famous Writers from Scotland
age 59 Debi Gliori is a Scottish author and illustrator of children's books. Her work has been shortlisted for, or won several notable artistic/literary awards.

44
Charles Stross is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list Famous Writers from Scotland
age 54 Charles David George "Charlie" Stross is a British writer of science fiction, Lovecraftian horror and fantasy. Stross specialises in hard science fiction and space opera. His ...more

45
A. J. Cronin is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list Famous Writers from Scotland
Died at 85 (1896-1981) Archibald Joseph Cronin, MB, ChB, MD, DPH, MRCP was a Scottish novelist and physician. His best-known novel was The Citadel, about a doctor in a Welsh mining village who quickly moves up the ...more

46
David Hayman is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list Famous Writers from Scotland
age 70 David Hayman is a Scottish film, television and stage actor and director, known for his role as DCS Mike Walker in ITV drama Trial and Retribution.

47
Ian Anderson is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list Famous Writers from Scotland
age 71 Ian Scott Anderson, MBE is a British singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist, best known for his work as the lead vocalist, flautist and acoustic guitarist of British rock band Jethro Tull. ...more

48
Kevin Macdonald is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list Famous Writers from Scotland
age 51 Kevin Macdonald is a Scottish director. His films include the documentary about the 1972 murder of 11 Israeli athletes, One Day in September, the rock-climbing documentary Touching the Void, the ...more

49
Alistair MacLean is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list Famous Writers from Scotland
Died at 65 (1922-1987) Alastair MacNeill is an author.

50
Ken MacLeod is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list Famous Writers from Scotland
age 64 Kenneth Macrae "Ken" MacLeod, is a Scottish science fiction writer.