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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
Dec. at 71 (1859-1930)
Sir Arthur Ignatius Conan Doyle (22 May 1859 – 7 July 1930) was a Scottish writer, who created the character Sherlock Holmes. Originally a physician, in 1887 he published A Study in Scarlet, the ...more

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2
Robert Louis Stevenson ... is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list Famous Writers from Scotland
Dec. at 44 (1850-1894)
Robert Louis Stevenson (13 November 1850 – 3 December 1894) was a Scottish novelist and travel writer, most noted for Treasure Island, Kidnapped, Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, and A ...more

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3
Iain Banks is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list Famous Writers from Scotland
Dec. at 59 (1954-2013)
Iain Banks (16 February 1954 – 9 June 2013) 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 ...more
4
J. M. Barrie is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list Famous Writers from Scotland
Dec. at 77 (1860-1937)
Sir James Matthew Barrie, 1st Baronet, (; 9 May 1860 – 19 June 1937) was a Scottish novelist and playwright, best remembered today as the creator of Peter Pan. He was born and educated in ...more

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5
George MacDonald is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list Famous Writers from Scotland
Dec. at 81 (1824-1905)
George MacDonald (10 December 1824 – 18 September 1905) was a Scottish author, poet and Christian minister. He was a pioneering figure in the field of fantasy literature and the mentor of fellow ...more
6
Alexander McCall Smith ... is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list Famous Writers from Scotland
age 71
R. Alexander "Sandy" McCall Smith, CBE, FRSE (born 24 August 1948), is a British-Zimbabwean writer and Emeritus Professor of Medical Law at the University of Edinburgh. In the late ...more
7
Kenneth Grahame is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list Famous Writers from Scotland
Dec. at 73 (1859-1932)
Kenneth Grahame ( GRAY-əm; 8 March 1859 – 6 July 1932) was a Scottish writer, most famous for The Wind in the Willows (1908), one of the classics of children's literature. He also wrote The ...more
8
Carol Ann Duffy is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list Famous Writers from Scotland
age 64
Dame Carol Ann Duffy (born 23 December 1955) is a Scottish poet and playwright. She is a professor of contemporary poetry at Manchester Metropolitan University, and was appointed Britain's Poet ...more

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9
Muriel Gray is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list Famous Writers from Scotland
age 61
Muriel Janet Gray FRSE (born 30 August 1958) is a Scottish author, broadcaster and journalist. She came to public notice as an interviewer on Channel 4’s alternative pop show The Tube and then ...more
10
Josephine Tey is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list Famous Writers from Scotland
Dec. at 56 (1896-1952)
Josephine Tey was a pseudonym used by Elizabeth MacKintosh (25 July 1896 – 13 February 1952), a Scottish author best remembered for her mystery novels. She also wrote plays under the name Gordon ...more
11
Jack Whyte is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list Famous Writers from Scotland
age 79
Jack Whyte (born 1940) 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. ...more
12
Steven Moffat is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list Famous Writers from Scotland
age 58
Steven William Moffat (; born 18 November 1961) is a Scottish television writer and producer. He is best known for his work as showrunner, writer and executive producer of two BBC One series: ...more
13
Muriel Spark is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list Famous Writers from Scotland
Dec. at 88 (1918-2006)
Dame Muriel Sarah Spark DBE, CLit, FRSE, FRSL (née Camberg; 1 February 1918 – 13 April 2006) was a Scottish novelist, short story writer, poet and essayist.
14
Walter Scott is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list Famous Writers from Scotland
Dec. at 61 (1771-1832)
Sir Walter Scott, 1st Baronet (15 August 1771 – 21 September 1832) was a Scottish historical novelist, poet, playwright and historian. Many of his works remain classics of both English-language ...more
15
William Boyd is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list Famous Writers from Scotland
age 67
William Boyd (born 7 March 1952) is a Scottish novelist, short story writer and screenwriter.
16
Val McDermid is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list Famous Writers from Scotland
age 64
Val McDermid, (born 4 June 1955) 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 60
Andrew William Stevenson Marr (born 31 July 1959) is a British political commentator and television presenter. Beginning his career as a political commentator, he subsequently edited The ...more
18
John Gabriel Stedman is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list Famous Writers from Scotland
Dec. at 53 (1744-1797)
John Gabriel Stedman (1744 – 7 March 1797) was a British–Dutch colonial soldier, who wrote The Narrative of a Five Years Expedition against the Revolted Negroes of Surinam (1796). This narrative ...more
19
Jackie Kay is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list Famous Writers from Scotland
age 58
Jackie Kay, (born 9 November 1961) is a Scottish poet and novelist. She is the third modern Makar, the Scottish poet laureate but now lives in England.
20
Ewan McGregor is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list Famous Writers from Scotland
age 48
Ewan Gordon McGregor (born 31 March 1971) is a Scottish actor, singer, and director known internationally for his various film roles, including independent dramas, science-fiction epics, and ...more

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21
Dorothy Dunnett is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list Famous Writers from Scotland
Dec. at 78 (1923-2001)
Dorothy Dunnett (née Halliday, 25 August 1923 – 9 November 2001) was a Scottish historical novelist. She is best known for her six-part series about Francis Crawford of Lymond, The Lymond ...more
22
Tilda Swinton is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list Famous Writers from Scotland
age 59
Katherine Matilda Swinton (born 5 November 1960) is an English actress. She is known for her roles in both independent arthouse films and blockbusters. She won the Academy Award for Best ...more

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23
A. L. Kennedy is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list Famous Writers from Scotland
age 54
Alison Louise Kennedy (born 22 October 1965) is a Scottish writer, academic and stand-up comedian. She writes novels, short stories and non-fiction and is known for her dark tone, blending of ...more
24
Brian Cox is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list Famous Writers from Scotland
age 73
Brian Denis Cox (born 1 June 1946) is a Scottish actor who works with the Royal Shakespeare Company, where he gained recognition for his portrayal of King Lear. Cox is also known for appearing ...more

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25
Norman MacCaig is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list Famous Writers from Scotland
Dec. at 86 (1910-1996)
Norman Alexander MacCaig FRSE FRSL ARSA DLitt OBE (14 November 1910 – 23 January 1996) was a Scottish poet and teacher. His poetry, in modern English, is known for its humour, simplicity of ...more