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Famous Writers from Scotland

Updated June 8, 2017 26.7k views728 items

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

    Arthur Conan Doyle

    Dec. at 71 (1859-1930)

    BirthplaceEdinburgh, Scotland


    WorksThe Lost World, The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, The Hound of the Baskervilles, A Study in Scarlet, The Hound of the Baskervilles

    Sir Arthur Ignatius Conan Doyle (22 May 1859 – 7 July 1930) was a Scottish writer, who... more on Wikipedia

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  • 2
    Robert Louis Stevenson

    Robert Louis Stevenson

    Dec. at 44 (1850-1894)

    BirthplaceEdinburgh, United Kingdom

    NationalityUnited Kingdom

    WorksStrange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, Treasure Island, The Master of Ballantrae, Kidnapped, Kidnapped

    Robert Louis Stevenson (13 November 1850 – 3 December 1894) was a Scottish novelist and travel... more on Wikipedia

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  • 3
    Iain Banks

    Iain Banks

    Dec. at 59 (1954-2013)

    BirthplaceDunfermline, United Kingdom

    NationalityScotland, United Kingdom

    WorksThe Wasp Factory, The Player of Games, Consider Phlebas, The Crow Road, Matter

    Iain Banks (16 February 1954 – 9 June 2013) was a Scottish author. He wrote mainstream fiction... more on Wikipedia
  • 4
    J. M. Barrie

    J. M. Barrie

    Dec. at 77 (1860-1937)

    BirthplaceKirriemuir, United Kingdom

    NationalityUnited Kingdom

    WorksPeter Pan, Peter Pan in Kensington Gardens, As You Like It, Peter and Wendy, Stories by English Authors: Scotland

    Sir James Matthew Barrie, 1st Baronet, (; 9 May 1860 – 19 June 1937) was a Scottish novelist... more on Wikipedia
  • 5
    George MacDonald

    George MacDonald

    Dec. at 81 (1824-1905)

    BirthplaceHuntly, United Kingdom


    WorksThe Princess and the Goblin, Life Essential, A Hidden Life and Other Poems, The Complete Fairy Tales of George MacDonald, Guild Court

    George MacDonald (10 December 1824 – 18 September 1905) was a Scottish author, poet and... more on Wikipedia
  • 6
    Alexander McCall Smith


    NationalityScotland, United Kingdom

    WorksThe No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency, The Meerkats, Tears of the Giraffe, The Full Cupboard of Life, The Miracle at Speedy Motors

    R. Alexander "Sandy" McCall Smith, CBE, FRSE (born 24 August 1948), is a British-Zimbabwean ... more on Wikipedia
  • 7
    Kenneth Grahame

    Kenneth Grahame

    Dec. at 73 (1859-1932)

    BirthplaceEdinburgh, United Kingdom


    WorksThe Reluctant Dragon, The Wind in the Willows, Der Wind in den Weiden. 6 Cassetten, The reluctant dragon, The river bank

    Kenneth Grahame ( GRAY-əm; 8 March 1859 – 6 July 1932) was a Scottish writer, most famous for... more on Wikipedia
  • 8
    Carol Ann Duffy

    BirthplaceGlasgow, United Kingdom

    NationalityUnited Kingdom

    WorksOverheard on a Saltmarsh, Queen Munch and Queen Nibble, Meeting Midnight, The Skipping-Rope Snake, Collected Grimm Tales

    Dame Carol Ann Duffy (born 23 December 1955) is a Scottish poet and playwright. She is a... more on Wikipedia

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  • 9
    Muriel Gray

    BirthplaceSouth Lanarkshire, Eurasia, United Kingdom, Scotland, United Kingdom

    NationalityScotland, United Kingdom

    WorksFurnace, The Ancient, The First Fifty - Munro-bagging Without a Beard, The trickster

    Muriel Janet Gray FRSE (born 30 August 1958) is a Scottish author, broadcaster and journalist.... more on Wikipedia
  • 10
    Josephine Tey

    Josephine Tey

    Dec. at 56 (1896-1952)

    BirthplaceInverness, United Kingdom


    WorksThe Daughter of Time, The Franchise Affair, Brat Farrar, A Shilling For Candles, The man in the queue

    Josephine Tey was a pseudonym used by Elizabeth MacKintosh (25 July 1896 – 13 February 1952),... more on Wikipedia
  • 11
    Jack Whyte

    Jack Whyte

    Age: 79

    BirthplaceRenfrewshire, United Kingdom

    NationalityCanada, Scotland

    WorksThe Saxon Shore, The Skystone, The Eagle, The Fort at River's Bend, The Singing Sword

    Jack Whyte (born 1940) is a Scottish-Canadian novelist of historical fiction. Born and raised... more on Wikipedia
  • 12
    Steven Moffat

    BirthplacePaisley, United Kingdom

    NationalityUnited Kingdom

    WorksThe Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn, Doctor Who: The Curse of Fatal Death, Exam Conditions, The Office

    Steven William Moffat (; born 18 November 1961) is a Scottish television writer and producer.... more on Wikipedia
  • 13
    Muriel Spark

    Muriel Spark

    Dec. at 88 (1918-2006)

    BirthplaceEdinburgh, United Kingdom

    NationalityUnited Kingdom

    WorksThe Prime of Miss Jean Brodie, The Girls of Slender Means, The Mandelbaum Gate, The Finishing School, A far cry from Kensington

    Dame Muriel Sarah Spark DBE, CLit, FRSE, FRSL (née Camberg; 1 February 1918 – 13 April 2006)... more on Wikipedia
  • 14
    Walter Scott

    Walter Scott

    Dec. at 61 (1771-1832)

    BirthplaceEdinburgh, United Kingdom


    WorksIvanhoe, Rob Roy, The Monastery, The Talisman, The Pirate

    Sir Walter Scott, 1st Baronet (15 August 1771 – 21 September 1832) was a Scottish historical... more on Wikipedia
  • 15
    William Boyd

    BirthplaceAccra, Ghana

    NationalityUnited Kingdom, Ghana

    WorksChaplin, Tune in Tomorrow, A Good Man in Africa, An Ice-Cream War, Scoop

    William Boyd (born 7 March 1952) is a Scottish novelist, short story writer and screenwriter.
  • 16
    Val McDermid

    BirthplaceKirkcaldy, United Kingdom


    WorksReport for Murder, Hostage to Murder, Conferences Are Murder, Booked for Murder, Crack down

    Val McDermid, (born 4 June 1955) is a Scottish crime writer, best known for a series of... more on Wikipedia
  • 17
    Andrew Marr

    BirthplaceGlasgow, United Kingdom

    NationalityScotland,United Kingdom

    WorksThe battle for Scotland, British Journalist Audio, Tools for Peace, The Day Britain Died, Journalism(Hb)

    Andrew William Stevenson Marr (born 31 July 1959) is a British political commentator and... more on Wikipedia
  • 18
    John Gabriel Stedman

    John Gabriel Stedman

    Dec. at 53 (1744-1797)


    NationalityNetherlands, Scotland, United Kingdom

    WorksNarrative of a five years expedition against the revolted Negroes of Surinam, Stedman's Surinam

    John Gabriel Stedman (1744 – 7 March 1797) was a British–Dutch colonial soldier, who wrote The... more on Wikipedia
  • 19
    Jackie Kay

    Jackie Kay

    Age: 58

    BirthplaceEdinburgh, United Kingdom


    WorksBessie Smith, Number Parade, Adoption Papers, The Frog Who Dreamed She Was an Opera Singer, Other lovers

    Jackie Kay, (born 9 November 1961) is a Scottish poet and novelist. She is the third modern... more on Wikipedia
  • 20
    Ewan McGregor

    BirthplacePerth, United Kingdom

    NationalityUnited Kingdom

    WorksLong Way Round, Long Way Down

    Ewan Gordon McGregor (born 31 March 1971) is a Scottish actor, singer, and director known... more on Wikipedia

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  • 21
    Dorothy Dunnett

    Dorothy Dunnett

    Dec. at 78 (1923-2001)

    BirthplaceDunfermline, United Kingdom

    NationalityUnited Kingdom

    WorksScales of Gold, The disorderly knights, Race of Scorpions, Niccolo Rising, The Spring of the Ram

    Dorothy Dunnett (née Halliday, 25 August 1923 – 9 November 2001) was a Scottish historical... more on Wikipedia
  • 22
    Tilda Swinton

    BirthplaceEngland, London

    NationalityUnited Kingdom, England


    Katherine Matilda Swinton (born 5 November 1960) is an English actress. She is known for her... more on Wikipedia

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  • 23
    A. L. Kennedy

    BirthplaceDundee, United Kingdom


    WorksLooking for the possible dance, Paradise, So I Am Glad, Day, Night geometry and the Garscadden trains

    Alison Louise Kennedy (born 22 October 1965) is a Scottish writer, academic and stand-up... more on Wikipedia
  • 24
    Brian Cox

    Brian Cox

    Age: 73

    BirthplaceDundee, Scotland

    NationalityScotland, United Kingdom

    Brian Denis Cox (born 1 June 1946) is a Scottish actor who works with the Royal Shakespeare... more on Wikipedia

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  • 25
    Norman MacCaig

    Norman MacCaig

    Dec. at 86 (1910-1996)

    BirthplaceEdinburgh, United Kingdom

    NationalityUnited Kingdom

    WorksOld maps and new, A round of applause, A world of difference, The Sinai sort, The Poems of Norman MacCaig

    Norman Alexander MacCaig FRSE FRSL ARSA DLitt OBE (14 November 1910 – 23 January 1996) was a... more on Wikipedia