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Ian Bell writes for the Herald and the Sunday Herald. He is the author of Dreams of Exile: Robert Louis Stevenson - A Biography, and Once Upon a Time and Time Out of Mind, both of which are sub-titled ‘The Lives of Bob Dylan’.

Cairns Craig is Glucksman Professor of Irish and Scottish Studies, University of Aberdeen. His books include Yeats, Pound and the Politics of Poetry, The Modern Scottish Novel and Iain Banks’s Complicity: A Reader’s Guide. He was general editor of the four-volume series History of Scottish Literature.

Chris Dolan television documentaries include Barbado’ed and An Anarchist’s Story (both BBC) and he has over 50 hours of TV drama credits. He writes extensively for radio, including adaptations (Rebus) and original dramas (The Strange Case of Dr. Hyde). His stage plays include The Reader and Sabina. He writes non-fiction (short biographies of John Lennon and Ethel Macdonald) as well as fiction (Redlegs, Ascension Day, Poor Angels). His first crime mystery, Potter’s Field, will be published shortly.

Joseph Farrell was Professor of Italian at Strathclyde University. He has translated and written a number of books, including a biography of Dario Fo and study of Sicily. In the pipeline is a book about Robert Louis Stevenson and Samoa. 

Rosemary Goring is literary editor of the Herald and the Sunday Herald. She is the author of Scotland: The Autobiography, an anthology covering 2,000 years of Scottish history. Her first novel, After Flodden, was published last year. Its sequel will be published in 2015. In gestation is a novel in which there may be sheep.

Stuart Kelly is the author of The Book of Lost Books, ‘an incomplete history if all the great books you will never read’, and Scott-land: The Man Who Invented a Nation. Formerly a Man Booker judge, he reviews regularly for various publications.

Brian McCabe a short story writer, novelist and poet. He is a creative writing tutor at Edinburgh University and was for several years editor of the Edinburgh Review. His books include Zero, a collection of poems, and Selected Stories, which appeared in 2003.

Kevin McKenna is a journalist who writes a weekly column for the Observer. He has had many previous incarnations, including stints at the Celtic View, Scotland on Sunday, the Scotsman and the Herald.

Harry McGrathis the online editor of the Scottish Review of Books. He advises the Centre for Scottish Studies at Simon Fraser University in Vancouver on its work in Scotland and Scottish Development International on its work in Canada. He is also the Chair of the Dot Scot Registry which was set up to establish and operate an internet domain name for Scotland (.scot).

Nick Major is from south-west England. He is a factotum: fiction writer, reviewer, copy-editor, kitchen porter, reluctant fundraiser. He is soon to complete an MSc in Literature and Modernity at the University of Edinburgh. Current preoccupations include a dissertation exploring material production in the works of Alasdair Gray and a novel about an English female nihilist living in Edinburgh.

Brian Morton is a writer, broadcaster and journalist whose interests and expertise range from jazz to ornithology. In the past few years he has written books on Prince, Shostakovich and Edgar Allan Poe. 

Harry Reid has clocked up some forty years in Scottish journalism. A former editor of the Herald, he is the author of several books, including Outside Verdict, a controversial portrait of the Church of Scotland, The Final Verdict? Scottish Football: The Best and Worst of Times, and Deadline: The Story of the Scottish Press

Jennie Renton runs - with her husband Richard Browne - Main Point Books in Bread Street, Edinburgh, in the heart of ‘the pubic triangle’. She was editor of the Scottish Book Collector and now edits the online magazine Textualities.

James Robertson is the author of five novels: The Fanatic, Joseph Knight, The Testament of Gideon Mack, which was longlisted for the Man Booker Prize, And the Land Lay Still, which was the 2010 winner of the Saltire Book of the Year Award, and The Professor of Truth, which was published in 2013. Last year he wrote a story every day, which can be read at and which will be published by Penguin later this year.

Julian Spalding was director of Glasgow Museums from 1989 to 2001. In 1999, he was awarded the Lord Provost’s Prize for Services to the Visual Arts in Glasgow. He is the author of a number of books, including The Art of Wonder, for which he received the Banister Fletcher Prize, and, most recently, Con Art: Why You ought to Sell Your Damien Hirsts While You Can.

Alan Taylor is editor of the Scottish Review of Books.


Colin Waters, from Bonnyrigg, attended the University of St Andrews. Formerly deputy editor of the Scottish Review of Books, he now works at the Scottish Poetry Library. In the pipeline is Be the First to Like, an anthology he has edited of young Scottish poets.


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