Capturing Creativity: 13 Scottish Authors Share their Secret Writing Sanctuaries

Estimated read time 2 min read

Scotland has always been a hub of literary brilliance, with authors either born, raised, or immigrated here finding inspiration in its myths, culture, and geography. From historical giants like Sir Walter Scott, Robert Louis Stevenson, Robbie Burns, and Muriel Spark to contemporary legends like Jackie Kay, Ian Rankin, Sir Alexander McCall Smith, and Val McDermid, Scotland has left its mark on them all. We reached out to 13 writers, spanning various genres, connected to Scotland to reveal their favorite writing spots and dream Scottish retreats.

Ali Millar, a London-based author and journalist born in Scotland, finds solace in Soderberg in Edinburgh, indulging in a cardamom bun while people-watching. For her dream retreat, she longs to return to Colonsay, where her grandfather was a schoolmaster. C.E. McGill, a writer of historical, queer, and speculative fiction, finds inspiration in the tranquil setting of Burntisland by the sea wall. Their dream retreat involves writing snacks delivered by a falcon at Dunrobin Castle.

Donald S Murray, hailing from the Isle of Lewis, draws inspiration from Comunn Eachdraidh Nis in his writing, where the history of the community is creatively showcased. His dream Scottish retreat would be the Isle Ornsay lighthouse on Skye. Douglas Skelton, born in Glasgow, prefers his writing spot at home but dreams of hosting a retreat near Kinloch Rannoch with a view of Schiehallion.

Elle Machray, raised by Welsh-Caribbean and Scottish parents, finds peace in the Edinburgh Central Library for research and drafting at the National Library of Scotland. Their dream retreat involves a cozy cabin nestled between munros. Award-winning children’s author Elle McNicoll cherishes nature walks in Scotland for writing inspiration, with Loch Ness, Bruar, and Aviemore topping her list.

Gareth Brown, author of The Book of Doors, enjoys writing while gazing at the sea view on the Isle of Skye. His dream retreat lies in the Scottish Highlands, perhaps in a luxury hunting lodge or castle. Finally, Lesley McDowell, a writer of historical fiction focusing on real women, found inspiration at Caffe Nero in Glasgow and dreams of restoring Lennox Castle for a perfect Gothic writing retreat.

You May Also Like

More From Author