Author details

Ron Butlin


With an international reputation as a prize-winning novelist Ron Butlin is also a former Edinburgh Poet Laureate / Makar. Before taking up writing full-time he was, at various times, a lyricist with a pop band, a barnacle scraper on Thames barges, a footman attending embassies and country houses, and also a male model. He lives in Edinburgh and writes for both adults and children.

About writer's work

I love words, their sound and their magic. Having published nearly 20 books of poetry and fiction for adults and, more recently, for children, I am as excited now to begin work every morning as when I first started. My work has won many awards and prizes both here and abroad. My creative writing workshops are all about helping writers (especially primary school pupils) access their imagination.

Websites featuring the author

Author ProfileScottish Poetry Library ProfileSalt PublishingSerpent's TailBirlinnAuthors Website

Current events and projects

I give talks and readings world-wide at arts events, book festivals, universities and schools (from a one-room Shetland primary to an Arab tent in Bahrain, from John Knox’s pulpit in St Giles’ Cathedral to the House of Lords). Two new books for spring 2017 – Billionaires, Banquet (novel, for adults – tbp on 15 April); Steve & FranDan Take on the World (novel for 11-14 year olds, tbp on 11May); Day of the Trolls! (verse for 4-7 year-olds) comes out this summer. I am working on a new novel.

Other work

Besides my BBC radio plays, much of my work has been broadcast in Britain and abroad. My poetry and fiction have gained several prizes and awards and been translated into over a dozen languages.

Having started out as a lyricist with a pop band (3 records and a brief TV appearance) I still love working with musicians – both jazzers and contemporary classical. I’ve written ‘poetry’ texts for composers for the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, Scottish Chamber Orchestra, Edinburgh Quartet, among many others, plus several opera libretti, mostly for Scottish Opera. I’m a regular at the Edinburgh Book Festival. Most recently I worked with the Tinderbox Orchestra (a truly wonderful youth orchestra) at the Hidden Door Festival 2016.


Local authority where they are based


Local authorities where they can work

Aberdeen, Aberdeenshire, Angus, Argyll and Bute, Clackmannanshire, Comhairle nan Eilean Siar (Western Isles), Dumfries and Galloway, Dundee, East Ayrshire, East Dunbartonshire, East Lothian, East Renfrewshire, Edinburgh, Falkirk, Fife, Glasgow, Highland, Inverclyde, Midlothian, Moray, North Ayrshire, North Lanarkshire, Orkney, Perth and Kinross, Renfrewshire, Scottish Borders, Shetland, South Ayrshire, South Lanarkshire, Stirling, West Dunbartonshire, West Lothian, Other

Age groups

5-8, 9-12, Teens, Adults

LL funded


BRAW network


Author type

Performance Poet, Playwright, Poet, Writer



Books written

Day of the Trolls - The Trolls Series 2

Author(s): Ron Butlin
It’s the Day of the Trolls: Fart-Fart and all the trolls are back! Join them in the shopping mall where they go wild, causing havoc as they overrun the place.
Book Cover

Steve & FranDan Take on the World

Author(s): Ron Butlin
Steve has had enough – enough of cyber-bullies, enough of adults messing up the world. Sharp-witted Fran and her brother worry-wart Dan feel exactly the same.
Book Cover

Billionaire's Banquet

Author(s): Ron Butlin
1985, Edinburgh. Thatcher’s policies are biting deep – fat cats and street-kids, lovers, losers and the rest struggle to survive.
Magicians of Scotland cover

The Magicians of Scotland

Author(s): Ron Butlin
A collection of poetry that celebrates Scotland 'Butlin is the best, most productive Scottish poet of his generation.' Scotsman
Magicians of Edinburgh cover

The Magicians of Edinburgh

Author(s): Ron Butlin
A collection of poetry that celebrates Edinburgh. 'Butlin is the best, most productive Scottish poet of his generation.' Scotsman
Front cover of Here Come The Trolls

Here Come the Trolls

Author(s): Ron Butlin
Illustrated by James Hutcheson. What happens when your house is invaded by trolls – mischievous creatures who do nothing but cause havoc and mayhem? This book was featured on STV and radio.

Ghost Moon

Author(s): Ron Butlin
Set mostly in post-war Britain and inspired by a real-life story. ‘Remarkable . . .

Nova Scotia - New Scottish Speculative Fiction (anthology)

Author(s): Ron Butlin
This anthology comprises works from established and up-and-coming writers such as Ken MacLeod, Charles Stross, and Ron Butlin.

Vivaldi And The Number 3 And Other Impossible Stories

Author(s): Ron Butlin
In these surreal and playful short stories, Ron Butlin looks some great composers and philosophers from unusual, highly entertaining angles. 'Heart-stoppingly beautiful . .

No More Angels

Author(s): Ron Butlin
From Ancient Greece, via contemporary Britain, into the future, from childhood to old age and beyond, the stories in No More Angels are a captivating celebration of life.