Author details

Catherine Czerkawska


I’m an award winning novelist and professional playwright with many years of experience and many publications and productions to my name. I’m an experienced creative writing tutor and have judged a number of literary competitions. For four years I was Royal Literary Fund Writing Fellow at the University of the West of Scotland. I find myself drawn to storytelling in all its many forms and now, years after I was first published, I’m joyfully embracing the digital revolution. I try to write the kind of books I love to read. I live and work in rural South Ayrshire with my artist husband, Alan Lees and I’m currently serving on the committee of the Society of Authors in Scotland.

About writer's work

I’ve written numerous plays for radio and the stage, including Wormwood, about the Chernobyl disaster, (now a Higher Drama set text), The Price of a Fish Supper, Burns on the Solway and The Secret Commonwealth. My novel, The Curiosity Cabinet, (Polygon 2005) was one of three finalists for the Dundee Book Prize, and God’s Islanders, a history of the people of Gigha, was published in hardback by Birlinn in November 2006. I have just completed a new novel called The Amber Heart, the first of a planned trilogy, loosely based on episodes from my Polish family history.

Websites featuring the author

Word ArtsBlog

Current events and projects

I have many years of experience in giving talks and workshops on all aspects of writing, but particularly on fiction and drama, although I am also happy to give general talks and readings of my work. I have completed three successful residencies for the Arvon foundation at Moniack Mhor, as well as for many other organisations such as Swanwick and the Scottish Association of Writers. I would prefer to work with adults and older students. I will visit all local authorities.

Other work

Now available on Amazon Kindle:
Bird of Passage, The Curiosity Cabinet, The Secret Commonwealth, Burns on the Solway, A Quiet Afternoon in the Museum of Torture. Stage plays : Heroes and Others, The Devil and Mary Lamont, Bonnie Blue Hen, Wormwood, Quartz, The Price of a Fish Supper, Burns on the Solway, The Secret Commonwealth.

Television drama:
Ugly Sisters, The Showground Collection, The Shore Skipper, Shadow of the Stone, Strathblair.

Original radio plays:
A Bit of the Wilderness Maydays, Amber, Noon Ghosts, O Flower of Scotland Bonnie Blue Hen, Gnats, The Golden Man, Bright as a Lamp Simple as a Ring, Sardine Burial, Cloud Cuckoo Land, The Butterfly Bowl, Tam O’Shanter, The Curiosity Cabinet, Running Before the Wind, The Peggers and the Creelers, Dark Star, Vindolanda, the Price of a Fish Supper.

Dramatisations include:
Ben Hur, Kidnapped, Catriona, Treasure Island, The Bride of Lammermoor, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Madame Butterfly, The Mysteries of Udolpho, Pilgrimage, Mr Wrong, Tales of the Bizarre, The Summer Book, Learning to Swim, Feelings under Siege, La Grande Therese, A Girl in Winter, The Remains of the Day. Plus many and varied features, audio and video scripts, reviews and stories, poems and essays in many anthologies and periodicals including work for New Edinburgh Review, MsLexia, Financial Times,The Herald, The Scotsman and The Scottish Review.


Local authority where they are based

South Ayrshire

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

Age groups

Teens, Adults

LL funded


BRAW network


Author type

Playwright, Poet, Writer



Books written

The Jewel

A Luscious Historical Novel About Robert Burns' wife, Jean Armour.

The Physic Garden

'Moving, poetic and quietly provocative' - The Independent.

Scotland Plays

Wormwood, a play about the Chernobyl disaster, was originally staged at the Traverse.

Scottish Shorts

The Price of a Fish Supper is a long monologue in which ex-fisherman Rab tells his story – and illuminates the demise of the Scottish fishing industry.

The Curiosity Cabinet

When Alys revisits the beautiful Hebridean island of Garve after an absence of twenty five years, she is captivated by the embroidered casket on display in her hotel.

God's Islanders

This is the story of the people of Gigha, based on an examination of changing settlement patterns on the island from prehistoric times to the present day.

The Scent of Blue

An anthology of previously published poems, mostly about Finland and Poland.