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Catherine Czerkawska

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Contact: catherine.czerkawska@gmail.com
Local authority: South Ayrshire
Languages: English
Catherine Czerkawska's headshot

Catherine Czerkawska is a critically acclaimed writer of fiction, narrative non-fiction and drama. Born in Yorkshire, of Polish and Irish parentage, she has lived most of her life in Scotland, with time also spent working in Finland, Poland and the Canaries.


Her novels include The Curiosity Cabinet, The Physic Garden, The Jewel, Bird of Passage and The Amber Heart.


In 2019, Contraband published A Proper Person to be Detained, a family story that takes us from Ireland to the industrial heartlands of England and Scotland, giving voice to people often maligned by society and silenced by history – immigrants, women, the working classes. This was followed in 2023 by The Last Lancer, a story of loss and survival in Poland and Ukraine, based on Catherine’s own family history.


Her stage plays include two full length plays commissioned by Edinburgh’s Traverse Theatre, Wormwood and Quartz. She has also written extensively for BBC Radio 4.


She lives and works in a 200-year-old cottage in rural South Ayrshire, with her artist husband, Alan Lees. She has served on the committee of the Society of Authors in Scotland and spent four years as Royal Literary Fund Writing Fellow at the University of the West of Scotland.

Local authorities can visit

Aberdeen City; Aberdeenshire; Angus; Argyll and Bute; Clackmannanshire; Dumfries and Galloway; Dundee; East Ayrshire; East Dunbartonshire; East Lothian; East Renfrewshire; Edinburgh City; Falkirk; Fife; Glasgow City; Highland; Inverclyde; Midlothian; Moray; Na h-Eileanan Siar (Western Isles); North Ayrshire; North Lanarkshire; Orkney Islands; Perth and Kinross; Renfrewshire; Scottish Borders; Shetland; South Ayrshire; South Lanarkshire; Stirling; West Dunbartonshire; West Lothian

Events can deliver

Panel event; Reading; Talk

Topics of work

Biography & memoir; Class & society; Contemporary fiction; Emigration & immigration; Fairy tales, folklore & mythology; Family; Historical fiction; History; Nature; Poverty; Publishing & getting published; Rural communities; Self-publishing & independent publishing

Age groups published for

Teens; Adults

Age groups can work with


Audience size

0-10; 11-30; 31-100; 100-500; 500+