Looking for more in Author Directory?

Lesley McDowell

All of the information on this page has been provided by the author. If you need an author to have specialist skills, experience or knowledge please ask for more information about this ahead of booking them for an event. Please note that Scottish Book Trust cannot carry out Disclosure checks on Live Literature authors for most events. It is the responsibility of the person organising the event to carry out the appropriate Disclosure checks.
Contact: [email protected]
Local authority: Glasgow City
Languages: English
Lesley McDowell's headshot

I am a novelist and writer of non-fiction based in Glasgow. I was a lecturer in English Literature at St Andrews University from 1995-97, then became a full-time freelance literary critic, writing for publications like The Herald, The Scotsman, The Guardian, The Times Literary Supplement and others. My first novel, The Picnic, was published by Black and White in 2007, and my second – Unfashioned Creatures - about Mary Shelley’s Scottish childhood friend, was published by Saraband in 2013.

In 2010, I published a literary biography of the relationships nine women writers had with their male counterparts, Between the Sheets, which was reviewed widely, including by the New York Times Book Review, The New Republic, The Sunday Times and The Financial Times. It was shortlisted in the ‘non-fiction’ category for Scottish Book of the Year, 2011.

I have a PhD on the work of James Joyce, and have won two Creative Scotland writers’ bursaries. In 2014, I was Writer-in-Residence at Gladstone’s Library. I have recently completed a historical novel about Madeleine Smith, the Victorian Scotswoman found ‘not ‘proven’ of poisoning her lover with arsenic in 1857. My agent is Ian Drury at http://www.sheilland.com/


Local authorities will visit

East Ayrshire; East Dunbartonshire; East Renfrewshire; Glasgow City; North Ayrshire; West Dunbartonshire

Events will deliver

Mentoring; Panel event; Reading; Residency; Talk; Workshop; Chairing events

Topics of work

Biography & memoir; Historical fiction

Age groups published for


Age groups will work with

15-18; 18+

Audience size

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