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Picture of Janet Janet Paisley is an award winning poet, author, playwright, non-fiction and scriptwriter, writing in Scots and English. A prolific and popular writer, first published in 1979, her work has been translated into German, Russian, Lithuanian, Slovak, Catalan, Spanish, Hungarian, Ukranian, Italian, Portuguese and Dutch and is widely anthologised. Read Biography

Awards include BAFTA and RTS nominations for Long Haul, a 2000 Creative Scotland Award to write Not for Glory; 1999 Canongate Prize; 1996 Peggy Ramsay Memorial award for Refuge; National, Scottish National, Swanage Arts and MacDiarmid Trophy poetry prizes; Sutton, Scotwrite and BBC prose prizes. In 1996 Alien Crop was shortlisted as Scottish Book of the Year and Sooans Nicht was Critics Play of the Year. In 2003 Not for Glory was in the World Book Day Top Ten Scottish Books and featured on the nation's favourite books of all time list of 2005. Her critically-acclaimed historical novels, White Rose Rebel and Warrior Daughter, are Penguin paperbacks. Full bibliography in Writing

Film News


Scriptwriter News: Producer Angus Lamont, who acquired Warrior Daughter for Crab Apple Films Ltd, has attached Rhianna Pratchett to write the screenplay

WARRIOR DAUGHTER cuts close to the bone of Celtic History - Sunday Times

“a marvellous marriage of imagination and scholarship” - Lancashire Evening Post

Amazon - 2,000 years ago on the Isle of Skye, a warrior is born - illuminated by the great Celtic fire festivals and inspired by the historical Scathach, Scotland's legendary warrior queen, Warrior Daughter tells the story of an Iron Age girl challenged to defend her people and their beliefs.

Книжка, освітлена вогнями кельтського дійства… Anna Tregub's review inVsesvit

In Ukraine

During September, Janet read at Lviv's 5th International Literary Festival with Ukrainian poet, Lyudmila Taran, and visited Lviv National University to meet Roksolana Zorivchak, Head of Translation, and deliver a talk for students.

After travelling south to Kiev, she gave talks for students in English Language Philology, and English Language and Literature, at Shevchenko National University and Boris Grinchenko University before speaking as a guest of the International Theatrical Festival 'Maria' at the Anton Chekhov conference. Read about the visit in Ukraine's Day

The Lasses, O

the_lasses_o.jpg 'The Lasses, O' by Janet Paisley reviewed in the Edinburgh Guide

a delightfully subtle act of subversion… Sunday Herald selloutshow_2010.jpg

Midwife, relative, mother-in-law, smuggler, neighbour - five women who knew Burns tell their stories in monologue and song, creating a humorous and moving play of the poet's life. …so authentic you feel you have travelled back in time Three Weeks

The Times: skilfully written… original, amusing

Scotsman: a powerful formula for a new perspective on Burns.

Produced by Component Parts. Directed by David Paisley. Starring Suzanne Magowan, Margaret Fraser, Carrie-Ann English, Pamela Byrne, Natalie McConnon

Scots Language

Janet is a member of the Scottish goverment's Scots Language Working Group, established by the Minister for Culture, External Affairs and the Contitution, to advise on provision for the language. Scots is spoken by the majority of Scottish people, despite lacking formal education in it. Its status is recognised by the Council of Europe and the UK government.

Film News

paperback_2.jpg Kate Sinclair and Kevin Loader team up to produce WHITE ROSE REBEL. The $10 million project, with Peter Berry writing the script, won development funding from the UK Film Council.
'A stunning debut novel' logo.jpgWhite Rose Rebel is incredibly readable, pacy, lusty, rousing and richly imagined.” Based on the legendary Colonel Anne, this impeccably researched novel tells the story of a couple torn apart and set against each other on opposite sides during the Jacobite Rising of 1745. “Realistic, deeply moving and gloriously passionate.”

This is history at its most magnificent - New Books Magazine

Praise from the US - the best book I have ever read - Minda Magero

Buy from Penguin or as an audio book read by Carol Bonnyman from Oakhill Publishing.

Scotland Ink

10 SCOTTISH BOOKS THAT CHANGED THE WORLD - 1st-31st October 2009, Eden Court Theatre, Inverness

White Rose Rebel by Janet Paisley joins Waverley by Sir Walter Scott for Homecoming as Scotland Ink celebrates
10 books whose impact was global and pairs each with a contemporary book making similar impact today.
Scotland Ink list and Exhibition in Association with Publishing Scotland and SAPPHIRE

Poetry News


Poem Aw Jock Tamson's written for the Addressing the Bard anthology is Scots Poem of the Month

Drosd's Ukrainian translation of Alien Crop by Yulia Dzhugastryanska and Dmytro Drozdovskyi was launched at Edinburgh's Henderson Gallery, Tues 20 Oct 2009, by literary editor, Dmytro, and Dr Oksana Prykhodko.

International Publications


  • LA ROSA DE ESCOCIA Espasa Calpe 2008

Un pueblo desgarrado, una época convulsa y un amor que lo superará todo.

La rosa de Escocia fue la bella y aguerrida Anne Farquharson, quien tomó las riendas de su clan contra su marido, al cual se enfrentó para adoptar la causa de la rosa blanca jacobita, la de los partidarios del príncipe Carlos, el Pretendiente, a quien consideraban su legítimo señor. Ambos vivirán una intensa pasión mientras la lucha política los obliga a enfrentarse una y otra vez, hasta llegar a un final realmente inesperado.


  • DIE REBELLIN DER ROSE Rowohlt 2007

Die junge Ehe zwischen der eigensinnigen Anne und dem stattlichen Clanführer Aeneas gerät zwischen die Fronten des schottischen Unabhängigkeitskrieges. Anne stürzt sich an der Seite ihres früheren Liebhabers in den blutigen Kampf für ein freies Schottland – bis sie eines Tages auf dem Schlachtfeld ihrem Mann gegenübersteht …


  • WICKED! in Ukrainian - a psychotherapy of our society. CPRACC: This book is wicked!

Yulia Dzhugastryanska's translation of Janet's hilariously naughty comic novella.

Wicked! is about risk and curiosity, paradox and humour, desire and love. It is a story you should read …of those who cannot be sincere with each other and are afraid of face-to-face communication.


  • VSESVIT - no. 3-4, Ukraine 2007


Поклали ноги в ґрунт, углиб землі
людей немає.
Кістки жінок прадавніх… чути хрускіт,
сухі й крихкі, під нашими ногами…

Ukraine's literary journal Vsesvit, issue 3-4, features Janet Paisley's acclaimed collection Alien Crop with twenty poems translated into Ukranian by literary editor and critic Dmytro Drozdovskyi.

Writing for Children

sarah_fed_up.jpg Janet Paisley's stories, poems and plays for children are published alongside other writers in various anthologies suitable for a range of age groups.

  • Scottish Plays for Schools includes English and Scots versions of Silver Bullet - a comic play about growing up, originally broadcast by BBC radio, for reading or performance with secondary S1 to S6.
  • My Mum's a Punk - stories and poems by Scottish writers for 10-14yr olds.
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