Allan Burnett

  Allan Burnett, one of Scotland’s best-selling authors for young readers, was born and brought up in the Western Isles. At the age of twelve he spent several weeks touring the continent, travelling from South Uist to Sarajevo and back via seventeen different countries, during a time of great upheaval in Eastern Europe. This triggered a lifelong interest in history and culture, and a long answer whenever anyone asked him about his childhood holidays. When Allan left school he studied at the University of Edinburgh. Working at night telling ghost stories in hidden underground vaults, he was awarded a distinction for his postgraduate degree in literature and history. He later worked as a journalist in foreign news and features for The Herald Group newspapers. Allan has written more than a dozen books for children and adults. Described by the Scotsman literary editor as ‘bold but thoughtful .. studded with (usually macabre) jokes’ and by the Sunday Express as ‘history more exciting than fiction’, Allan’s work has been commended by the Royal Mail Children’s Book Awards. He currently lives in Scotland and Sweden with his family.  About writer’s work Allan Burnett writes lively and entertaining Scottish history books and illustrated historical biographies that make complex subjects fun and easy to understand. Allan’s books explore the links between Scottish history and world history, and when performing and workshopping with schools he loves exploring how local history links to the wider world. As well as the And All That series, which features Mary, Queen of Scots, Robert Burns and Robert the Bruce among many others, Allan also writes the acclaimed Scottish Tales of Adventure series about the First World War and Second World War, featuring real-life stories of courage and heroism by men and women collected by Allan through his interviews with veterans and archival research of diaries and memoirs.  Invented in Scotland is a book for adults but written with young readers also in mind. It is an exploration of science, medicine and technology and the people who made it happen, exploring the question of why Scotland produced so many inventors and how they relied on links with people from other countries.    Allan performs frequently at festivals, historic sites and school events. His events feature storytelling with costumes and other props, often using audio-visual presentations, and lots of audience participation. Allan also does a lot of writing workshops and residency-style projects linking historical research to creative writing, and often this work is cross-curricular.  

Books Written