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Ross MacKay

Writer, Children's, Preschool, 10+ years, Animation, Live Action

Agent: Jean Kitson -

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Ross MacKay is a disabled author and playwright based in Fife, Scotland. He was the recipient of a Tom McGrath Trust Maverick Award for his writing and the William Soutar Award for Poetry 2020.
Ross is a recipient of the Peggy Ramsay Foundation Bursary and was a participant of the 2023 Less is More screenwriters’ residential run by Screen Scotland. He is currently an artist in residence with the National Theatre of Scotland.
In 2020, Ross won a global Search for A Storyteller talent competition judged by Simon Cowell. Ross’s debut novel for middle grade readers, Will and The Whisp, is published by Creative James Media. His debut picture book, Daddy’s Bad (Bed) Day, is published by Curly Tale Books.
Ross previously worked in theatre as the artistic director of puppetry company, Tortoise in a Nutshell, creating performances for audiences aged 8+. His productions toured all over the world and received prestigious awards including a Scotsman Fringe First and a Critic’s Pick from The New York Times. He is also an established puppetry director, working for numerous companies including The Royal Lyceum, Little Angel and The National Theatre of Scotland.
Ross has also worked as a magic consultant and is a former Scottish Young Magician of the Year.
Ross is currently developing original television projects and several stage shows.

You can find him on his website here. For literary works including picture books and novels, he is represented by Lorna Hemingway at Bell Lomax Moreton.



Less is More Residential 2023 (2023)
Screen Scotland

Taking part in the ‘Ideas Boosting’ residency from Sunday 19 November to Friday 24 November.

Title TBA
Saffron Cherry

Original live action kids drama in development

Title TBA (2021)
Visible Fictions

Research and development on an animation script for children around parents’ mental health

Title TBA (2022)
Picl Animation

Participated in writer’s room developing an animated series and created treatment.

Sins of the Father (2024)

TV Drama optioned.


Develop Artist Residency (2023)
National Theatre of Scotland
Artist Commission (2023)
Toonspeak Young People's Theatre

Commissioned to develop and write a script for a youth-led piece of theatre, to be performed in 2024.

Party of the Century (2023)
Glasgow Lunchtime Theatre (A Play, A Pie, A Pint)

Play to be produced and performed at Oran Mor, Glasgow from 17th to 22nd June 2024 with Glasgow Lunchtime Theatre (A Play, A Pie, A Pint)

The Circus of Life and Death (2024)
Aberdeen Performing Arts

Commissioned by Aberdeen Performing Arts to write a play for the Light the Blue festival.

Treasure Island (2022)
Cumbernauld Theatre / Visible Fictions

Scottish Tour and publication in Autumn 2024.
Writer; 5 star reviews

Culross Palace - A Moment in Time (2022)
National Trust of Scotland

Writer; Develop and create their visitor experience at Culross Place. Including screenwriting all the audio visual sequences.

The Travelling Cranberries Christmas Show (2021)

Writer; toured to outdoor venues during the pandemic

Tortoise in a Nutshell
Puppetry Theatre Company

Artistic Director 2009 – 2019.
Directed 7 productions winning 5 awards.

Feral (2012-2019)
Tortoise in a Nutshell

Director and Co-Creator

Critics Pick New York Times, 2019
Best Director, Kotorski Festival 2019
Best Performance Award, Kotorski Festival 2019
Best Theatre of 2013, The Guardian
Fringe First Award Winner 2013
Total Theatre Award Nominee 2013

Myth of the Singular Moment (2018)
Tortoise in a Nutshell / Jim Harbourne

Director; Scottish Arts Club Award Nominee 2018

Lost Things (2014-2018)
Tortoise in a Nutshell / Oliver Emanuel

Director and Co-Creator; Award Winning Design, Kotorski Festival 2017

Fisk (2016-2017)
Tortoise in a Nutshell / Teater Katapult

Director and Co-Creator; Award Winning Performance, Kotorski Festival 2017


Culture Perth and Kinross

Performed for the programme launch of the William Soutar Festival


Led a mass community poetry writing project in partnership with the Edinburgh International Book Festival.

Four new poems (2022)
Tippermuir Books

Appeared in ‘Perthshire 101’.
Commissioned for four new poems for the new poetry book celebrating Perthshire’s cultural heritage.

We Called Him Noah (2021)
The Scotsman Newspaper

Selected as poem of the week by Asif Khan

A Reply To The Poet (2021)
Tippermuir Books

Appeared in ‘Beyond the Swelkie’.
Poem to mark George Mackay Brown’s centenary.

I Love Mud / I Hate Mud (2021)
On Fife LibraYAY

2 poems specially commissioned and produced by Fife libraries to encourage poetry enjoyment in young readers.


The Spoilsport’s Sports Day (2023)
BBC Learning


Time for a Story (2022)
BBC Learning

Wrote 1 x 12″ audio episode entitled ‘The Show-Stopper’, available on BBC Sounds.