Mairi Hedderwick

(Mairi Crawford Lindsay)

1939 -

Author and illustrator. Born Mairi Crawford Lindsay in Gourock, the daughter of an architect, Hedderwick was educated at the local primary school and then St. Columba's School for Girls in Kilmacolm. She trained as a painter at Edinburgh College of Art and went on to train as a teacher at Jordanhill College of Education. She married in 1962 and worked briefly as a teacher in Mid Argyll. She moved with her husband to Applecross and then Crossapol the island of Coll, where she began illustrating books to supplement the family income. In 1973 and now with two children, the family moved to Fort William. It was here that Hedderwick began writing her Katie Morag children's books, inspired by her time on Coll which became the Struay of her stories. With her marriage having come to an end and children grown up, she returned to Crossapol on Coll where she was able to continue her writing. In the mid-1990s she returned to the mainland, living in the Scottish Borders and then the Black Isle before returning to Coll in 2005.

Hedderwick was awarded an honorary degree from the University of Stirling in 2003. The Katie Morag series now extends to fourteen books (2014) and has been adapted for television and stage. Hedderwick has also written and illustrated travel books on the Highlands and Islands. Her life featured in Desert Island Discs for BBC Radio 4 in 2014.

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