Matthew Fitt

Doctor of Letters, 2019

Matthew Fitt was born in Dundee in 1968. Dundee’s famous three Js were an important part of his childhood. His father worked in the city’s jute mills, his mother is a journalist and during summers spent at the berries, he helped his gran make jam. Educated at Grove Academy, he left school with a handful of Highers and a developing interest in Scots language and Scottish literature. He would go on to graduate with an MA in English Literature from Edinburgh University in 1990.

In 1995 while studying for a Postgraduate Degree in Education, Matthew was appointed Writing Fellow at Brownsbank Cottage in Lanarkshire, living and writing in the former home of Scots poet Hugh MacDiarmid. He later served as Writer in Residence for Greater Pollok in Glasgow. But n Ben A-Go-Go, Matthew’s ground-breaking SF novel written entirely in Scots, was published in 2000.

With writer James Robertson, Matthew is co-founder of the Itchy Coo imprint publishing children’s books in Scots since 2002. Its many successful titles include Katie’s Moose, The Gruffalo in Scots, The Eejits by Roald Dahl and J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stane. Matthew was National Scots Language Development Officer from 2002 – 2011, visiting over a thousand schools and libraries. Matthew has represented Scots at minority language conferences in Friesland, Poland, France and at the United Nations in New York.

Matthew currently leads the Scots Hoose project, an online Scots learning and creativity resource for children and young people.

An official Scots translator for the Scottish Parliament, Matthew regularly advises the Scottish Government and local authorities on Scots language policy.

He is married to the artist Mirka Ryjackova. They have two children, Davie and Miren.

Matthew Fitt

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