Training and working as a journalist; studying speech and drama; working as an actress, storyteller and drama teacher; and travelling the world, have all been a vital part of Janis Mackay's apprenticeship as a writer for adults and children. A professional storyteller, Janis draws from the rich well of Scots story lore for many of her stories, giving them a contemporary setting.
Janis Mackay won the Kelpies Prize in 2009 with her first published novel for children - 'Magnus Fin and the Ocean Quest' and went on to write two more books about the half-selkie, half-human hero Magnus Fin - 'Magnus Fin and the Moonlight Mission' and 'Magnus Fin and the Selkie Secret'. Inspired by the sea, the seals, the dramatic northern coast and its all too evident signs of marine pollution, Janis wrote the Magnus Fin books whilst living by the sea in Caithness. All three titles are published by Floris Books.
Now living in her native Edinburgh, Janis continues to write novels for children, and to teach creative writing at Edinburgh University. She has an MA in creative writing and personal development from the University of Sussex and has held several writer-in-residence posts, most recently in Finland where Janis helped foster children's literary links between Scotland and Finland.
Janis is an enthusiastic and popular workshop leader in primary schools and festivals, where she often leads imaginative writing sessions for pupils and shares selkie magic with her Magnus Fin books. The first novel in the trilogy, 'Magnus Fin and the Ocean Quest', was recently put into braille.
Janis has two collections of poetry; Facing North, and 'A Winter's Calendar.'
She has two new books for children coming out in 2013 with Floris Books: 'The Accidental Time Traveller', a novel for 9-12 year-olds and her first picture book text, 'The Wee Seal' in the autumn.