Victoria MacKenzie

About Me

I am a fiction writer, poet and essayist based in the East Neuk of Fife, Scotland. My debut novel, For Thy Great Pain Have Mercy On My Little Pain (Bloomsbury), won the Saltire First Book Award and was longlisted for the Walter Scott Prize for Historical Fiction. My second novel, Each leaf, each curve of stem, about the Victorian art critic John Ruskin, will be published by Bloomsbury in 2026.

My short fiction has won the Exeter Story Prize and the Ruth Rendell Short Story Competition, and it has been published in many literary magazines including Extra Teeth, Mslexia and New Writing Scotland, as well as in anthologies such as The Book of Iona (Polygon) and The Dinesh Allirajah Prize: Cafe Stories (Comma Press). I’m particularly interested in exploring the creaturely and the vegetal, and how the human world intersects with the lives of other species.

I have held writing residencies at Cove Park, Hawthornden Castle, Timespan Museum & Arts Centre, Saari Manor (Finland) and Varuna (Katoomba, Australia). Radio appearances include Front Row and Free Thinking, and I’ve been a guest on podcasts including Confessions of a Debut Novelist, A Pair of Bookends, Little Atoms, Mostly Books and The Writing Life.

I have a longstanding interest in the intersections of literature and science, and my PhD (St Andrews, 2013) explored the myriad connections between contemporary poetry and science, including work by poets who are also scientists, as well as poets who engage in scientific ideas in their writing. I am currently working on a book of hybrid writing, Vegetal Souls, exploring the lives of plants through a combination of poetry, short fiction and micro-essays. An essay from this project, ‘I Am a Plant’ was shortlisted for the inaugural Anne Brown Essay Prize.

I am represented by Sam Copeland at Rogers, Coleridge and White