Multi-award-winning author (novelist, playwright, screenwriter, poet), editor, lecturer. Born and raised in the Outer Hebrides.
Work translated and published internationally. Numerous radio and television appearances nationally and in other countries.
First book, Love and Zen in the Outer Hebrides (Canongate), won the Tivoli Europa Giovani International Poetry Prize, and novels A Method Actor's Guide to Jekyll and Hyde (Polygon) and best-selling debut The Stornoway Way (Penguin) were both published to widespread critical praise. Third novel, The Brilliant & Forever (Polygon), received excellent reviews and was shortlisted for the Saltire Fiction Book of the Year Award. All three novels have been named a Book of the Year in many newspapers, such as the Guardian, The Times, etc.
Books I have edited include:
Robert Louis Stevenson: An Anthology Selected by Jorge Luis Borges and Adolfo Bioy Casares, Edited by Kevin MacNeil – the first time this book the iconic Argentine writer Borges conceived in the 1960s has been published (Polygon, 2017).
Struileag: Shore to Shore - Poems and Essays on the Gaelic Diaspora – poetry and essays (Polygon, 2015).
These Islands, We Sing: An Anthology of Scottish Islands Poetry - poetry anthology, ed. Kevin MacNeil (Polygon, 2011).
The Red Door: The Collected English Stories of Iain Crichton Smith 1949-76 (ed. and introduced by Kevin MacNeil, Birlinn, Edinburgh 2002).
The Black Halo: The Collected English Stories of Iain Crichton Smith 1977-98 (ed. by Kevin MacNeil, Birlinn, Edinburgh 2002).
Wish I Was Here (multicultural anthology incorporating poems and photographs, ed. Kevin MacNeil and Alec Finlay, Pocketbooks, Edinburgh 2000).
See below for recent and forthcoming publications.
LITERARY HONOURS AND AWARDS
Herald Angels Award for Outriders project
J.B. Priestley Award
Writer in Residence, Shetland Isles
Writer in Residence, Ullapool Book Festival
Writing Residency at Palace Villa Concordia, Bamberg, Bavaria
Writer in Residence at International Festival of Middle Eastern Spirituality and Peace
Scottish Arts Council Writer’s Bursary (twice)
British Council Writer in Residence, Uppsala University, Sweden
Millennium Quality Award in Special Recognition of achievements as Iain Crichton Smith Writing Fellow
Overall Winner, Tivoli Europa Giovani International Poetry Prize for best collection of poetry published in Europe by a writer under 35
Invitation to meet the Queen as a young achiever
Inaugural Recipient, the Iain Crichton Smith Bilingual Writing Fellowship (Writer in Residence for the Scottish Highlands)
RECENT AND FORTHCOMING PROJECTS
The Secret Realm (animated feature film for children based on my ideas and characters, in development with multinational team).
'Ordinary Case of RLS and RLS' (short story and film to celebrate Robert Louis Stevenson's 170th birthday, released RLS Day, November 2020).
'The Blue Folk of the Minch' - a piece of fiction commissioned by Radio 4, broadcast September 2020.
Hai Cookery – a non-fiction book based around a form of cooking I invented (manuscript currently with publisher).
'On Cycling' - an essay on the links between cycling and wellbeing, published in book The Mental Cyclist, ed. Kyle MacRae, Autumn 2020.
'Misty Islands and Invisible Bridges' - keynote speech I gave at the University of Aix-Marseille will feature in a book of academic essays arising from that conference to be published by Edinburgh University Press soon.
'Hebridean Moon' - a piece of fiction on the coronavirus crisis, published by Pendemic.
'Molly the Greyhound Attends a Poetry Reading' - poem and video in The Island Review.
Gaelic and English poems in recent editions of Northwords Now and Poetry Scotland, and haiku in various international literary journals.
Short stories and poems in recent editions of annual New Writing Scotland book (Association for Scottish Literary Studies).
Judge, Highland Book Prize (four times);
Judge, Wigtown Poetry Prize (twice);
Judge, Scottish Book Trust New Writers Awards;
Scottish Book Trust New Writers Mentor (three times).
Have taught numerous residential courses at Moniack Mhor (Scotland's Writing Centre) - not only a wide variety of adult courses, but also schools courses and courses for care-experienced young adults.
Have taught residential writing courses for the Arvon Foundation.
Have taught creative writing workshops in prison.
Lectured and performed own work in many countries (including Japan, Hungary, Ireland, USA, Czech Republic, Colombia, Germany, Argentina, Sweden, Italy, etc).
Have read in many diverse venues, from the Scottish Parliament to a sea cave to the Royal Festival Hall to an amphitheatre with an audience of 10,000.
'Bring the Moon Home' with lauded London-based group HLY FCK, featured on their album 'Midnights'.
Akutagawa (live album with Willie Campbell and Colin ‘The Boy Who Trapped the Sun’ Macleod; I co-wrote all the songs).
Kevin MacNeil and Willie Campbell Are Visible From Space (full-length album of songs by Kevin MacNeil and Willie Campbell).
Local Man Ruins Everything by William Campbell and Kevin MacNeil limited edition 7” single, etched on one side with poem and map of Lewis, released by London label Fantastic Plastic. Single of the Week in The Guardian, The List and on Steve Lamacq’s BBC 6 Music Show.
Colombian Fireworks, opening track from debut album by There Will Be Fireworks, written in collaboration. Tha Na Laithean a’ Dol Seachad/The Days Flash Past (CD by Paul Mounsey, contributor on 3 tracks). The Jewel Box (CD of poetry produced by Scottish Poetry Library, contributor on 2 tracks).