Author details

Alex Howard


I was born in London in 1987, later moving to Leigh-on-Sea on the Essex coast. I moved to Edinburgh for university in 2006 and, aside from a short spell in London working as a TV researcher, have remained here ever since. My debut novel Library Cat has sold rights to Korea, France and Italy. I have appeared at the Hidden Door and Edinburgh Book Festivals, and have had poetry published in several journals and magazines including Gutter 17, Gutter 09, The London Magazine and Aesthetica.

I currently teach at the University of Edinburgh, where I’m also finishing up a PhD.

About writer's work

Library Cat started out as a series of Facebook posts about the daily musings of a cat I used to hang out with around the Edinburgh University library. I was really just procrastinating from writing my Masters thesis, and never expected the page to gain the following it did. Eventually, I signed a book deal with Black & White Publishing and the novel took on a life of its own, becoming the subject of a TV documentary (upcoming), and attaining bestseller status abroad.   

In 2017, Library Cat won The Beryl Bainbridge Award for Best First Time Author, and also made the Finalist category of the People’s Book Prize.

Poetry is where I started, however. In 2011, I won the Red Cross International Writing Prize, going on to receive shortlistings for the Jane Martin Poetry Prize (2014), and Melita Hume Prize (2018). I won an Edinburgh University Literature Society poetry slam in 2012 and appeared at the Edinburgh Book Festival the same year, going on to be a Finalist in the Aesthetica Creative Writing Competition and IdeasTap 2012 Editor’s Brief. I have also been invited to perform by Rally & Broad and Interrobang. I am inspired by poets such as W. H. Auden, F. S. Flint, Joe Dunthorne and Philip Larkin (the latter of whom formed the basis of my PhD).

While working in London, I wrote a TV comedy pilot, Big Smoke, which was shortlisted for BBC Writersroom’s Laugh Track competition in 2011. A little time after, I wrote several short stage skits and mini-plays for the King’s Theatre, Edinburgh.

I am currently half way through writing my second novel, entitled The Monkey Mind of Patrick Ogilvie.

Websites featuring the author

TwitterSTV InterviewPeople's Book Prize Award CeremonyUNESCO Interview Library Cat reviewLibrary Cat on Facebook

Current events and projects

I am available for readings, residencies, workshops and events.

Other work

I teach on the undergraduate English Literature course at Edinburgh University, where I have also read for the James Tait Black Memorial Prize. My PhD was funded by the AHRC. 


Local authority where they are based


Local authorities where they can work

Aberdeen, Aberdeenshire, Angus, Argyll and Bute, Clackmannanshire, Comhairle nan Eilean Siar (Western Isles), Dumfries and Galloway, Dundee, East Ayrshire, East Dunbartonshire, East Lothian, East Renfrewshire, Edinburgh, Falkirk, Fife, Glasgow, Highland, Inverclyde, Midlothian, Moray, North Ayrshire, North Lanarkshire, Orkney, Other1, Outer Hebrides, Perth and Kinross, Renfrewshire, Scottish Borders, Shetland, South Ayrshire, South Lanarkshire, Stirling, West Dunbartonshire, West Lothian

Age groups

0-4, 5-8, 9-12, Teens, Adults

LL funded


BRAW network


Author type

Performance Poet, Poet, Storyteller, Writer



Books written

Library Cat front cover

Library Cat: The Observations of a Thinking Cat

Author(s): Alex Howard
Library Cat is a funny, witty and irreverent look at the world, seen through the unusually observant eyes of Edinburgh University Library's resident cat.