About Me

Hi there! Lovely that you’ve dropped by!

I write novels for children: Fir for Luck  (2016), Punch (2017), Wilderness Wars (2018), Black Water (2019), The Siege of Caerlaverock (2020), The Chessmen Thief (2021), The Reluctant Rebel (2022) and Rivet Boy (2023). I have also written a non-fiction book for adults called Scottish by Inclination (2021). Alongside writing and visiting schools as an author or storyteller, I also work as a drama teacher in the beautiful Highlands of Scotland.

First and foremost, my writing is aimed at children, but I also enjoy dabbling in short stories and drama. In addition, I write reviews of books, theatre, music and spoken word events, plus a bookish column for a clutch of North of Scotland newspapers. In addition, I run a group for those interested in writing for children.

I love books, nature’s wild places, history, baking, folk music (I fiddle badly in my church band), old buildings, mosaics, Celtic Christianity, thick woolly jumpers…

Oh yes: And I do have a soft spot for all things puppetry. You have been warned!

Writing Success:

Historical Association Young Quills (2022): The Chessmen Thief – Winner

Historical Association Young Quills (2021): The Siege of Caerlaverock – Winner

Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators Crystal Kite: Punch was shortlisted in 2018.

Nairn Festival Short Story Competition (2012) – Winner

Creative Scotland Easter Monologue Competition (2013) – Winner

Ballantrae Smugglers Festival Short Story Competition (2015): Winner

Pockets Magazine Fiction Contest, US (2015): Winner

Kelpies Prize (2013) : Never Back was one of three shortlisted.

ACW UK Short Story for Children Competition (2014)  – Runner-up

Scottish Association of Writers’ Write Up North 2014:  3rd place

14 thoughts on “About Me”

    1. Hi Elizabeth, and thanks a lot for commenting. It’s actually lovely that a story which was trapped in my head for so long is actually going to be out there! Yes, you’ll be able to purchase the book online. Cranachan, my publishers, are going to release it in the UK on 21st September, but Fir for Luck is already beginning to show in some online outlets (no picture, as the cover reveal hasn’t happened yet – so excited about that!)such as this: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Fir-Luck-Barbara-Henderson/dp/1911279092/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1462866365&sr=8-1&keywords=for+luck+barbara+henderson
      Hopefully you’ll be able to get a copy that way, and if you do, I’d love to know what you think of it:).

      1. I did look at your write4bairns blog . I contacted Waterstone just before your book launch last week too . I know how to access buying your book . I was mainly hoping you would see my wishing you well . But now I have two more things . 1) How can I see what you are saying in your speech about how you went about writing an historical novel for children ?. I believe you are doing that spee h somewhere on October 5 . The second yhing is I would like you to contact http://www.scottishsuccess.com. i have told them that you would make a good person for them to interview for their podcasts that they do

        1. My tablet has made it difficult to correct my typing mistakes . Please forgive them . I wanted to just say that Scottish Success is that group of Scottish teachers who run a grassroots organization to educate the public about successful Scots in all walks of life in Scotland today .
          Then you asked where I live and that is in Tennessee , USA

  1. Dear Barbara
    I help cover arts and entertainments for the Inverness Courier/Highland News etc and I believe you spoke to my colleague Val Sweeney a while ago.
    I wondered if you might be up for another chat to preview the launch of the book, but also look ahead to the Inverness Book Festival, which I gather you are involved with.
    I look forward to hearing from you
    Calum Macleod
    Tel: 01463 233059

    1. Interesting! I’m no expert historian and had my manuscript checked by people who know more than me. What do you write? I’m in Inverness.

  2. Barbara , your” Fir For Luck” sounds very good . I wish I could be at it’s second launch at Waterstone bookstore in Eastgate Centre but unfortunately dont live in UK . I did email scottishsuccess.com and asked them to do a podcast with you . Will somebody be recording your talk on doing a historical fiction novel for children on Oct 5 th ? I would love to hear your thoughts on that .

    1. Hi there Beth, and thank you for commenting. Not sure about recording the session, but there is a Fir for Luck blog tour at the moment, where I explore some of those topics on various book blogs. Also, my own blog http://www.write4bairns.wordpress.com has followed the whole journey, so feel free to check it out! Where do you live? If you can access Amazon, the link to the book is https://www.amazon.co.uk/Fir-Luck-Barbara-Henderson/dp/1911279092 , and have a good day!

  3. Hi Barbara

    I just read “Fir for Luck” and thoroughly enjoyed it – and I’m by no means a young person. I think it gives a very accurate account of the Clearances and I hope that a lot of people – both young and old – will read it too. I’ll be looking out for your next novel.

    1. Thanks very much; that’s really kind of you. I have been slightly overwhelmed by people’s response so far. I’m so glad you enjoyed it.

  4. Hi Barbara,

    Scottish Success is a new non-profit venture which has been started by three Midlothian school teachers on the back of the “raising the attainment” movement which is currently being featured in the media. As experienced teachers, we see firsthand just how valuable motivation and direction can be.

    We are looking to interview incredible successful Scots, both home based or expatriate, in all areas of life; sports, business & finance, entertainment, (musicians, writers, actors, gaming), politicians and entrepreneurs. The interviews include questions on mindset, goal setting, planning for success, greatest triumph, greatest failure and the lessons they learned from it. Some of the successful Scots we have interviewed so far so include; Tricia Marwick, Harry Benson and fellow author Ian Rankin.

    In a recent poll we asked our followers who they would like us to interview and you were one of the names suggested. We would be thrilled if you would join us on the Scottish Success podcast; a podcast dedicated to inspiring young Scots, regardless of their background, to realise and achieve their full potential, dreams and goals.

    I know you are busy, and that’s why the Scottish Success podcast is an easy 20-minute audio-only interview over Skype. If you accept, we will be grateful and excited as we hope your story will help inspire young Scots to achieve their potential. We look forward to interviewing you and scheduling a time that works for you!

    If you agree and have scheduled a definite interview time we will send you an interview flow which provides you the exact questions we will ask – that way, you can prepare beforehand and have an idea of how the interview will progress.

    For more information please feel free to check us out at http://www.scottishsuccess.com or on our twitter feed @scottishsuccess

    Thank you for your time.


    1. Phil – I’m really sorry I haven’t responded sooner – your message went the way of a hundred spam ones and I just realised it was a genuine message. I feel honoured to have been asked to be interviewed. The only thing is, I’m only a Scot by inclination – as in, I have lived in Scotland for 25 years, but was born in Germany before moving here as a teenager to study. I realise that probably means I don’t qualify. 🙂

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Children's Fiction. Drama. Short Stories.