Jessie Kesson

(October 28, 1916 - September 26, 1994)

Jessie Kesson will feature in the March of Women on 7th March 2015, a procession of women from Glasgow and beyond spilling out of Glasgow Women’s Library onto the streets of Bridgeton to celebrate the achievements of women past and present.

Born as Jessie Grant McDonald, was a Scottish novelist, playwright and radio producer.

She was born in a workhouse in Inverness and brought up in Elgin and then in an orphanage at Skene, Aberdeenshire from the age of 8. In her circumstances, she was not permitted to enter further education and had to go into domestic service.

In 1934 Jessie married Johnnie Kesson, a cattleman, living in Abriachan and then Rothienorman.[citation needed] She and her husband were farm workers in North East Scotland from 1939 to 1951; writing from this period illustrates her abiding love of nature and immersion in the changing seasons.

Encounters with Nan Shepherd and then Neil M. Gunn opened opportunities in writing, including plays for the BBC in Aberdeen.

She moved to London in 1947, where she lived for the rest of her life. As well as domestic work, she worked as a radio producer, producing Woman's Hour and over 90 radio plays.

Her writings include The White Bird Passes (1958), filmed for BBC Television in 1980, Glitter of Mica (1963), Another Time, Another Place (1983) which became an award-winning film, and Where the Apple Ripens.

To make your own nomination download the nomination form here