Scotland's first Scriever, or official writer in Scots, has been appointed to raise awareness and appreciation of the language.

Hamish MacDonald, a writer, poet and playwright, will be the first writer to hold the two year residency post at the National Library of Scotland, funded by £50,000 from the national arts body, Creative Scotland.

He will write new work in Scots, including in its "variants and dialects" and is tasked with "raising awareness, appreciation and use of Scots across the country and amongst all parts of the population."

In a statement Mr MacDonald wrote: “I am delighted tae be offered the new an vitally important role as Scots Scriever wae the National Library o Scotland.

"I luik forwart tae workin wae communities throughoot Scotland in gie’in voice tae this vibrant language which, whether spoken or written, deserves tae be celebrated everywhere.”

He is a founder of Dogstar Theatre Company, was the first recipient of the Robert Burns Writing Fellowship (2003-06) for Dumfries and Galloway Arts Association and has led workshops in creative writing and performance.

He has also written for BBC Scotland and the Comedy Unit, including sketches for Nakes Video and Velvet Cabaret.

For the BBC he wrote an adaptation of The Captain's Collection and The Strathspey King, both of which won awards.

MacDonald, from Glasgow, spent three years as director of Moniack Mhor, one of Scotland’s creative writing centres, and works as a freelance writer.

He contributed to Scots language imprint Itchy Coo publishing’s children’s poetry books, King o the Midden and Blethertoun Braes.

The two year post involves one week per month of "engagement."

The two roles, writing and raising the profile of the language, which roughly take up half of his time each.

Aly Barr, acting Head of Literature, Publishing and Languages at Creative Scotland, said: “We welcome the appointment of Hamish MacDonald as the first Scots Scriever to take up residency at the National Library of Scotland (NLS).

"Identified as a key requirement within the Scots Language Policy, we are particularly pleased to be working in partnership with NLS to host the new Scots Scriever role.

"We were pleased that the interview panel noted Hamish’s work with schools and young people as being energetic and creative.

"He offers an opportunity to re-invigorate Scots for different communities across the country.

"His friendly approach will ensure that Scots is embraced by whole new audiences of Scots and non Scots speakers alike."

Dr John Scally, National Librarian at the National Library of Scotland, said: “This is an exciting role, based at the Library, to engage people of all ages in the use of Scots.

"The project will seek to link with the past but it is much more about how the language is used today.

"The Scots language is very much part of our cultural identity and we want to see it thrive, not just survive.”

Scots poet and novelist, Matthew Fitt, said: “Hamish MacDonald is yin o oor finest Scots writers.

"He has been scrievin and fechtin for the leid for a lang time and his appointment as National Scots Scriever is weel-deserved.”

Creative Scotland published its first Scots Language Policy in June 2015, in which the role of Scots Scriever was identified.