It is a fact that scholars in Mithila used Sanskrit for their literary work and Maithili was the language of the common folk (Abahatta). The earliest work in Maithili appears to be Varn Ratnakar by Jyotirishwar Thakur dated about 1224 AD.
The Medieval age of Maithili appears to be during Karnat Dynasty when the names of the following scholars got prominance: Gangesh, Padmanabh, Chandeshwar, Vireshwar, Vidyapati, Vachaspati, Pakshadhar, Ayachi, Udayan, Shankar etc.
Vidyapati is said to have lived in the period 1350 to 1450. Vidyapati, though a Sanskrit scholar, wrote innumerable poems(songs) relating to Bhakti and Shringar in Maithili. Though equally accepted in Bengal and Mithila, his songs are the soul of Mithila and no celebration is complete without his songs. It will not be an exagerration to say that his songs have survived in the throats of Maithil women folk.
Theatrical writings in Medieval age are not less important. The following need mention: Umapati: (Parijat Haran), Jyotireeshwar: (Dhurt Samagam), Vidyapati: (Goraksha Vijay, Mani Manjari), Ramapati: (Rukmini Haran), Lal: (Gauri Swayambar), Manbodh: (Krishna Janma)
Modern Maithili Literature has been blessed with the contribution of the following scholars: Parmeshwar Jha, Sitaram Jha, Kabishekhar Badrinath Jha, Murali Jha, Surendranath Jha Suman, Kashikant Mishra Madhup, Chandranath Mishra Amar, Kanchinath Jha Kiran, Prof. Hari Mohan Jha, Ishnath Jha, Brajkishore Verma Manipadma, Baidyanath Mishra Yatri (Nagarjuna), Sudhanshu Shekhar Choudhary, Upendra Nath Jha Vyas, Prof. Radha Kant Jha, Mahamahopadhyay Umesh Mishra, Dr. JayKant Mishra, Prof. Krishna Kant Mishra, Kumar Ganganand Singh, Dr. Ramanath Jha, Prof. Tantra Nath Jha, Dr. Laxman Jha Dr. Subhadra Jha, Achutanand Dutt, Bhola Lal Das, Baidyanath Jha, Yoganand Jha, Narendra Das, Rajeshwar Jha, Arsi Prasad Singh, Prof. Buddhidhari Singh Ramakar and many more.
Maithili, though not included in VIIIth schedule of the Indian Constitution, was accepted by Sahitya Academy and since its inclusion has won awards almost every year. A number of academy awards have been won for translation from other languages.