Bloody Scotland International Crime Festival announces best year yet



Described by William McIlvanney as one of the friendliest festivals around, Bloody Scotland, has finished this year up on last year with total sales of 6537 tickets in comparison to 5884 last year. An increase of more than 10%.

Next year the Bloody Scotland Festival will run from Friday 8 – Sunday 10 September using the new hub of The Golden Lion which proved a great success this year and was floodlit in bloody red in honour of the Festival. Interim director Bob McDevitt will stay on as Director in 2017 supported by PR & Marketing team Fiona Brownlee, Tim Donald and Laura Jones.

‘In my first year in charge I have been overwhelmed by the positive energy, camaraderie and good banter on display this weekend. I’ll be attending many book festivals in the next twelve months but I am genuinely already looking forward to Bloody Scotland 2017’ Bob McDevitt, Director

The festival opened this year with the presentation of The McIlvanney Prize which was awarded to Chris Brookmyre for Black Widow and attended by the great and the good of the crime fiction scene, including fellow finalists, Val McDermid, Doug Johnstone and E S Thomson. Over 1000 people attended the opening night which included events with Caro Ramsay and Stuart MacBride and a stand-up comedy routine from Chris Brookmyre and Mark Billingham with their unique spin on ‘Countdown.’

Last year, Jake Kerridge, crime fiction reviewer for The Daily Telegraph discovered current Man Booker long-listed title His Bloody Project by Graeme Macrae Burnet ‘In the Spotlight’ when he visited Bloody Scotland.

This year publishers and agents have been clamouring over Alison Belsham, winner of the ‘Pitch Perfect’ event which took place on Sunday 11th. The panel, made up of agent Jenny Brown and publishers Adrian Searle from Freight Books, Sam Eades from Orion, Krystna Green from Constable and Katherine Armstrong from Bonnier Zaffre Crime were unanimous in selecting Belsham as a winner with her book and she was whisked off immediately after the event to be interviewed for a BBC Imagine documentary about female crime writers. Definitely a name to watch. First discovered at Bloody Scotland 2016.

Bestselling events at The Albert Halls, which has a capacity of 500, were perhaps inevitably Chris Brookmyre with Mark Billingham, Val McDermid and Ian Rankin with Quintin Jardine. The Alanna Knight play ‘Inspector Faro Investigates’ starring Stuart MacBride in the lead role proved so popular the venue had to be moved and queues were snaking down the stairs and out on to the street. However the first event to sell out and the one most in demand was the quirky Crime at the Coo – an evening of cabaret which included The Slice Girls, McIlvanney Prize finalists Val McDermid and Doug Johnstone teaming up to perform ‘500 Miles’ by the Proclaimers and Luca Veste bringing down the house with his rendition of what he described as a ‘Scottish folk song’ which had been claimed by the US before breaking into ‘Hit Me Baby One More Time’ by Britney Spears.

Luca Veste also excelled himself on the football pitch in the annual Bloody Scotland Crime Writers Football Match with teams captained by Mark Billingham and Ian Rankin. Rankin took the Scottish defeat philosophically:

 ‘England got a few lucky breaks on their way to beating Scotland 7-1 in a tight, even contest…’ 

Visitors came from as far afield as the West Coast of the United States and New Zealand to meet Scottish and international crime writers in Stirling at the weekend. Every guest at every event was given a free book by sponsor Bookdonors which crime writer Eva Dolan commented was ‘fun watching people walking the rows picking their Bookdonors freebies’

If you would like to talk to Director of Bloody Scotland, Bob McDevitt, board members/crime writers Alex Gray, Lin Anderson, Craig Robertson or G J Brown or winner of The McIlvanney Prize for Scottish Crime Fiction, Chris Brookmyre please contact 07767 431846
@brownlee_donald @bloodyscotland


Bloody Scotland is Scotland’s International Crime Writing Festival, unique in that it was set up by a group of Scottish crime writers – Alex Gray, Lin Anderson, G J Brown and Craig Robertson – in 2012. This year marks the 5th Anniversary. Full information at

Bloody Scotland is sponsored by Bookdonors which trades in used books for the benefit of people, charities and the environment. All of its sales are used to fulfil the triple social mission; to provide flexible and adaptable employment opportunities, to help protect the environment by promoting re-use and to provide additional income to a range of charities. With an inventory of over 250,000 titles, which regularly change, a wide range of books can also be purchased from its web site at

Pictures of the 2016 Bloody Scotland including everything mentioned in this release can be used free of charge with credit to Eoin Carey and found in the following dropbox:

To see what the public had to say about the Festival look up @bloodyscotland #bloodyscotland on Twitter

Free standby tickets were made available to the unemployed or those on a low income. A 10% discount was available to people residing in the Stirling Council area. Visit for details.