The Glencairn Glass invites writers to compose Scottish themed crime stories for its second short story competition

Are you a crime writer? We’ve got just the competition for you!

Last year the world’s favourite whisky glass – The Glencairn Glass – launched its first ever
crime short story competition attracting entries from talented crime writers across the globe.
The competition is being launched again this year, in partnership with the Bloody Scotland
International Crime Writing Festival and Scottish Field Magazine, with the theme; “A crime
story set in Scotland”.

Over the past three years The Glencairn Glass – produced by the Scottish family-run
glassware company Glencairn Crystal – has supported and celebrated Scottish crime writing
talent working closely with the Bloody Scotland team to sponsor their prestigious McIlvanney
and Bloody Scotland Debut crime-writing prizes. Its inaugural short story competition was
launched last year to build on this creative collaboration.

This year’s competition opens for entries on 18th October and runs until 31 st December. Both
experienced and novice crime writers are invited to submit their stories, in no more than
2000 words, around the theme: “A crime story set in Scotland”.

The first prize winner will receive £1000, the runner up will be awarded £500. Both will also
receive a set of six bespoke engraved Glencairn Glasses. The winning entry will be
published in Scottish Field Magazine in spring 2023 and both stories will be published online
at the Scottish Field website, as well as the Glencairn Glass website.

The competition judging panel will comprise Tariq Ashkanani, whose debut novel Welcome
to Cooper won this year’s Bloody Scotland Debut Award 2022, and Sharon Bairden, an
established book reviewer and author of psychological thrillers; Sins of the Father and You
Need Me. The third judge is Glencairn Crystal’s marketing director Gordon Brown, who has
written ten crime novels with his latest – ‘Any Day Now – out now. Gordon is also one of the
founding directors of the Bloody Scotland International Crime Writing Festival.

Gordon Brown commented: “The response to last year’s inaugural short-story competition
was fantastic. I’m looking forward to celebrating all of this year’s entries with a wee dram in a
Glencairn Glass.”

Last year’s inaugural competition was won by Brid Cummings, a fiction writer and
occupational therapist, based in South Australia. Her winning story – Halmeoni’s Wisdom –
was a dark tale of human trafficking, illegal trade and a desire for freedom.

Brid commented: “Winning the inaugural Glencairn Glass Crime Short Story Competition
was a fantastic experience – not only did it provide an opportunity to build my profile and
connect with other crime writers, it also gave me the confidence to finish my psychological
suspense novel, which has recently gained 3rd prize in the Yeovil Literary Prize. I would
highly recommend this competition to anyone wishing to start a career in crime writing.”

Bloody Scotland’s Festival Director, Bob McDevitt, said: “At Bloody Scotland we are
passionate about supporting new writing and encourage aspiring writers to seize this
fabulous opportunity. A short story is a great stepping stone to writing a novel. Whatever
your background or experience we encourage you to give the Glencairn Glass short story
competition a go!”

All short story entries must be submitted at www.whiskyglass.com/crime-short-story-
competition with the competition closing at midnight on the Saturday 31st December 2022.
Details can also be found at www.scottishfield.co.uk. The winners will be announced in
March 2023.

We are delighted to say that Bloody Scotland 2022 was a huge success and we can’t wait to do it all again next year. Crime writers, bloggers, publishers and readers descended on the historic city for the first fully functioning festival since 2019. Contrary to all predictions and expectations revenue for the 10th Anniversary festival is within 10% of the best ever pre-Covid festival.

The train strike was cancelled at the eleventh hour and crime fiction fans who hadn’t anticipated being able to get to Stirling were able to do so. The death of the Queen was marked with a haunting rendition of Highland Cathedral by the Royal Burgh Pipe Band followed by a minute’s silence at Stirling Castle and a silent torchlit procession down cobbled streets to the Albert Halls.

The festival opened with Denzil Meyrick and a founder of Bloody Scotland, Alex Gray. The winners of the McIlvanney Prize (Alan Parks) and the Bloody Scotland Debut Prize (Tariq Ashkanani) were interviewed live on stage by Janice Forsyth from BBC Scotland and the evening concluded with Ian Rankin interviewed by board member, Abir Mukherjee.

Highlights of the festival always include the fringe activities. The Bloody Scotland England v Scotland crime writers football match at a new location in Kings Park was won decisively by Scotland 6-4. The Crime at the Coo crime writers’ cabaret included musical numbers from festival director, Bob McDevitt and author, Emma Christie with what she terms ‘lesbian acoustic folk’ as well as the usual suspects. In a slight departure from the traditional Quiz, Abir Mukherjee and Vaseem Khan hosted A Red Hot Night of a Million Games which concluded with a mass Britney Spears sing-a-long.

The festival continued in a hybrid format allowing huge names like Janet Evanovitch, Peter May, David Baldacci, Donna Leon and Irvine Welsh to be beamed into the new venue at The Tolbooth which also hosted a Bloody Scotland 10 Year Anniversary exhibition. In terms of actual ticket sales, the introduction of digital ticketing takes the 2022 audience 40% above the audience figures in 2019.

In terms of physical events the bestseller was Ann Cleeves in conversation with forensic pathologist Professor James Grieve and in the slightly smaller venue of The Tolbooth the Agatha Christie homage with Lucy Foley, Tom Hindle and Carla Valentine was also a sell-out.

Bob McDevitt, Festival Director said:

‘I think this was the kindest and most emotional Bloody Scotland yet; from the minute’s silence before the torchlit procession to Pitch Perfect being won by a Ukrainian refugee and to see Alan Parks (a former debut panelist) and Tariq Ashkanani (a former Spotlighter) pick up the prizes. So many people stopped me in the street and in our venues to say thanks for putting on the festival for the past ten years. The authors, publishers, chairs, journalists, bloggers and readers seemed to relish being back together, enjoying something that we are all passionate about. Oh, and Scotland won the football!’

Joe Chacko, Crime in the Spotlight act ahead of Anthony Horowitz said:

‘It’s difficult to believe that Bloody Scotland is organised by just 11 people. It has the feel of a world-class event with the intimacy and welcome of a local festival.’

Bloody Scotland International Crime Writing Festival will return to Stirling from Friday 15 to Sunday 17 September 2023.

Sponsored by The Glencairn Glass

We are delighted to announce the winners for the McIlvanney Prize 2022 and the Bloody Scotland Debut Prize! The finalists for both prizes led a torchlit procession from Stirling Castle to the Albert Halls this evening where Arusa Qureshi revealed the winner of the Bloody Scotland Debut Prize to be Tariq Ashkanani with Welcome to Cooper (Thomas & Mercer) and Ayo Onatade revealed the winner of the McIlvanney Prize to be Alan Parks with May God Forgive (Canongate).

Ayo Onatade, chair of the McIlvanney Prize judges described May God Forgive as:

‘A terrific continuation of Alan Parks police procedural “month’ series. May God Forgive is every bit as entertaining, gritty, darkly humorous and steeped in the grimy underbelly of Glasgow as the previous books. A fantastic book with an intriguing cast of characters that not only keeps to a tight timeframe, but is fast, hard, edgy and thought provoking. 1970s Glasgow has never been so thoroughly invoked. A truly gripping read.’

May God Forgive is the fifth outing for Alan Parks’ Glasgow detective Harry McCoy and sees a desperate search for two kidnapped boys. Parks was also a finalist for The McIlvanney Prize in 2021. Prior to becoming an award-winning crime writer he worked with Lloyd Cole and the Commotions and various other bands first at London Records and then at Warner Music. His debut novel, Bloody January, was published in December 2017.

Arusa Qureshi, chair of the judges for The Bloody Scotland Debut Prize described Welcome to Cooper as:

‘Well-structured, bleak and just the right amount of disturbing. Tariq Ashkanani has crafted a terrific debut that doesn’t provide an obvious hero but instead, draws out the flaws and bad choices of its central characters. This provides a sense of discomfort that stays with you throughout but that’s where the beauty lies. I found myself going back and re-reading once I’d finished to make sure I had every detail right, which I think is the mark of a really clever and riveting story.’

Tariq Ashkanani is a solicitor based in Edinburgh and a dynamic new addition to Scotland’s crime writing roster. His assured US-set debut was the first in a two-book deal with Thomas & Mercer. His second novel Follow Me to the Edge was published in March 2022 and is also set in small town Nebraska.

The Glencairn Glass, the world’s favourite whisky glass, has again sponsored both The McIlvanney Prize and The Bloody Scotland Debut Crime Novel of the Year. The winners were presented with a trophy by Kirsty Nicholson, Design and Marketing Manager at Glencairn Crystal – who said:

 “A huge congratulations to Tariq Ashkanani and Alan Parks for winning this year’s awards. It has been a privilege and a delight to once again support these prestigious awards with the Glencairn Glass – both of which are uniquely Scottish – and to celebrate the array of talented writers in the world of Scottish Crime fiction.”  

Follow us @bloodyscotland #BloodyScotland

Information about the Prizes
Bloody Scotland is Scotland’s International Crime Writing Festival, providing a showcase for the best crime writing from Scotland and the world, unique in that it was set up by a group of Scottish crime writers in 2012. Full information at www.bloodyscotland.com

The McIlvanney Prize recognises excellence in Scottish crime writing, includes a prize of £1000 and nationwide promotion in Waterstones. Previous winners are Craig Russell with Hyde in 2021, Francine Toon with Pine in 2020, Manda Scott with A Treachery of Spies in 2019 (who chose to share her prize with all the finalists), Liam McIlvanney with The Quaker in 2018, Denise Mina with The Long Drop 2017, Chris Brookmyre with Black Widow 2016, Craig Russell with The Ghosts of Altona in 2015, Peter May with Entry Island in 2014, Malcolm Mackay with How A Gunman Says Goodbye in 2013 and Charles Cumming with A Foreign Country in 2012.

The initial longlisting is handled by over 100 crime fiction readers from all over Scotland including booksellers, bloggers, librarians and festival-goers and the longlist is then handed to the high-profile team of judges to decide on the eventual winner.

The Bloody Scotland Prize for Scottish Crime Writing first awarded in 2012 was renamed The McIlvanney Prize in 2016. The Bloody Scotland Debut Prize was introduced in 2019 and won by Claire Askew who this year made the McIlvanney longlist along with Deborah Masson who won the Debut Prize in 2020.

In 2018 Bloody Scotland began a partnership with Harvill Secker to encourage new crime writers of colour. The winner of the inaugural prize was Ajay Chowdhury and in December 2021 it was won by Dettie Gould with The Light and Shade of Ellen Swithin.

Bloody Scotland in partnership with The Glencairn Glass, the world’s favourite whisky glass, recently resurrected the short story competition which took place in the first year. The latest incarnation, with media support from the Scottish Field Magazine, received entries from all over the world. Many previously unpublished. The winner was from Australia and was published in Scottish Field Magazine.

To make the festival more affordable for everyone and mark our 10th Anniversary we’re offering a limited number of tickets at £5 each for 10 of our events (see bloodyscotland.com/10-at-5).

A 10% discount is available for all events in Stirling to people residing in the Stirling Council area. (see bloodyscotland.com/localdiscount)

In addition free standby tickets will be offered to the unemployed or those on low income on the day of the event if there is good availability (see bloodyscotland.com/standby)

We are committed to making Bloody Scotland an accessible festival. All of the venues are accessible by wheelchair and BSL interpretation is available at events on request. Email info@bloodyscotland.com A free shuttle bus between venues is available for those who need it. Seating is unreserved so please advise at time of booking if you require a wheelchair space or have any specific needs and we will do our best to accommodate them.

The Bloody Scotland board is made up of crime writers Lin Anderson, Craig Robertson, Gordon Brown and Abir Mukherjee, James Crawford (chair), Muriel Robertson (finance) and Catriona Reynolds (governance). 

Bloody Scotland receives vital funding from Creative Scotland, Stirling Council and Culture and Business Fund Scotland. We are also grateful to our many sponsors and supporters including The Glencairn Glass, H W Fisher, Stirling Castle, Literary Tours in Egypt, Waterstones, The Open University in Scotland and Go Forth Stirling along with a wide range of publishers.

Creative Scotland is the public body that supports the arts, screen and creative industries across all parts of Scotland distributing funding provided by the Scottish Government and The National Lottery. Further information at creativescotland.com.

The shortlist for the McIlvanney Prize 2022 was:
The Heretic, Liam McIlvanney (Harpercollins)
May God Forgive, Alan Parks (Canongate)
A Corruption of Blood, Ambrose Parry (Canongate)
The Second Cut, Louise Welsh (Canongate)


The McIlvanney Prize judges were Ayo Onatade, winner of the CWA Red Herring Award and freelance crime fiction critic, Ewan Wilson, crime fiction buyer from Waterstones Glasgow and Jacky Collins, otherwise known as the podcaster, Dr Noir and programmer of Newcastle Noir.

The shortlist for The Bloody Scotland Debut Prize for crime fiction was:
Tariq Ashkanani, Welcome to Cooper (Thomas & Mercer, Amazon).
Frankie Boyle, Meantime (John Murray).
Amanda Mitchison, The Wolf Hunters (Fledgling Press).
George Paterson, The Girl, The Crow, The Writer and The Fighter (Into Books).
Sarah Smith, Hear No Evil (Two Roads).

Arusa Qureshi, a former editor of The List, replaced Janice Forsyth as a judge for the Bloody Scotland Debut this year and she joined Kenny Tweeddale from sponsors, The Glencairn Glass, and Simon Lloyd from Waterstones.

Sponsored by The Glencairn Glass

Winners to be presented on Thursday 15 September 2022

In Bloody Scotland’s 10th Anniversary year, the judges are delighted to reveal the finalists for The McIlvanney Prize 2022:

Liam McIlvanney – The Heretic (HarperCollins)
Alan Parks – May God Forgive (Canongate)
Ambrose Parry – A Corruption of Blood (Canongate)
Louise Welsh – The Second Cut (Canongate)

A hat trick for Canongate and indeed for Scottish independent publishing!  The McIlvanney Prize judges are Ayo Onatade, winner of the CWA Red Herring Award and freelance crime fiction critic, Ewan Wilson, crime fiction buyer from Waterstones Glasgow and Jacky Collins, otherwise known as the podcaster, Dr Noir and programmer of Newcastle Noir. They were unanimous in their praise for all four finalists:

Liam McIlvanney – The Heretic (HarperCollins)
The masterful rendering of a richly layered plot makes you want to read this novel again as soon as you’ve finished it. It’s a warts and all tale with memorable characters and a great setting.

Alan Parks – May God Forgive (Canongate)
This expertly handled and morally ambiguous novel paints a dark and mesmerising portrait of 1970s Glasgow. The skillfully written and complex plot builds to a thrilling and highly unconventional denouement.

Ambrose Parry – A Corruption of Blood (Canongate)
A real slow burner of a novel which is a marvellous tale of murder and deception in Victorian Edinburgh. It handles some difficult subject matter with sensitivity and care and has a real feeling of authenticity.

Louise Welsh – The Second Cut (Canongate)
The raw, tight prose of this novel delivers an edgy glimpse into the underbelly of 21st century Glasgow. The novel features the welcome return of Rilke from Louise’s classic debut The Cutting room in a witty and sometimes sordid tale of a rank outsider.

The winner will be revealed in Stirling on Thursday 15 September.  All of the shortlisted authors will be invited to a VIP reception at the Church of the Holy Rude at 7pm and to lead the torchlit procession from Stirling Castle to The Albert Halls where the winner of both the McIlvanney and the Bloody Scotland Debut Prizes will be revealed at approximately 8.30pm. They will then be interviewed on stage by BBC Radio Scotland’s Janice Forsyth.

About the Prizes
 
The McIlvanney Prize recognises excellence in Scottish crime writing, includes a prize of £1000 and nationwide promotion in Waterstones. Previous winners are Craig Russell with Hyde in 2021, Francine Toon with Pine in 2020, Manda Scott with A Treachery of Spies in 2019 (who chose to share her prize with all the finalists), Liam McIlvanney with The Quaker in 2018, Denise Mina with The Long Drop 2017, Chris Brookmyre with Black Widow 2016, Craig Russell with The Ghosts of Altona in 2015, Peter May with Entry Island in 2014, Malcolm Mackay with How A Gunman Says Goodbye in 2013 and Charles Cumming with A Foreign Country in 2012.

The initial longlisting is handled by over 100 crime fiction readers from all over Scotland including booksellers, bloggers, librarians and festival-goers and the longlist is then handed to the high-profile team of judges to decide on the eventual winner.

The Bloody Scotland Prize for Scottish Crime Writing first awarded in 2012 was renamed The McIlvanney Prize in 2016. The Bloody Scotland Debut Prize was introduced in 2019 and won by Claire Askew who this year made the McIlvanney longlist along with Deborah Masson who won the Debut Prize in 2020.
 
In 2018 Bloody Scotland began a partnership with Harvill Secker to encourage new crime writers of colour. The winner of the inaugural prize was Ajay Chowdhury and in December 2021 it was won by Dettie Gould with The Light and Shade of Ellen Swithin.

Bloody Scotland in partnership with The Glencairn Glass, the world’s favourite whisky glass, recently resurrected the short story competition which took place in the first year. The latest incarnation, with media support from the Scottish Field Magazine, received entries from all over the world. Many previously unpublished. The winner was from Australia and was published in Scottish Field Magazine.
 
To make the festival more affordable for everyone and mark our 10th Anniversary we’re offering a limited number of tickets at £5 each for 10 of our events (see bloodyscotland.com/10-at-5).
 
A 10% discount is available for all events in Stirling to people residing in the Stirling Council area. (see bloodyscotland.com/localdiscount)
 
In addition free standby tickets will be offered to the unemployed or those on low income on the day of the event if there is good availability (see bloodyscotland.com/standby)
 
We are committed to making Bloody Scotland an accessible festival. All of the venues are accessible by wheelchair and BSL interpretation is available at events on request. Email info@bloodyscotland.com A free shuttle bus between venues is available for those who need it. Seating is unreserved so please advise at time of booking if you require a wheelchair space or have any specific needs and we will do our best to accommodate them.
 
The Bloody Scotland board is made up of crime writers Lin Anderson, Craig Robertson, Gordon Brown and Abir Mukherjee, James Crawford (chair), Muriel Robertson (finance) and Catriona Reynolds (governance). 

Bloody Scotland receives vital funding from Creative Scotland, Stirling Council and Culture and Business Fund Scotland. We are also grateful to our many sponsors and supported including The Glencairn Glass, H W Fisher, Stirling Castle, Literary Tours in Egypt, Waterstones, The Open University in Scotland and Go Forth Stirling along with a wide range of publishers.
 
Creative Scotland is the public body that supports the arts, screen and creative industries across all parts of Scotland distributing funding provided by the Scottish Government and The National Lottery. Further information at creativescotland.com.

The full longlist for the McIlvanney Prize 2022 was:

A Matter of Time, Claire Askew (Hodder)
The Sound of Sirens, Ewan Gault (Leamington Books)
The Blood Tide, Neil Lancaster (Harpercollins)
From the Ashes, Deborah Masson (Transworld)
The Heretic, Liam McIlvanney (Harpercollins)
Rizzio, Denise Mina (Polygon)
May God Forgive, Alan Parks (Canongate)
A Corruption of Blood, Ambrose Parry (Canongate)
A Rattle of Bones, Douglas Skelton (Polygon)
The Second Cut, Louise Welsh (Canongate).

The shortlist for The Bloody Scotland Debut Prize for crime fiction is:

Tariq Ashkanani, Welcome to Cooper (Thomas & Mercer, Amazon).
Frankie Boyle, Meantime (John Murray).
Amanda Mitchison, The Wolf Hunters (Fledgling Press).
George Paterson, The Girl, The Crow, The Writer and The Fighter (Into Books).
Sarah Smith, Hear No Evil (Two Roads).

Arusa Qureshi, a former editor of The List, replaces Janice Forsyth as a judge for the Bloody Scotland Debut this year and she joins Kenny Tweeddale from sponsors, The Glencairn Glass, and Simon Lloyd from Waterstones.

Sponsored by The Open University in Scotland

Bloody Scotland continues to support up and coming writers and are delighted to reveal the authors chosen for ‘Crime in the Spotlight’ at this year’s 10th Anniversary Festival.

Our ‘In the Spotlight’ pairings are:

Thursday 15th

Liz Webb from London with Alex Gray and Denzil Meyrick
Heather Fitt a Scot from Hampshire with Ian Rankin and Abir Mukherjee
Amen Alonge from London via Lagos and Edinburgh with Irvine Welsh

Friday 16th
Graham Bartlett from Sussex with AK Turner, Mary Paulson Ellis and Doug Johnstone
Maureen Myant from Glasgow with Dr Marie Cassidy and Dr Sohom Das
Emma Styles from London with Denise Mina, Elly Griffiths & Imran Mahmood
Sarah Bonner from West Sussex with Jo Spain, Ellery Lloyd and Julie Mayhew
Tom Mead from Derbyshire with Ruth Ware, Jane Casey & Lisa Unger
Jonathan Peace also from Derbyshire with Lin Anderson, Chris Brookmyre & Claire Mackintosh
John Brownlow from Toronto with David Baldacci
Angela Edgar a local author from Dunblane with John Connolly & Alex North

Saturday 17th
Ross Macfarlane, an advocate from Edinburgh with S J Parris & Laura Shepherd-Robinson
Catherine Yaffe, from Yorkshire with Charles Cumming, Ben Creed & Kim Sherwood
Carole Johnstone, from Glasgow with Ann Cleeves
Nick Edmunds, a local author from Stirling with Jeffrey Archer and Abir Mukherjee
Karen Taylor from Cornwall with Brian McGilloway, Simon Toyne and C L Taylor
Joe Chacko from Glasgow with Anthony Horowitz (was previously at Pitch Perfect)
Scott Cumming from Aberdeen with Mark Billingham & Mick Herron
John Harkin from Glasgow with Frankie Boyle

Sunday 18th
F J Watson, local author from Braco near Dunblane with Joanne Harris & Janice Hallett
John Coughlan from Johnstone with Sarah Vaughan and Alan Johnson
Caron McKinlay from East Scotland with Louise Welsh, Lilja Sigurdarddottir & David Fennell

In the interest of inclusivity authors were given the option of appearing live on stage or via video link.

Inspired by the concept of support acts at music festivals, Crime in the Spotlight pairs the rising stars of the crime fiction scene with established crime writers and to date over 100 authors have taken to the spotlight stage.

Most famously author, Graeme Macrae Burnet was paired with Ian Rankin in 2015 and went on to be shortlisted for The Booker. Claire Askew who was a spotlighter in 2018 went on to win the Bloody Scotland Debut Prize in 2019 and this year is longlisted for the McIlvanney.

We wish all our spotlighters lots of luck and look forward to following their crime writing careers with interest.

About Bloody Scotland

Bloody Scotland is Scotland’s International Crime Writing Festival, providing a showcase for the best crime writing from Scotland and the world, unique in that it was set up by a group of Scottish crime writers in 2012. Full information at bloodyscotland.com

The festival takes place in various venues (including The Albert Halls, The Tollbooth and the social hub of the festival, The Golden Lion Hotel) in the historic town of Stirling from 15-18 September 2022.

The Bloody Scotland Prize for Scottish Crime Writing first awarded in 2012 was renamed The McIlvanney Prize in 2016. The Bloody Scotland Debut Prize was introduced in 2019 and won by Claire Askew who this year made the McIlvanney longlist along with Deborah Masson who won the Debut Prize in 2020.

In 2018 Bloody Scotland began a partnership with Harvill Secker to encourage new crime writers of colour. The winner of the inaugural prize was Ajay Chowdhury and in December 2021 it was won by Dettie Gould with The Light and Shade of Ellen Swithin.

Bloody Scotland in partnership with The Glencairn Glass, the world’s favourite whisky glass, recently resurrected the short story competition which took place in the first year. The latest incarnation, with media support from the Scottish Field Magazine, received entries from all over the world. Many previously unpublished. The winner was from Australia and was published in Scottish Field Magazine.

The Pitch Perfect and Crime in the Spotlight sessions are sponsored by the Open University in Scotland.

To make the festival more affordable for everyone and mark our 10th Anniversary we’re offering a limited number of tickets at £5 each for 10 of our events (see bloodyscotland.com/10-at-5).

A 10% discount is available for all events in Stirling to people residing in the Stirling Council area. (see bloodyscotland.com/localdiscount)

In addition free standby tickets will be offered to the unemployed or those on low income on the day of the event if there is good availability (see bloodyscotland.com/standby)

We are committed to making Bloody Scotland an accessible festival. All of the venues are accessible by wheelchair and BSL interpretation is available at events on request. Email info@bloodyscotland.com A free shuttle bus between venues is available for those who need it. Seating is unreserved so please advise at time of booking if you require a wheelchair space or have any specific needs and we will do our best to accommodate them.

The Bloody Scotland board is made up of crime writers Lin Anderson, Craig Robertson, Gordon Brown and Abir Mukherjee, James Crawford (chair), Muriel Robertson (finance) and Catriona Reynolds (governance). PR, Marketing & Sponsorship is handled by Fiona Brownlee and Tim Donald of Brownlee Donald Associates. Social Media and the website is handled by Dawn Geddes.

Bloody Scotland receives vital funding from Creative Scotland, Stirling Council and Culture and Business Fund Scotland. We are also greatefu to our many sponsors and supported including The Glencairn Glass, H W Fisher, Stirling Castle, Literary Tours in Egypt, Waterstones, The Open University in Scotland and Go Forth Stirling along with a wide range of publishers.

Creative Scotland is the public body that supports the arts, screen and creative industries across all parts of Scotland distributing funding provided by the Scottish Government and The National Lottery. Further information at creativescotland.com Follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. Learn more about the value of art and creativity in Scotland and join in at www.ourcreativevoice.scot

Bloody Scotland International Crime Writing Festival first launched Pitch Perfect in 2012.

The winner was Joseph Knox whose book went on to be a Sunday Times bestseller. In 2016 the winner was Alison Belsham who travelled all the way from London to participate and found herself an agent and a publisher:‘I stumbled across a post on Facebook about a pitching event at a crime-writing festival in Scotland. I’d never heard of Bloody Scotland or the Pitch Perfect event. I hadn’t written a crime novel and I wasn’t Scottish. In theory, I should have scrolled right on past. But two little words caught my eye: ‘professional feedback’… Jenny Brown chaired the Pitch Perfect panel and offered to represent me the same week.’

Pitch Perfect at Bloody Scotland. Image by Paul Reich

Everyone who has won the prize has been picked up by an agent and most have had books published, as have many of the other Pitch Perfect participants. This year the Festival would like to encourage aspiring authors from diverse backgrounds to apply. If book festivals are to become more diverse we need more diverse crime writers in the first place. Pitch Perfect is a great place to start.

Pitch Perfect is Sponsored by The Open University in Scotland

Applications: https://bloodyscotland.com/take-part/pitch-perfect/

Previous winners of Pitch Perfect are:
2012 Joseph Knox
2013 Alex Cox
2014 Margaret Stewart
2015 Matt Wesolowski
2016 Alison Belsham
2017 Mark Wightman
2018 C O Vollmer (David Bishop)
2019 Suzy Aspley
2020 Kate Foster
2021 Kris Haddow

In the interest of inclusivity a number of the pitchers will have the option to pitch on-line. Chaired by literary agent, Jenny Brown, the 2022 panel includes Toby Jones, editorial director at Headline, Katherine Armstrong, deputy publishing director at Simon & Schuster and Robbie Guillory, agent at Underline Literary Agency. They will listen to eight aspiring authors pitching their ideas for a crime novel, offer constructive feedback and select a winner.

Bloody Scotland is Scotland’s International Crime Writing Festival, providing a showcase for the best crime writing from Scotland and the world, unique in that it was set up by a group of Scottish crime writers in 2012. Full information at bloodyscotland.com

The festival takes place in various venues (including The Albert Halls, The Tollbooth and the social hub of the festival, The Golden Lion Hotel) in the historic town of Stirling from 15-18 September 2022.

The Bloody Scotland Prize for Scottish Crime Writing first awarded in 2012 was renamed The McIlvanney Prize in 2016. The Bloody Scotland Debut Prize was introduced in 2019 and won by Claire Askew who this year made the McIlvanney longlist along with Deborah Masson who won the Debut Prize in 2020.

In 2018 Bloody Scotland began a partnership with Harvill Secker to encourage new crime writers of colour. The winner of the inaugural prize was Ajay Chowdhury and in December 2021 it was won by Dettie Gould with The Light and Shade of Ellen Swithin.

Bloody Scotland in partnership with The Glencairn Glass, the world’s favourite whisky glass, recently resurrected the short story competition which took place in the first year. The latest incarnation, with media support from the Scottish Field Magazine, received entries from all over the world. Many previously unpublished. The winner was from Australia and was published in Scottish Field Magazine.

The Pitch Perfect session is sponsored by the Open University in Scotland. To make the festival more affordable for everyone and mark our 10 th Anniversary we’re offering a limited number of tickets at £5 each for 10 of our events (see bloodyscotland.com/10-at-5).

A 10% discount is available for all events in Stirling to people residing in the Stirling Council area. (see bloodyscotland.com/localdiscount)

In addition free standby tickets will be offered to the unemployed or those on low income on the day of the event if there is good availability (see bloodyscotland.com/standby)

We are committed to making Bloody Scotland an accessible festival. All of the venues are accessible by wheelchair and BSL interpretation is available at events on request. Email info@bloodyscotland.com A free shuttle bus between venues is available for those who need it. Seating is unreserved so please advise at time of booking if you require a wheelchair space or have any specific needs and we will do our best to accommodate them.

The Bloody Scotland board is made up of crime writers Lin Anderson, Craig Robertson, Gordon Brown and Abir Mukherjee, James Crawford (chair), Muriel Robertson (finance) and Catriona Reynolds (governance). PR, Marketing & Sponsorship is handled by Fiona Brownlee and Tim Donald of Brownlee Donald Associates. Social Media and the website is handled by Dawn Geddes.

Bloody Scotland receives vital funding from Creative Scotland, Stirling Council and Culture and Business Fund Scotland. We are also grateful to our many sponsors and supported including The Glencairn Glass, H W Fisher, Stirling Castle, Literary Tours in Egypt, Waterstones, The Open University in Scotland and Go Forth Stirling along with a wide range of publishers.

Creative Scotland is the public body that supports the arts, screen and creative industries across all parts of Scotland distributing funding provided by the Scottish Government and The National Lottery. Further information at creativescotland.com . Follow us on Twitter Facebook  and  Instagram.  Learn more about the value of art and creativity in Scotland and join in at  www.ourcreativevoice.scot

We are delighted to announce the shortlist for the Scottish Crime Debut of the Year 2022. With thanks to The Glencairn Glass for their support of this year’s prizes.

The shortlisted titles are:

Tariq Ashkanani, Welcome to Cooper (Thomas & Mercer, Amazon)

Frankie Boyle, Meantime (John Murray).

Amanda Mitchison, The Wolf Hunters (Fledgling Press).

George Paterson, The Girl, The Crow, The Writer and The Fighter (Into Books).

Sarah Smith, Hear No Evil (Two Roads).

The Bloody Scotland Debut Prize was launched in 2019 and two of the early winners, Claire Askew and Deborah Masson have this year graduated to the longlist for the McIlvanney Prize.

The shortlist for the 2022 Debut Prize features two women and three men. In a David and Goliath moment the behemoth that is Amazon is battling Into Books, an indie so small they haven’t yet published enough books to qualify for membership of Publishing Scotland.

The full shortlist is:

Tariq Ashkanani, Welcome to Cooper (Thomas & Mercer, Amazon). A dark thriller set in small town America by an Edinburgh based solicitor and podcaster.

Frankie Boyle, Meantime (John Murray). A picaresque detective story set against the backdrop of post referendum Scotland by one of Britain’s best-known comedians and writers.

Amanda Mitchison, The Wolf Hunters (Fledgling Press). Set in a brutal, chaotic Scotland of the near future. The author is an award-winning journalist and author of several children’s books.

George Paterson, The Girl, The Crow, The Writer and The Fighter (Into Books). An epistolary tale of murder and chicanery which spans continents and lifetime by a writer, DJ and musician.

Sarah Smith, Hear No Evil (Two Roads). Based on a true case from Scottish legal history about a young Deaf woman accused of murder. Smith is a family history researcher and a creative writing tutor.

Arusa Qureshi, a former editor of The List, replaces Janice Forsyth as a judge for the Bloody Scotland Debut this year and she joins Kenny Tweeddale from sponsors, The Glencairn Glass, and Simon Lloyd from Waterstones.

The McIlvanney longlist and the Bloody Scotland shortlist will be promoted in bookshops throughout Scotland in the period between the announcement and the presentation on Thursday 15 September. For the first time the presentation will take place AFTER the torchlight procession through Stirling in order that all shortlisted authors can take their place at the front.  The procession will conclude with a formal event at The Albert Halls where the two winners will be revealed and Janice Forsyth will interview them live on stage.

Bloody Scotland is Scotland’s International Crime Writing Festival, providing a showcase for the best crime writing from Scotland and the world, unique in that it was set up by a group of Scottish crime writers in 2012. Full information at bloodyscotland.com

The festival takes place in various venues (including The Albert Halls, The Tollbooth and the social hub of the festival, The Golden Lion Hotel) in the historic town of Stirling from 15-18 September 2022.

The Bloody Scotland Prize for Scottish Crime Writing first awarded in 2012 was renamed The McIlvanney Prize in 2016. The Bloody Scotland Debut Prize was introduced in 2019 and won by Claire Askew who this year made the McIlvanney longlist along with Deborah Masson who won the Debut Prize in 2020.

In 2018 Bloody Scotland began a partnership with Harvill Secker to encourage new crime writers of colour. The winner of the inaugural prize was Ajay Chowdhury and in December 2021 it was won by Dettie Gould with The Light and Shade of Ellen Swithin.

Bloody Scotland in partnership with The Glencairn Glass, the world’s favourite whisky glass, recently resurrected the short story competition which took place in the first year. The latest incarnation, with media support from the Scottish Field Magazine, received entries from all over the world. Many previously unpublished. The winner was from Australia and was published in Scottish Field Magazine.

To make the festival more affordable for everyone and mark our 10th Anniversary we’re offering a limited number of tickets at £5 each for 10 of our events (see bloodyscotland.com/10-at-5).

A 10% discount is available for all events in Stirling to people residing in the Stirling Council area. (see bloodyscotland.com/localdiscount)

In addition free standby tickets will be offered to the unemployed or those on low income on the day of the event if there is good availability (see bloodyscotland.com/standby)

We are committed to making Bloody Scotland an accessible festival. All of the venues are accessible by wheelchair and BSL interpretation is available at events on request. Email info@bloodyscotland.com A free shuttle bus between venues is available for those who need it. Seating is unreserved so please advise at time of booking if you require a wheelchair space or have any specific needs and we will do our best to accommodate them.

The Bloody Scotland board is made up of crime writers Lin Anderson, Craig Robertson, Gordon Brown and Abir Mukherjee, James Crawford (chair), Muriel Robertson (finance) and Catriona Reynolds (governance).  PR, Marketing & Sponsorship is handled by Fiona Brownlee and Tim Donald of Brownlee Donald Associates. Social Media and the website is handled by Dawn Geddes.

Bloody Scotland receives vital funding from Creative Scotland, Stirling Council and Culture and Business Fund Scotland. We are also grateful to our many sponsors and supported including The Glencairn Glass, H W Fisher, Stirling Castle, Literary Tours in Egypt, Waterstones, The Open University in Scotland and Go Forth Stirling along with a wide range of publishers.

Creative Scotland is the public body that supports the arts, screen and creative industries across all parts of Scotland distributing funding provided by the Scottish Government and The National Lottery. Further information at creativescotland.com. Follow us on TwitterFacebook and Instagram. Learn more about the value of art and creativity in Scotland and join in at www.ourcreativevoice.scot

Stirling 15-18 September 2022

We are very exciting to announce our 10th anniversary programme!

Ten years on from the first Bloody Scotland International Crime Writing Festival the run has extended to four days, the number of events has doubled and the authors are more diverse than ever.
 
2022 sees the return of several Bloody Scotland favourites that we haven’t seen since the pre-pandemic days of 2019. Our dramatic torchlit procession through Stirling historic old town led by the pipes and drums of the Royal Burgh of Stirling Pipe Band and Stirling and District Schools Pipe Band encourages locals who don’t normally attend literary events to get involved. Scotland tackle England in our crime writers’ football match at the new venue of King’s Park, a free fun event which is also aimed at breaking down barriers. There will be a return of the ever-popular Crime at the Coo cabaret featuring an array of crime writers showing off their musical talents and the much-loved Quiz this year takes the form of Vaseem Khan and Abir Mukherjee’s ‘Red Hot Night of a Million Games’ in which they steal the best bits from the game shows of yesteryear and mash them up into something truly remarkable.
 
Val McDermid has described Bloody Scotland as a ‘dizzying weekend of pleasure’, Jake Kerridge talking on BBC Radio 4 praised Bloody Scotland for ‘thinking outside the box’ creating ‘a sort of fringe’ and William McIlvanney spoke fondly of it being ‘so friendly, so welcoming’. It is with great delight that we look forward to putting on that sort of inclusive, imaginative festival again to celebrate our 10th Anniversary.
 
In addition to the headliners we are welcoming to Stirling such as Sir Ian Rankin, Anthony Horowitz, Lisa Unger, Jeffrey Archer, Ann Cleeves and Frankie Boyle, debuts are at the heart of what Bloody Scotland is all about. The very first festival featured a ‘Fresh Blood Panel’ and this year in addition to the ‘Bloody Scotland Debut Prize Panel’ we have ‘Alex Gray’s New Crimes Panel’ plus debut authors appearing in various events throughout the programme and twenty new authors appearing ‘In the Spotlight’ on stage ahead of the established names.
 
We continue our commitment to bring the festival to the wider world and those who can’t make it to Stirling can buy digital passes for individual events or the whole weekend. Val McDermid, David Baldacci, Sara Paretsky, Donna Leon and Irvine Welsh will all join us live for digital sessions. More information about which events will be available to watch on-line can be found at bloodyscotland.com/digital-pass

Alan Bett, Head of Literature and Publishing at Creative Scotland said:
‘Much has changed in the decade since Bloody Scotland launched their first festival, in terms of Scottish crime writing and literature festivals more generally. This 10th anniversary programme is not only the biggest, it also embraces a hybrid model that means a wider audience can engage with authors either on stage or on screen. Bloody Scotland continues to promote the highly popular genre of Scottish crime writing to the world, while also connecting Scottish readers to the work of both new and much loved authors.’

James Crawford, Chair of Bloody Scotland said:

It’s fantastic to be able to mark the 10th anniversary of the festival with a full, four-day programme of in-person events – along with a brilliant selection of digital offerings – featuring the best that crime writing has to offer. Bloody Scotland was established a decade ago to shine a spotlight on crime writing and to help develop a whole new generation of writers. Debut authors have always been central to this, and to the vibrant community that has grown up around the festival. Along with the excitement of seeing familiar faces comes the thrill of finding your new favourite writer. Bloody Scotland 2022 is a festival full of possibilities and discovery.’
 
Stirling Councillor Leader, Councillor Chris Kane said:
‘The fact that Bloody Scotland is now enjoying its 10th Anniversary is a welcome plot development for a festival that has grown into one of Stirling’s most loved events.  Bloody Scotland has brought a wide range of visitors into Stirling over the years while making sure Stirling residents are an integral part of the occasion, such as the spectacular torchlit procession that lights up our city centre.’ 

Bloody Scotland is Scotland’s International Crime Writing Festival, providing a showcase for the best crime writing from Scotland and the world, unique in that it was set up by a group of Scottish crime writers in 2012.
 
The festival takes place in various venues (including The Albert Halls, The Tollbooth and the social hub of the festival, The Golden Lion Hotel) in the historic town of Stirling from 15-18 September 2022.
 
The Bloody Scotland Prize for Scottish Crime Writing first awarded in 2012 was renamed The McIlvanney Prize in 2016. The Bloody Scotland Debut Prize was introduced in 2019 and won by Claire Askew who this year made the McIlvanney longlist along with Deborah Masson who won the Debut Prize in 2020.
 
In 2018 Bloody Scotland began a partnership with Harvill Secker to encourage new crime writers of colour. The winner of the inaugural prize was Ajay Chowdhury and in December 2021 it was won by Dettie Gould with The Light and Shade of Ellen Swithin.
 
In order to maintain a year-round presence Bloody Scotland set up the Bloody Scotland Book Club in Spring 2021. The panel rotates every month and those on the panel take responsibility for choosing the three books which are discussed.
 
In 2017 Bloody Scotland partnered with Historic Environment Scotland to produce the Bloody Scotland book of short stories which has been reprinted for the 10th Anniversary and will be distributed free of charge throughout Stirling and the surrounding areas to encourage more engagement with Scottish crime fiction within the local community.
 
Bloody Scotland recently resurrected the short story competition which took place in the first year. The latest incarnation, sponsored by The Glencairn Glass with media support from The Scottish Field received over 132 entries from all over the world. Many previously unpublished. The winner was from Australia and was published in the Scottish Field Magazine.
 
To make the festival more affordable for everyone and mark our 10th Anniversary we’re offering a limited number of tickets at £5 each for 10 of our events (see bloodyscotland.com/10-at-5).
 
A 10% discount is available for all events in Stirling to people residing in the Stirling Council area. (see bloodyscotland.com/localdiscount)
 
In addition free standby tickets will be offered to the unemployed or those on low income on the day of the event if there is good availability (see bloodyscotland.com/standby)
 
We are committed to making Bloody Scotland an accessible festival. All of the venues are accessible by wheelchair and BSL interpretation is available at events on request. Email info@bloodyscotland.com A free shuttle bus between venues is available for those who need it. Seating is unreserved so please advise at time of booking if you require a wheelchair space or have any specific needs and we will do our best to accommodate them.
 
The Bloody Scotland board is made up of crime writers Lin Anderson, Craig Robertson, Gordon Brown and Abir Mukherjee, James Crawford (chair), Muriel Robertson (finance) and Catriona Reynolds (governance).  PR, Marketing & Sponsorship is handled by Fiona Brownlee and Tim Donald of Brownlee Donald Associates. Social Media and the website is handled by Dawn Geddes.
 
Bloody Scotland receives vital funding from Creative Scotland, Stirling Council and Culture and Business Fund Scotland. We are also grateful to our many sponsors and supported including The Glencairn Glass, H W Fisher, Stirling Castle, Literary Tours in Egypt, Waterstones, The Open University in Scotland and Go Forth Stirling along with a wide range of publishers.
 
Creative Scotland is the public body that supports the arts, screen and creative industries across all parts of Scotland distributing funding provided by the Scottish Government and The National Lottery. Further information at creativescotland.com. Follow us on TwitterFacebook and Instagram. Learn more about the value of art and creativity in Scotland and join in at www.ourcreativevoice.scot

We are delighted to announce the longlist for the McIlvanney Prize 2022. In Bloody Scotland’s 10th Anniversary year, it seems very fitting that a clear longlist of ten books emerged after the prize readers scores were tallied. Six years ago, the Scottish Crime Book of the Year Award was renamed the McIlvanney Prize in memory of William McIlvanney. The Prize recognises excellence in Scottish crime writing, and includes a prize of £1,000 and nationwide promotion in Waterstones.

The longlisted titles are:
May God Forgive, Alan Parks (Canongate)
The Second Cut, Louise Welsh (Canongate)
A Rattle of Bones, Douglas Skelton (Polygon)
From the Ashes, Deborah Masson (Transworld)
A Matter of Time, Claire Askew (Hodder)
A Corruption of Blood, Ambrose Parry (Canongate)
The Heretic, Liam McIlvanney (Harpercollins)
Rizzio, Denise Mina (Polygon)
The Sound of Sirens, Ewan Gault (Leamington Books)
The Blood Tide, Neil Lancaster (Harpercollins)

The McIlvanney Prize will be judged by Ayo Onatade, winner of the CWA Red Herring Award and freelance crime fiction critic, Janice Forsyth, presenter of the Afternoon Show on BBC Radio Scotland and Ewan Wilson, crime fiction buyer from Waterstones Glasgow. The Glencairn Glass, the world’s favourite whisky glass, is again sponsoring both The McIlvanney Prize and The Bloody Scotland Debut Crime Novel of the Year for 2022.

Finalists for the McIlvanney Prize will be revealed at the beginning of September. The winner will be revealed in Stirling on Thursday 15 September.

The McIlvanney Prize recognises excellence in Scottish crime writing, includes a prize of £1000 and nationwide promotion in Waterstones. Previous winners are Craig Russell with Hyde in 2021, Francine Toon with Pine in 2020, Manda Scott with A Treachery of Spies in 2019 (who chose to share her prize with all the finalists), Liam McIlvanney with The Quaker in 2018, Denise Mina with The Long Drop 2017, Chris Brookmyre with Black Widow 2016, Craig Russell with The Ghosts of Altona in 2015, Peter May with Entry Island in 2014, Malcolm Mackay with How A Gunman Says Goodbye in 2013 and Charles Cumming with A Foreign Country in 2012.

The initial longlisting is handled by over 100 crime fiction readers from all over Scotland including booksellers, bloggers, librarians and festival-goers and the longlist is then handed to the high-profile team of judges to decide on the eventual winner.

We have also revealed our Scottish Crime Debut of the Year 2022.

You can find out more about each longlisted book here.

Sponsored by The Glencairn Glass

We are delighted to announce the judges for the 2022 McIlvanney Prize & Bloody Scotland Debut Prize which will be presented at Bloody Scotland this September.

BBC presenter, Janice Forsyth, who previously judged the Debut Prize has stepped up to judge The McIlvanney Prize.

‘I thoroughly enjoyed being a judge of the 2021 Bloody Scotland Debut Prize,’ Janice said. ‘There’s a particular thrill in reading the work of new and emerging Scottish writers, and last year’s shortlisted authors impressed with the range and originality of their work. So it’s a thrill to be back this year as judge of the McIlvanney Prize. It’s been a stellar year for Scottish crime fiction, so I anticipate vigorous debate among the Judges. Without coming to blows of course. Although that could make a good locked room novel…’

Janice will join last year’s judges Ewan Wilson, crime fiction buyer at Waterstones Glasgow & Ayo Onatade, crime fiction critic who has been promoted to chair this year.

Ayo said: ‘Judging the McIlvanney Prize is an incredible honour and I am delighted to be judging the prize for another year. I am very much looking forward to reading the forthcoming submissions. I am in no doubt that we will once again have some very hard decisions to make when it comes to deciding the winner. It is a role that I am looking forward to.’

The longlist, which is selected by a panel of crime fiction fans and booksellers, will be revealed on Tuesday 7 June and the shortlist selected by the judging panel will be announced on Tuesday 30 August.

Janice will be replaced as a Bloody Scotland Debut judge by Arusa Qureshi, a former editor of The List who recently hosted the on-line Bloody Scotland Book Club. Arusa joins Kenny Tweeddale from sponsors, The Glencairn Glass, and Simon Lloyd from Waterstones. 

The shortlist will be revealed on Tuesday 28 June and the following day Bloody Scotland will be hosting a reception at Scotland House in London which it is hoped that many of the McIlvanney longlisters, Bloody Scotland shortlisters and their publishers and agents will attend ahead of the CWA Daggers dinner.

The McIlvanney longlist and the Bloody Scotland shortlist will be promoted in bookshops throughout Scotland in the period between the announcement and the presentation on Thursday 15 September. For the first time the presentation will take place AFTER the torchlight procession through Stirling in order that all shortlisted authors can take their place at the front. 

The procession will conclude with a formal event at The Albert Halls where the two winners will be revealed and Janice Forsyth will interview them live on stage.

Roll on September!