McIlvanney Prize Entry Rules


A portrait of William McIllvanney watches over the McIlvanney Prize 2018 in The Church of the Holy Rude at Bloody Scotland, Scotland’s International Crime Writing Festival in Stirling on the 21/09/2018.
Paul Reich

The winner of The McIlvanney Prize will receive a cheque for £1,000 and a new prize of £500 will also be awarded for ‘Scottish Crime Debut of the Year’.

The Judges’ criteria for both prizes will include originality and innovation, quality of writing, and potential durability.


  • Publishers may submit up to five full length novels per imprint.
  • Books must have been first published in the United Kingdom between 1st August 2018 and 31st July 2019 to qualify.
  • For the purposes of this prize, a Scottish crime book is eligible if:

– The author was born or raised in Scotland.

– The author lives in Scotland and has done so for at least six years.

– The book submitted for the award is substantially set in Scotland.

  • Other novels may be deemed eligible at the discretion of the organisers.
  • Books published as hardback, paperback originals or exclusively as e-books are eligible, either published by publishers, or self-published.
  • Entries should be submitted by 5pm on Friday 26th April 2019.
  • The submission of an author’s work by the publisher will be taken as agreement by the author that he/she is willing for the submitted work to be considered and that they consent to share that book (in all formats) with readers, judges and the board in consideration for the prize.
  • It is a condition of entry that publishers will : put the award logo and “Winner of The McIlvanney Prize for Scottish Crime Book of the Year 2019/Winner of Scottish Crime Debut of the Year” or “Shortlisted for The McIlvanney Prize for Scottish Crime Book of the Year 2019/Shortlisted for  Scottish Crime Debut of the Year ” including where appropriate the name(s) of sponsor(s), on the cover of subsequent editions of winning/shortlisted books.
  • Publishers will, on request, provide a cover image and author photograph with the necessary clearances for use on the Bloody Scotland web site.
  • Publishers will make every effort to ensure that any shortlisted author attends the ceremony on 20th September 2019 in Stirling, and will be available for media interviews before, immediately afterwards and/or on the following morning.
  • There is no charge for entering, but there will be a charge of £300 + VAT (if applicable) per long-listed title, to cover promotion and marketing of the prize. By entering, publishers agree to pay this contribution should their book be long-listed.
  • The long-list will comprise up to twelve books. Publishers will be notified immediately after the organisers meeting in mid-June 2019, only if their book has been long-listed.
  • Paper copies of long-listed books should be made available upon request.
  • The judges’ decision is final. Neither discussion nor correspondence concerning any decision can be entered into.
  • A DRM-free digital copy of each entry (preferably PDF) must be submitted to the Prize Administrators.
  • Please submit a PDF of your book to: with ‘McIlvanney Prize 2019 Submission_Book Title’ clearly stated in the subject line.