Bloody Scotland Prizes – Entry Rules

The winner of The McIlvanney Prize will receive a cheque for £1,000 and the winner of The Bloody Scotland Debut of the Year will receive £500.

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 for the McIlvanney Prize. (Note the shortlist for The Bloody Scotland Debut of the Year will be drawn from the McIlvanney Prize entries)
  • Books must have been first published in the United Kingdom between 1st August 2019 and 31st July 2020 to qualify.

For the purposes of both prizes, a crime book is eligible if the author was born or raised in Scotland. If the author was not born and raised in Scotland, the book will still be deemed eligible if the author lives in Scotland and has done so for at least six years, AND 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.
  • We open for 2020 entries on Monday 10th February and entries should be submitted by 5pm on Friday 10th April 2020.
  • 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 2020/Winner of The Bloody Scotland Debut of the Year” or “Shortlisted for The McIlvanney Prize for Scottish Crime Book of the Year 2020/Shortlisted for The Bloody Scotland Debut of the Year” including 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 authors for either prize will attend the ceremony on 18th September 2020 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 for the McIlvanney Prize, to cover promotion and marketing of the prize. By entering, publishers agree to pay this contribution should their book be long-listed for the McIlvanney Prize.
  • The long-list for the McIlvanney Prize will comprise up to twelve books. Publishers will be notified immediately after the organisers meeting early in June 2020, only if their book has been long-listed for the McIlvanney Prize.
  • Paper copies of McIlvanney Prize long-listed books should be made available upon request.
  • The Bloody Scotland Debut of the Year shortlist will be announced in early September 2020 and shortlisted authors will be invited to take part in an event at Bloody Scotland on Saturday 19th September 2020.
  • 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 2020 Submission_Book Title’ OR ‘Bloody Scotland Debut of the Year Submission_Book Title’ clearly stated in the subject line.