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The Bloody Scotland Debut Prize was launched in 2019 and has gone from strength to strength.
Three of the five shortlisted debut authors also make the longlist for this year’s McIlvanney Prize.
The 2023 Bloody Scotland Debut Prize will be judged by BBC Scotland’s Arts correspondent, Pauline
McLean, New Product Development Manager from sponsors Glencairn Crystal, Kenny Tweedale and
Journalist and Editor, Arusa Qureshi.
The full shortlist for the 2023 Bloody Scotland Debut Prize is:
Heather Critchlow with Unsolved (Canelo) – a cold case mystery about two women who disappeared
35 years ago which was inspired by a true crime podcast. Heather Critchlow grew up in rural
Aberdeenshire. She lives in St Albans.
Heather Darwent with The Things We Do To Our Friends (Penguin) – a suspense debut about a toxic
friendship in 1 st year at Edinburgh University. Originally from Yorkshire, Heather Darwent, now lives
outside Edinburgh.
Kate Foster with The Maiden (Mantle) – set in the 17 th Century is a reimagining of true historical
events in which Lady Christian Nimmo is charged with the murder of her lover James Forrester. Kate
Foster won Pitch Perfect at Bloody Scotland in 2020 with her outline for the book. She lives in
Callum McSorley with Squeaky Clean (Pushkin) featuring DI Ally McCoist the least popular detective
in the Glasgow police. A thriller filled with pitch-black humour. Callum McSorley graduated from the
University of Strathclyde in 2013 and since then his stories have appeared in Gutter magazine and
New Writing Scotland.
Fulton Ross with The Unforgiven Dead (Inkshares) about a Highland Constable who is reluctant to
embrace his gift of second sight. Inspired by Gaelic folk tales it is a fresh take on gothic crime noir.
Fulton Ross is from the Highlands, went to Glasgow University and now lives in Northern Ireland.

The McIlvanney Prize longlist is:
D V Bishop – Ritual of Fire (Pan Macmillan)
Heather Darwent – The Things We Do To Our Friends * (Penguin)
Kate Foster – The Maiden * (Pan Macmillan)
Mark Leggatt – Penitent (Fledgling Press)
S G Maclean – The Bookseller of Inverness (Quercus)
Callum McSorley – Squeaky Clean * (Pushkin)
Val McDermid – 1989 (Little,Brown)
Denise Mina – The Second Murderer (Vintage)
Robbie Morrison – Cast A Cold Eye (Macmillan)
Ian Rankin – A Heart Full of Headstones (Orion)
Craig Russell – The Devil’s Playground (Little,Brown)
Douglas Skelton – An Honourable Thief (Canelo)
Alongside two of the biggest names in Scottish crime fiction (Val and Ian) the list features two
previous winners (Craig and Denise), a previous winner of the Bloody Scotland Debut Prize (Robbie
Morrison) and three debut* authors.
This year the McIlvanney Prize will be judged by BBC Scotland presenter, Bryan Burnett; former
editor of The Sunday Times Scotland, Jason Allardyce and Category Manager for Waterstones, Angie
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 Friday 15 September. The
presentation of both prizes 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 interviewed live on stage.