The McIlvanney Prize

Submissions are now open for 2021 McIlvanney Prize until Friday 9th April 2021. Entry rules can be found here.


Pine by Francine Toon


Andrew James Greig, Whirligig (Fledgling)
Doug Johnstone, A Dark Matter (Orenda)
Ambrose Parry, The Art of Dying (Canongate) aka Chris Broomyre and Marisa Haetzman
Francine Toon, Pine (Doubleday)

With thanks to those supporting the 2020 prizes:


James Crawford

Jamie is the presenter of BBC series SCOTLAND FROM THE SKY and author of Fallen Glory. He is the Chair of Publishing Scotland and previously the publisher at Historic Environment Scotland.

Karen Robinson

Editor of The Times Crime Club

Stuart Cosgrove

Stuart Cosgrove is a writer and broadcaster, having spent many years with Channel 4, and was named Broadcaster of the Year in the Glenfiddich Spirit of Scotland Awards.


Lin Anderson, Time for the Dead (Macmillan)
Lisa Gray, Bad Memory (Thomas & Mercer)
Andrew James Greig, Whirligig (Fledgling)
Doug Johnstone, A Dark Matter (Orenda)
Val McDermid, How the Dead Speak (Little, Brown)
Ben McPherson, The Island (HarperCollins)
James Oswald, Bury Them Deep (Headline)
Ambrose Parry, The Art of Dying (Canongate) aka Chris Broomyre and Marisa Haetzman
Mary Paulson-Ellis, The Inheritance of Solomon Farthing (Mantle)
Caro Ramsay, The  Red, Red Snow (Severn House)
Craig Robertson, Watch Him Die (Simon & Schuster)
Francine Toon, Pine (Doubleday)

William McIlvanney in Stirling, 2013. [Photo: Iain McLean]

The McIlvanney Prize is Bloody Scotland’s annual prize awarded to the best Scottish Crime book of the year.

It provides Scottish crime writing with recognition and aims to raise the profile and prestige of the genre as a whole.

Scottish roots are a must for competition applications: authors must either be born in Scotland, or have lived there for a considerable amount of time, and their elegible book must be substantially set in Scotland.

The prize was renamed in memory of William McIlvanney, often described as the Godfather of Tartan Noir, in 2016.

I went to Bloody Scotland and I was just knocked out… I’ve been at literary events where a lot of people have knives sticking out their back that they don’t know are there and this event was so friendly, so supportive I was honestly overwhelmed.

William McIlvanney in 2012



A Treachery of Spies
Manda Scott

Although Manda Scott’s A Treachery of Spies was chosen as the 2019 McIlvanney Prize winner, she chose to equally share the prize with the shortlisters Doug Johnstone, Denise Mina and Ambrose Parry.


The Quaker
Liam McIlvanney


The Long Drop
Denise Mina


Chris Brookmyre
Black Widow


Craig Russell
The Ghosts of Altona


Peter May
Entry Island


Malcolm Mackay
How A Gunman Says Goodbye


Charles Cumming
A Foreign Country