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The McIlvanney Prize 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 – speaking on BBC Scotland, 2012

This year’s Bloody Scotland International Crime Writing festival is the first since the passing of the great William McIlvanney, the man who, more than anyone, established the tradition of Scottish detective fiction. Bloody Scotland 2016 is dedicated in his honour and the winner of the Scottish Crime Book of the Year will now be awarded The McIlvanney Prize at an awards ceremony on the opening evening, Friday 9 September, in Stirling. The award recognises excellence in Scottish crime writing, includes a prize of £1000 and nationwide promotion in Waterstones.

The long list which has been chosen by an independent panel of readers and features 6 male and 4 female writers, established authors and debut writers, small Scottish publishers and large London conglomerates, is released today:

Even Dogs in the Wild (Orion) Ian Rankin

Open Wounds (Luath) Douglas Skelton

The Damage Done (Michael Joseph) James Oswald

The Special Dead (Macmillan) Lin Anderson

In the Cold Dark Ground (Harper Collins) Stuart MacBride

Black Widow (Little, Brown) Chris Brookmyre

The Jump (Faber) Doug Johnstone

Splinter the Silence (Little, Brown) Val McDermid

Beloved Poison (Little, Brown) E. S. Thomson

A Fine House in Trinity (Sandstone) Lesley Kelly

The judges will be journalist, Lee Randall, award-winning librarian, Stewart Bain and former editor of The Scotsman and The Times Scotland, Magnus Linklater. Hugh McIlvanney OBE, brother of Willie, will travel from London to present the award.

Previous winners are 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.


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 uses a number of atmospheric, historic venues in Stirling’s Old Town, setting it apart from other literary festivals. Full information at

Pictures from this years launch including shortlisted authors Val McDermid, Chris Brookmyre, Doug Johnstone and Lin Anderson holding implements of murder can be used free of charge and requested from with credit to Eoin Carey.


Tickets priced at £9.50 (£8.50) for events at the Albert Halls and £7.50 (£6.50) for all others, are on sale at or at the Box Office in the Tolbooth Stirling (Tue-Sat 10am-6pm) or in the Albert Halls (Mon-Fri 9am-5pm). Free standby tickets are available to the unemployed or those on a low income, on the day of the event if there is good availability. Proof of eligibility is required and tickets are limited to one person. Visit for full details. A 10% discount is available to people residing in the Stirling Council area. You must give your address at the time of booking. Visit for details.

Lesley Kelly

Lesley Kelly