Stirling 21st - 23rd September 2018





Winner to be presented at Opening Reception of Bloody Scotland International Crime Writing Festival in Stirling on Friday 8th September

Bloody Scotland today reveal the judges for the 2017 McIlvanney Prize which will be presented at Bloody Scotland in September.

Scottish comedian Susan Calman revealed herself to be a ‘huge fan of crime fiction’ during a Guardian web chat in November last year and the organisers swiftly invited her to be a judge of the 2017 McIlvanney Prize. She said:

‘I am absolutely delighted to be on the judging panel for the McIlvanney Prize this year.  I’m an avid fan of Scottish Crime fiction and this is less a chore and more a dream come true.  I can’t wait to get stuck in, reading the wonderful books produced this year.’  

She joins Lee Randall, last year a judge, now promoted to chair which puts the balance of the judging panel in favour of women but does that mean we’ll see the first woman winning the prize? Lee (originally from the US but an adopted Scot) said:

‘I was honoured to be asked to chair the judging panel for this year’s McIlvanney Prize. I’ve always known — and it was reinforced when I programmed this year’s first Granite Noir festival, for Aberdeen — that crime writers and their readers are a special breed. I relish the opportunity to dive into a longlist created by these same readers. I suspect that this year’s panel will have tough choices to make, given the abundance of talent out there, but look forward to the challenge.’

Continuing the international flavour they are joined by London based Kiwi, Craig Sisterson, founder of New Zealand’s Ngaio Marsh Awards who said:

‘William McIlvanney raised the crime writing bar for Scottish writers and those further afield. It’s an absolute honour to be a judge for this year’s McIlvanney Prize, which celebrates his outstanding legacy – as evidenced by the strength and quality of modern Scottish crime writing. I’m looking forward to some excellent reading and vigorous debate with my fellow judges.’

Books must have been first published in the UK between 1 August 2016 and 31 July 2017. It must be written by a writer who is born in Scotland OR domiciled in Scotland or set in Scotland.

Entries (PDFs of the book sent by email to with McIlvanney Prize Entry 2017 in the header) should be submitted by 5pm on Friday 28 April 2017.

The longlist is expected to comprise 10 books which will be announced after the organisers meeting in July 2017 at which point finished copies will be sent to each of the three judges. Longlisted titles are promoted in bookshops throughout Scotland in the period between the announcement and the presentation on 8 September.

Publishers will make every effort to ensure that any longlisted author attends the ceremony on 8 September and will be available for interview before, immediately afterwards and the following morning.

Full details here:


Bloody Scotland is Scotland’s International Crime Writing Festival, unique in that it was set up by a group of Scottish crime writers – Alex Gray, Lin Anderson, G J Brown and Craig Robertson – in 2012. This year it will take place from 8 – 10 September 2017. Full information at

Previous winners of the Scottish Crime Book of the Year Award are Chris Brookmyre with Black Widow in 2016, 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.

The initial longlisting is handled by 50 crime fiction readers from all over Scotland and a group of booksellers overseen by an organising committee and the longlist is then handed to a high-profile team of judges to decide on the eventual winner. Last year the judges included, former editor of the Scotsman Magnus Linklater, journalist Lee Randall and award-winning librarian, Stewart Bain. The award was presented live on BBC TV to Chris Brookmyre by Hugh McIlvanney.

The prize was renamed the McIlvanney Prize in 2016 in memory of William McIlvanney, often described as the Godfather of Tartan Noir, who died in December 2015.

For further information contact or

07767 431846 @brownlee_donald

The Caledonian Crime Writing Festival, Scottish Company No SC404578, Registered office: Caledonian Exchange, 19A Canning Street, Edinburgh EH3 8HE.
The Caledonian Crime Writing Festival is a Scottish Registered Charity, known as Bloody Scotland; Charity No SC042615