Stirling 21st - 23rd September 2018

The McIlvanney Prize


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, live there or set their books there. Crime fiction, non-fiction and anthologies of short crime stories are all eligible. The prize was renamed in memory of William McIlvanney, often described as the Godfather of Tartan Noir, in 2016.

2017 WINNER:


Denise Mina is the winner of the 2017 McIlvanney Prize!



Lee Randall, chair of the judges said:

‘The Long Drop by Denise Mina transports us back to dark, grimy Glasgow, telling the social history of a particular strata of society via the grubby, smokey pubs favoured by crooks and chancers. She takes us into the courtroom, as well, where Manuel acted as his own lawyer, and where hoards of women flocked daily, to watch the drama play out.

Full of astute psychological observations, this novel’s not only about what happened in the 1950s, but about storytelling itself. It shows how legends grow wings, and how memories shape-shift and mark us.

For my money this is one of the books of 2017 — in any genre.’

Buy The Long Drop

Waterstones | Amazon | Hive

2017 Shortlist:

Val McDermid – Out of Bounds (Little, Brown)

‘The Queen of Scottish crime adds yet more jewels to her crown with Out of Bounds and shows us why she’s writing at the very top of her game…Karen Pirie is one of the most engaging and charismatic of all the fictional Scottish Detectives’

Denise Mina – The Long Drop (Random House)

‘This elegantly written novel confirms Denise Mina’s stature among the great Scottish crime writers…The Long Drop transports you to the pubs, grubby back alleys and courtrooms at the heart of this unsavoury chapter of Scottish history’

Craig Russell – The Quiet Death of Thomas Quaid (Quercus)

‘The Quiet Death of Thomas Quaid is an assured riff on a classic noir caper which reveals Glasgow in all its gritty and compelling glory…The writing is as stylish as Lennox’s bespoke suits’

Craig Robertson – Murderabilia (Simon & Schuster)

‘An intriguing premise in a contemporary setting which tiptoes along the darker edges of crime fiction with an unusual detective at its heart…Murderabilia is a terrific addition to this inventive series’

Jay Stringer – How to Kill Friends and Implicate People (Thomas & Mercer)

‘This unexpected and explosive novel proves that Jay Stringer has reached the major league of Scottish crime fiction…The prose in How to Kill Friends and Implicate People crackles like a roaring campfire and you find yourself rooting for the unlikeliest of heroes’

2017 Longlist:


Lin Anderson – None But the Dead

Chris Brookmyre – Want You Gone

Ann Cleeves – Cold Earth

Helen Fields – Perfect Remains

Val McDermid – Out of Bounds

Claire MacLeary – Cross Purpose

Denise Mina – The Long Drop

Owen Mullen – Games People Play

Ian Rankin – Rather Be the Devil

Craig Robertson – Murderabilia

Craig Russell – The Quiet Death of Thomas Quaid

Jay Stringer – How to Kill Friends & Implicate People


2017 Judges:

Susan CalmanSusan Calman
‘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.’  

Craig SistersonCraig Sisterson
‘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.’

Lee RandallChair: Lee Randall
‘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.

Previous Winners
2016 – Chris Brookmyre, Black Widow
Chris Brookmyre Black Widow McIlvanney Prize winner

2015 – Craig Russell, The Ghosts of Altona

2014 – Peter May, Entry Island

2013 – Malcolm Mackay, How A Gunman Says Goodbye

2012 – Charles Cumming, A Foreign Country

















‘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

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