Bloody Scotland – Virago New Crime Writer Award

Women dominate Bloody Scotland International Crime Festival



Today at Bloody Scotland International Crime Writing Festival, Sarah Savitt, Publisher at Virago, and Sam Baker, Co-Founder and CEO of The Pool, announced that the winner of the Virago/The Pool New Crime Writer Award is Lara Thompson for her debut novel One Night, New York.

Val McDermid gave Thompson the award on stage immediately before her own sell-out event at Bloody Scotland. Thompson took over the ‘Crime In the Spotlight’ slot at the McDermid event normally reserved for published but not yet famous authors. Graeme Macrae Burnet was famously the support act for Ian Rankin the year before he was shortlisted for the Man Booker in 2016.

Lara Thompson, read a page from the manuscript in front of the crowd of more than 600 crime fans. She has won a publishing contract with Virago as well as two hours of mentoring from acclaimed novelist Jill Dawson courtesy of Gold Dust mentoring. One Night, New York is Lara Thompson’s first novel.

The Virago/The Pool New Crime Writer Award was launched in February this year to discover an exciting new author for the Virago list who was writing a suspenseful, intelligent, original crime or thriller novel. To enter the competition, writers had to submit a 5,000-word sample plus a 500-word synopsis. The judges were novelist Erin Kelly, literary agent Jo Unwin, journalist Coco Khan, Scott Free Development Executive Emily Iredale, Sam Baker and Sarah Savitt.

It is a good year for women at Bloody Scotland, last night Denise Mina became the first woman to win The McIlvanney Prize for Scottish Crime Book of the Year and tonight the Slice Girls take to the stage at the sold-out cabaret ‘Crime at the Coo’ with a burlesque-esque act they created to ‘counter the testosterone prevalent at crime festivals’. Highlights tomorrow include a Leading Ladies event at 11am featuring Harley Jane Kosak (actress turned crime writer who appeared in When Harry Met Sally and Parent Trap); McIlvanney Prize winner, Denise Mina on stage at 12.45pm for her event with Liz Nugent; an all-women historical panel featuring S G MacLean, Alis Hawkins and Kaite Welsh and the Festival concludes with Lynda La Plante headlining in the Albert Halls at 5.30pm