Bloody Scotland: McIlvanney Prize Judges Revealed



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Winner to be presented at Opening Reception of Bloody Scotland International Crime Writing Festival in Stirling on Thursday 15 September 2022

Bloody Scotland today reveal the judges for the 2022 McIlvanney Prize & Bloody Scotland Debut Prize which will be presented at Bloody Scotland International Crime Writing Festival in September.

Ian Rankin, Val McDermid and Denise Mina at Bloody Scotland, Scotland’s International Crime Writing Festival in Stirling on the 08/09/2017. Paul Reich

BBC presenter, Janice Forsyth, who previously judged the Debut Prize steps up to judge The McIlvanney Prize. She said:

‘I thoroughly enjoyed being a judge of the 2021 Bloody Scotland Debut Prize. There’s a particular thrill in reading the work of new and emerging Scottish writers, and last year’s shortlisted authors impressed with the range and originality of their work. So it’s a thrill to be back this year as judge of the McIlvanney Prize. It’s been a stellar year for Scottish crime fiction, so I anticipate vigorous debate among the Judges. Without coming to blows of course. Although that could make a good locked room novel…’

She joins last year’s judges Ewan Wilson, crime fiction buyer at Waterstones Glasgow & Ayo Onatade, crime fiction critic, who this year is promoted to chair. She said:

‘Judging the McIlvanney Prize is an incredible honour and I am delighted to be judging the prize for another year. I am very much looking forward to reading the forthcoming submissions. I am in no doubt that we will once again have some very hard decisions to make when it comes to deciding the winner. It is a role that I am looking forward to.’

The longlist – selected by a panel of crime fiction fans and booksellers – will be revealed on Tuesday 7 June and the shortlist selected by the judging panel will be announced on Tuesday 30 August.
Janice will be replaced as a Bloody Scotland Debut judge by Arusa Qureshi, a former editor of The List who recently hosted the on-line Bloody Scotland Book Club. Arusa joins Kenny Tweeddale from sponsors, The Glencairn Glass, and Simon Lloyd from Waterstones. The shortlist will be revealed on Tuesday 28 June and the following day Bloody Scotland will be hosting a reception at Scotland House in London which it is hoped that many of the McIlvanney longlisters, Bloody Scotland shortlisters and their publishers and agents will attend ahead of the CWA Daggers dinner.
The McIlvanney longlist and the Bloody Scotland shortlist will be promoted in bookshops throughout Scotland in the period between the announcement and the presentation on Thursday 15 September. For the first time the presentation will take place AFTER the torchlight procession through Stirling in order that all shortlisted authors can take their place at the front.  The procession will conclude with a formal event at The Albert Halls where the two winners will be revealed and Janice Forsyth will interview them live on stage.

About Bloody Scotland

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, Gordon Brown and Craig Robertson – in 2012.
This year marks the 10th Anniversary of the Festival and celebrations have been extended by a day, starting on Thursday 15 September and concluding on 18 September 2022. Full information at:
It is also the 10th Anniversary of the prize which was renamed the McIlvanney Prize in 2016 in memory of William McIlvanney, who died in December 2015. He was a big fan of the Festival ‘I went to Bloody Scotland and I was just knocked out…. this event was so friendly, so supportive I was honestly overwhelmed’ 

About The McIlvanney Prize

The McIlvanney Prize recognises excellence in Scottish crime writing, includes a prize of £1000 and nationwide promotion in Waterstones. Previous winners are Craig Russell with Hyde in 2021, Francine Toon with Pine in 2020, Manda Scott with A Treachery of Spies in 2019 (who chose to share her prize with all the finalists), Liam McIlvanney with The Quaker in 2018, Denise Mina with The Long Drop 2017, Chris Brookmyre with Black Widow 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.

It is the fourth year the Bloody Scotland Debut Prize has been awarded.  The first winner was Claire Askew with All the Hidden Truths (2019), followed by Deborah Masson with Hold Your Tongue (2020) and Robbie Morrison with Edge of the Grave (2021). 
The Glencairn Glass, the world’s favourite whisky glass, has again sponsored both The McIlvanney Prize and The Bloody Scotland Debut Crime Novel of the Year.

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