Bloody Scotland International Crime Writing Festival In
irling 15–17 September 2023
Bloody Scotland has long supported new writers with innovative initiatives such as Crime in the Spotlight (the equivalent of a support act for the headline authors), Pitch Perfect (a quest to find unpublished authors, one of whom – Kate Foster, the winner in 2020 - is this year shortlisted for the Debut Prize) and Alex Gray’s New Crimes selected by co-founder of the festival, bestselling author, Alex Gray.
In 2023 the Bloody Scotland Debut Prize has been pushed to the fore with the shortlisted authors having their own event before the opening reception and sharing a place at the front of the torchlight procession with the McIlvanney Prize Finalists before the winners of both prizes are announced and interviewed live on stage at the Albert Halls. The Debut Prize panel, which takes place in the new venue of Stirling Central Library and is free but ticketed, has already sold out. Tickets for the reception, torchlight procession and prize presentations are still available so there is still a chance to meet this year’s Debut shortlisters, one of whom, Callum McSorley, is also shortlisted for the McIlvanney Prize.
In 2023 Bloody Scotland also revealed a collaboration with HQ fiction, The Times and Sunday Times Scotland and 42 Management to find new Scottish crime writers. The Scottish Crime Writing Prize for Unagented Writers will be judged by Bloody Scotland board member, Abir Mukherjee, literary agents Eugenie Furniss and Emily MacDonald, David McCann, Deputy Editor for The Times and The Sunday Times Scotland and HQ Fiction Publisher for crime and thrillers Manpreet Grewal. Entries are open until 30 October and the six strong shortlist will be announced in January 2024 with the winner revealed in March. The winner will win representation from 42, have their book published by HQ, receive a £10,000 advance and appear at the festival.
Bloody Scotland prides itself on being an inclusive festival where new and aspiring writers rub shoulders with established ones.
Gray’s choice for the best debuts of the year
appearing on her
New Crimes panel includes:
Alex Hay, The Housekeepers (Headline)
Jo Callaghan, In The Blink of An Eye (Simon & Schuster)
Martin Griffin, The Second Stranger (Little,Brown)
Fulton Ross, The Unforgiving Dead - also shortlisted for the Debut Prize (Inkshares)
The shortlist for the 2023 Bloody Scotland Debut Prize,
sponsored by The Glencairn Glass, is:
Heather Critchlow with Unsolved (Canelo)
Heather Darwent with The Things We Do To Our Friends (Penguin)
Kate Foster with The Maiden (Mantle)
Callum McSorley with Squeaky Clean (Pushkin)
Fulton Ross with The Unforgiven Dead (Inkshares)
The winner will be revealed
on Friday 15 September at the Albert Halls
following the opening reception and torchlit procession from Stirling Castle.