Following the launch of the Bloody Scotland programme for 2018 the longlist for the McIlvanney Prize has been announced. The award recognises excellence in Scottish crime writing, includes a prize of £1,000 and nationwide promotion in Waterstones. The initial longlist has been compiled by an independent panel of readers from eligible books which must have been first published in the UK between 1st August 2017 and 31st July 2018 and either written by someone who is born or domiciled in Scotland or set in Scotland.
Lin Anderson for Follow the Dead
Chris Brookmyre for Places in the Darkness
Mason Cross for Presumed Dead
Charles Cumming for The Man Between
Oscar De Muriel for The Loch of the Dead
Helen Fields for Perfect Death
Alison James for Now She’s Gone
Liam McIlvanney for The Quaker
James Oswald for No Time to Cry
Caro Ramsay for The Suffering of Strangers
Andrew Reid for The Hunter
Craig Robertson for The Photographer
The next stage is a formal judging process and the panel comprises of chair Craig Sisterson, journalist and book reviewer, alongside Susan Calman, comedian and crime fiction fan, and journalist Alison Flood.
I’ve only read one book on the list (another woeful contribution from me) but The Photographer is really excellent, so perhaps I’ve managed to read the winner! What about you – any tips for a winner from this list?
There are a plethora crime fiction events but one that looks too good to miss is Bloody Scotland, taking place over 19 – 21 September in Stirling. Only in its third year this is quickly becoming one of the key events for fans of crime fiction.
Scotland seems to produce a higher ratio of top notch crime writers than seems fair (perhaps it’s something in the water) – think Ian Rankin, Quintin Jardine, Peter May, Denise Mina – and they’re all participating this year. Generously the list of authors also includes a few interlopers including Kathy Reichs, Mark Billingham and a contingent from Iceland including Yrsa Sigurðardóttir.
Part of the appeal of the festival has to be the location – Stirling has a wealth of historic venues and the organisers are making the most of this, with events taking place in the Old Town Jail, Stirling Sheriff Court and even Stirling Castle itself. And not all of the events are sedate authors on panels, there’s a crime writer’s football match, a recreation of a real-life medieval murder mystery and a true-crime dramatisation.
For those who would rather appear on a panel than watch one, the Friday features a Crime Writing Masterclass in conjunction with the University of Stirling and will include a masterclass with author Christopher Brookmyre.
The timing of the festival is particularly interesting as the results of the Scottish Independence Referendum will be announced on 19th September – what better time to be in Scotland…?
For more information about the programme see the Bloody Scotland website.