The Bloody Scotland International Crime Writing Festival has revealed the winners of its major prizes.
The event, which ran from 17-19 September in Stirling, saw the presentation of two prizes, with the debut prize, as well as the McIlvanney Prize for the Scottish crime writing novel of the year.
BBC Radio Scotland presenter and debut judge Janice Forsyth revealed the winner of this year’s Bloody Scotland Debut Prize to be Robbie Morrison with Edge of the Grave (Macmillan) which she described as: ‘A terrific debut novel, with a memorable cast of characters, which impressed the judges with its ambitious, authentic, deep dive into the Glasgow gangland and class divides of the 1930s.’
Morrison was also a finalist for the McIlvanney Prize along with Emma Christie, Alan Parks and Stuart MacBride but McIlvanney judge and crime critic, Ayo Onatade revealed the judges chose the winner of prize to be Craig Russell with Hyde (Constable) describing it as: ‘a fantastic book with a gothic background that draws you in and brings the reader back to the Scottish origins of Jekyll and Hyde’s creator, Robert Louis Stevenson. A dark tale that was a delight and a thoroughly entertaining read. It shows that Scottish crime writing is amongst the best in the world.’
Russell is a local author who first won the award in 2015 with The Ghosts of Altona just before it was renamed The McIlvanney Prize. He is the first author to win the prize twice.
The Glencairn Glass, has again sponsored both The McIlvanney Prize and The Bloody Scotland Debut Crime Novel of the Year. Culture and Business Fund Scotland have given matched funding.
The winners were presented with a trophy by Raymond Davidson – CEO and founder of Glencairn Crystal – who said: ‘We’d like to raise a toast to Robbie Morrison and Craig Russell and congratulate them on their success in winning the prizes. It is an honour to support the world of Scottish crime fiction with The Glencairn Glass and we wish all the participants well in the future.’
Angie Crawford, Scottish Buying Manager for Waterstones who support the prizes with displays in their 27 shops across Scotland said: ‘We are utterly thrilled for Craig Russell that Hyde has won the McIlvanney Prize, it is one of our bookseller’s favourites across Scotland and we have loved recommending it to our customers. Edge of the Grave by Robbie Morrison is currently our Scottish Book of the Month – it is especially pleasing to see it win the Bloody Scotland Debut.’
The 2021 Festival launched in Stirling with a debut panel featuring all of the authors shortlisted for the Bloody Scotland Debut Prize.
At the prizegiving itself a specially commissioned film about Scottish crime fiction, produced in association with Publishing Scotland, was screened for the first time. It stars Val McDermid, Ian Rankin, Ambrose Parry, Denise Mina, Abir Mukherjee and Graham Macrae Burnet.
It is presented by broadcaster and incoming Bloody Scotland chair, James Crawford who said: ‘Is there perhaps something in the water or the air or the landscape that makes Scotland’s crime writers so adept at this, so skilled at unpeeling these layers of personality to expose the raw nerve of identity and truth.’
Bloody Scotland is Scotland’s International Crime Writing Festival, providing a showcase for the best crime writing from Scotland and the world, unique in that it was set up by a group of Scottish crime writers in 2012. Full information at www.bloodyscotland.com
The McIlvanney award recognises excellence in Scottish crime writing, includes a prize of £1000 and nationwide promotion in Waterstones. Previous winners are 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.
Shortlisted authors for the McIlvanney Prize 2021 were:
Hyde by Craig Russell (Constable) – from Stirling; The April Dead by Alan Parks (Canongate) – from Glasgow; The Coffin Maker’s Garden by Stuart MacBride (HarperCollins) – from Aberdeen; The Silent Daughter by Emma Christie (Welbeck) – from Ayrshire / Aberdeen / Portobello; Edge of the Grave by Robbie Morrison (Macmillan) – from Helensburgh / Glasgow.
This is the third 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).
Shortlisted authors for the Debut Prize 2021 were:
The Silent Daughter by Emma Christie (Welbeck) – from Ayrshire / Aberdeen / Portobello; No Harm Done by Alistair Liddle (Self Published) – from Stirling; Edge of the Grave by Robbie Morrison (Macmillan) – from Helensburgh / Glasgow; Waking the Tiger by Mark Wightman (Hobeck Books) – from Edinburgh / Linlithgow.
Bloody Scotland is supported by the National Lottery through Creative Scotland. Other key sponsors and supporters include: Stirling Council; Event Scotland, part of Visit Scotland; H W Fisher; Open University Scotland; Go Forth Stirling; University of Stirling; Stirling Castle; the Faculty of Advocates, Finnish Literature Exchange, Curly Coo Bar, Waterstones, the Culture & Business Fund Scotland and The Glencairn Glass.
For more details on Bloody Scotland, click HERE.