Article Source: Bloody Scotland
First Published: 18 September 2021 17:29
Updated: 18 September 2021 17:36
BLOODY SCOTLAND INTERNATIONAL CRIME WRITING FESTIVAL REVEALS MORRISON AND RUSSELL TO BE THE WINNERS OF THE BLOODY SCOTLAND DEBUT PRIZE FOR CRIME FICTION AND THE McILVANNEY PRIZE 2021
Sponsored by The Glencairn Glass with match funding from Culture & Business Fund Scotland
William McIlvanney famously said of Bloody Scotland International Crime Writing Festival: ‘I went to Bloody Scotland and I was just knocked out.... this event was so friendly, so supportive I was honestly overwhelmed’
William McIlvanney – speaking on BBC Scotland
The prize in his honour is even more poignant this year as his last book has just been published posthumously with the help of one of Scotland’s best known crime writers, Ian Rankin who completed The Dark Remains and will be on stage at Bloody Scotland at 7pm tonight to talk about it.
The 2021 Festival launched in Stirling yesterday 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’
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 The McIlvanney 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, the world’s favourite whisky glass, has again sponsored both The McIlvanney Prize and The Bloody Scotland Debut Crime Novel of the Year.
Culture & Business Fund Scotland have generously 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.’
Pre-Covid, celebrations would have progressed outside for the traditional torchlight procession from the Castle but this year the spectacle was brought inside the Albert Halls with a specially commissioned film of Stirling lit up red, a lone piper and volunteers recreating the Bloody Scotland logo – the map of Scotland – by torchlight.
Image: L-R Craig Russell and Robbie Morrison
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