Books - Bloody Scotland

Bloody Scotland International Crime Writing Festival has announced the programme for its 10th Anniversary festival, which runs from 15th to 18th September both in person and online ...

Press Release

Ten years on from the first Bloody Scotland International Crime Writing Festival, the run has now extended to four days, the number of events has doubled and the authors are more diverse than ever.

2022 sees the return of several Bloody Scotland favourites which haven’t been seen since the pre-pandemic days of 2019. The dramatic torchlit procession through Stirling historic old town led by the pipes and drums of the Royal Burgh of Stirling Pipe Band and Stirling and District Schools Pipe Band encourages locals who don’t normally attend literary events to get involved.

Scotland tackle England in the crime writers’ football match at the new venue of King’s Park, a free fun event which is also aimed at breaking down barriers. There will be a return of the ever-popular Crime at the Coo cabaret, featuring an array of crime writers showing off their musical talents, and the much-loved Quiz this year takes the form of Vaseem Khan and Abir Mukherjee’s Red Hot Night of a Million Games in which they steal the best bits from the game shows of yesteryear and mash them up into something truly remarkable.

Val McDermid has described Bloody Scotland as a ‘dizzying weekend of pleasure’, Jake Kerridge talking on BBC Radio 4 praised Bloody Scotland for ‘thinking outside the box’ creating ‘a sort of fringe’ and William McIlvanney spoke fondly of it being ‘so friendly, so welcoming’. It is with great delight that the festival team looks forward to putting on that sort of inclusive, imaginative festival again to celebrate their 10th Anniversary.

In addition to the headliners Bloody Scotland is welcoming to Stirling, such as Sir Ian Rankin, Anthony Horowitz, Lisa Unger, Jeffrey Archer, Ann Cleeves and Frankie Boyle, debuts are at the heart of what Bloody Scotland is all about. The very first festival featured a ‘Fresh Blood Panel’ and this year in addition to the ‘Bloody Scotland Debut Prize Panel’ there will be ‘Alex Gray’s New Crimes Panel’ plus debut authors appearing in various events throughout the programme and twenty new authors appearing ‘In the Spotlight’ on stage ahead of the established names.

Great news for those who can't make it to Stirling as Bloody Scotland continues their commitment to bring the festival to the wider world with digital passes for individual events or the whole weekend. Val McDermid, David Baldacci, Sara Paretsky, Donna Leon and Irvine Welsh will all join in live for digital sessions.

Alan Bett, Head of Literature and Publishing at Creative Scotland said, “Much has changed in the decade since Bloody Scotland launched their first festival, in terms of Scottish crime writing and literature festivals more generally. This 10th anniversary programme is not only the biggest, it also embraces a hybrid model that means a wider audience can engage with authors either on stage or on screen. Bloody Scotland continues to promote the highly popular genre of Scottish crime writing to the world, while also connecting Scottish readers to the work of both new and much loved authors.”

James Crawford, Chair of Bloody Scotland added, “It’s fantastic to be able to mark the 10th anniversary of the festival with a full, four-day programme of in-person events - along with a brilliant selection of digital offerings - featuring the best that crime writing has to offer. Bloody Scotland was established a decade ago to shine a spotlight on crime writing and to help develop a whole new generation of writers. Debut authors have always been central to this, and to the vibrant community that has grown up around the festival. Along with the excitement of seeing familiar faces comes the thrill of finding your new favourite writer. Bloody Scotland 2022 is a festival full of possibilities and discovery.”

About the Festival

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. 

The festival takes place in various venues (including The Albert Halls, The Tollbooth and the social hub of the festival, The Golden Lion Hotel) in the historic town of Stirling from 15th – 18th September 2022.

Stirling Councillor Leader, Councillor Chris Kane said: “The fact that Bloody Scotland is now enjoying it’s 10th Anniversary is a welcome plot development for a festival that has grown into one of Stirling’s most loved events. Bloody Scotland has brought a wide range of visitors into Stirling over the years while making sure Stirling residents are an integral part of the occasion, such as the spectacular torchlit procession that lights up our city centre.”

To make the festival more affordable for everyone and mark the 10th Anniversary Bloody Scotland are offering a limited number of tickets at £5 each for 10 of the events – see

A 10% discount is available for all events in Stirling to people residing in the Stirling Council area – see

In addition, free standby tickets will be offered to the unemployed or those on low income on the day of the event if there is good availability – see

For more information on who is appearing at the festival and how to book tickets, please visit the Bloody Scotland website.

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