The torchlit procession at Stirling Castle for Bloody Scotland, Scotland's International Crime Writing Festival in Stirling on the 20/09/2019. Paul Reich

Bloody Scotland revisits Stirling

3 mins read

From September 15 to 17, crime writers and enthusiasts will assemble in Stirling for the 11th year of Scotland’s international crime writing festival.

With September kicking off a new academic year for University of Stirling students, this will be a great way to catch up with old friends and meet new people.

What’s On at Bloody Scotland?

Torchlit Procession

The first night of the festival will see the famous torchlit procession parade through the streets of Stirling.

Bloody Scotland will host a glitzy reception in the 600-year-old Church of the Holy Rude.

The procession is from the castle esplanade to the Albert Halls, where a prizegiving will take place for the prestigious McIlvanney Prize.

Named after Scottish writer, William McIlvanney, the prize is awarded to the author of the best Scottish crime book of the year.

The winner is announced in early September and will lead the procession alongside the shortlisted authors. Stirling and District Schools Pipe Band will also lead the crowd.

“[The procession] would be a great photo opportunity for students new to the area, wielding torches with the castle as a backdrop”.

Fiona Brownlee Donald, Bloody Scotland Festival team

Free Football Match

Ian Ranking holding Bloody Cup at Bloody Scotland's football match.

On Saturday 16, a Scotland vs. England football match will take place in Kings Park from 3.15 p.m. to 4.15 p.m.

It will be free to play and the winners will be presented with the bloody cup.

Stirling Distillery are also selling special Bloody Scotland cocktails in a pop-up bar at the park.

Brownlee Donald told Brig: “It’s a great way of getting involved with the festival and up close and personal with crime writers.”

Ian Rankin Holding Bloody Cup. Image Credit. Paul Reich

Val McDermid

The Scottish queen of crime is coming back to Stirling on Friday 15 September to discuss her latest work and recount her career thus far.

With 41 novels, 19 million sales worldwide, and four TV adaptations, she has cemented herself in the world of crime writing.

McDermid is speaking in the Albert Halls from 9 p.m. to 10 p.m. She will be discussing the latest instalment in her DCI Karen Pirie series, set to be published in October.

This series inspired the successful ITV show Karen Pirie, which has just been accepted for a second season.

Karen Pirie from the ITV series.
Karen Pirie. Image Credit. ITV

Other Bloody Scotland events

CrimeMaster is on Friday, 15 September and Saturday, 16 September at the Albert Halls. It is Bloody Scotland’s take on Taskmaster, showcasing the tasks crime writers have been given throughout the year. There will also be a set of live tasks.

That night, the Curly Coo bar on Barnton Street is opening its doors for its annual Crime at the Coo. Here, you can join your favourite crime writers for a drink.

For a full programme and tickets, visit

Featured Image Credit: Paul Reich

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Third year English and Journalism student at the University of Stirling 🙂

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