Famous figures will pay tribute to the celebrated author, known as the Godfather of Tartan Noir, at the service at Glasgow University on Saturday, including journalists Allan Massie and Hugh McDonald and authors Val McDermid and Ali Smith.
His long-time friend, broadcaster Ruth Wishart, will introduce the service which will include readings by his brother Hugh McIlvanney, actor David Hayman and songs from Sheena Wellington, who performed at the opening of the Scottish Parliament.
He died at his home in the city on 5 December aged 79.
His daughter, Siobhan McIlvanney, said: “The last piece of writing he ever did was a brief note confirming his acceptance. His time here confirmed his belief in learning as a lifelong objective, whether through reading, writing or discussion.”