Bloody Scotland: When does Scotland's fesival of crime writing take place, who's appearing and how to get tickets

Fans of reading about crime will flock to Stirling in September to hear from some of their favourite authors.

Bestselling author Val McDermid will be one of the authors appearing at this year's Bloody Scotland Festival.Bestselling author Val McDermid will be one of the authors appearing at this year's Bloody Scotland Festival.
Bestselling author Val McDermid will be one of the authors appearing at this year's Bloody Scotland Festival.

Established in 2012 by writers Lin Anderson and Alex Gray, Bloody Scotland attracts both new and established crime writers to the city of Stirling - both from Scotland and further afield.

The Scottish International Crime Writing Festival will return this year with an impressive programme of events featuring more than a few familiar faces.

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Alongside the usual book discussions, readings and signings there are a number of more unusual events, including an all-star crime writers' band playing live, a torchlight procession through the streets of Stirling, the presentation of the annual McIlvanney Prize, the debut of CrimeMaster, guided crime walks, and the legendary Scotland v England football game.

Here's everything you need to know.

When does Bloody Scotland take place?

This year Blood Scotland will take place over three days from Friday, September 15, to Sunday, September 17.

Where is Bloody Scotland held?

The festival takes place in Stirling, with the majoruty of events being held in the city's Albert Halls. Other venues being used include Holy Trinity Church, Central Library, The Golden Lion Hotel, The Church of the Holy Rood, Stirling Castle, and the Curly Coo pub.

Who is appearing this year?

Friday highlights include Alex Gray’s introducing the authors responsible for her four favourite debut novels of the year, Alex Gray and James Oswald chatting about creating memorable characters,  Lin Anderson’ talking about her iconic forensic scientist Rhona MacLeod, and Scotland's Queen of Crime Val McDermid. There's also a drinks reception at the Church of the Holy Rude, a torchlight procession, and the presentation of the McIlvanney Prize.

On Saturday eye-catching events include Denise Mina talking to Karin Smirnoff, barrister and television personality Rob Rinder speaking about his debut novel, Mark Billingham and Antti Tuomainen putting the comedy into crime, Slough House creator Mick Herron chatting to Christopher Brookmyre, with Brookmyre returning onstage later in the day as part of band the Fun Lovin' Crime Writers.

Sunday sees McIlvanney prize-winners Craig Russell and Liam McIlvanney in conversation, and Liam Thomas and Neil Lancaster talking undercover detectives.

Can I still get tickets?

Tickets are still available for the majority of the events, although the always-popular 'Crime at the Coo' evening sold out in minutes earlier this yer.

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You can browse the full programme and book your tickets here.

What if I can't attend in person?

Several of the more popular events, including the likes of Denise Mina and Val McDermid, will be streamed live from the festival so you can watch at home. Virtual tickets cost £5 and are available from the event website here.

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