Tuesday 15 September 2015

Happiness is a festival called Bloody Scotland

Bloody Scotland 2015 closed on Sunday evening in Stirling, in a flurry of social media induced smiles and laughter, with a happy Linwood Barclay photographing his closing-event Albert Hall audience from the stage, to prove to his wife that people did in fact come to see him ...

Scotland's crime-writing festival has come a long way since Alex Gray and I went to the 2009 Crime Writers Association conference in Lincoln, drank some Prosecco, and pondered deep questions like "why were Scottish-based crime writers always having to travel to England (or further) to attend crime book festivals?"

Fast-forward six years, and the culmination of the efforts of dozens of talented and hard-working writers, readers, staff, helpers, and sponsors before and since Bloody Scotland first kicked-off in Septermber 2012, was scenes like these last weekend:-

In a low-scoring game, Scottish crime-writers (captained by Ian Rankin)
drew 5-5 on Sunday (at football, allegedly) with the English crime-writers
Crime-writing Ninjas Caro Ramsay, Lin Anderson, and Alex Sokoloff
'guard' the trophy during the crime-writers football match
Val McDermid (backed by Doug Johnstone) sings
'Saturday Night' at 'Crime at the Coo' (video)

The Bloody Scotland 'Slice Girls',
ready to perform at 'Crime at the Coo'
Hardeep Singh Kohli – with audience help – forces crime writers Chris
Brookmyre, Kevin Wignall, and Caro Ramsay to improvise a crime novel,
using a wheel of fortune, a football and a copy of Katie Price’s autobiography.
But it wasn't all comedy ...

Bloody Scotland is about selling Scottish crimewriting to the world, and inviting the world to come to visit us.

Thus the festival promotes promotes new writers in the genre, offers an opportunity for established writers to extend their audience, and brings the biggest international stars to Scotland:-

Ian Rankin and Arne Dahl
 Jeffrey Siger, Steve Cavanagh, Neil White and Craig Sisterson
Dr Kathryn Harkup and Ragnar Jnasson
Lynsey Davis
Val McDermid and Lin Anderson
Capital Crime : Doug Johnstone, Neil Broadfoot, James Oswald
(chaired by Muriel Binnie)
Linwood Barclay closes Bloody Scotland 2015

The above photos give just a flavour of what was a wonderful weekend with 33 events, 50 authors, and thousands of happy readers.

We look forward to saying Ceud Mille Failte (a hundred thousand welcomes) to even more of you in 2016.

See you next year!