2019 The Year of Making Dreams Come True! @BloodyScotland Reveals their #CrimeInTheSpotlight Writers and I am one of them!! @nholten40 @Beathhigh @NicolaSturgeon @the_cwa @thrillerwriters @0neMoreChapter_ @KillerReads @fictionpubteam

This was me – literally – when I found out the news…and what’s that news?? Read the press release from Bloody Scotland to find out because I am still pinching myself…


Bloody Scotland will again be supporting new writers by pairing established authors with ‘support’ acts just starting out on their crime writing career.

Graeme Macrae Burnet, author of His Bloody Project was famously ‘In the Spotlight’ as a support act for Ian Rankin before it was shortlisted for the Man Booker and the initiative has been praised on Open Book, BBC Radio 4 for being innovative and breaking the boundaries of traditional book festivals.

Authors ‘In the Spotlight’ this year include Judith O’Reilly, a former producer for Newsnight and Channel 4 News who is paired with David Baldacci straight from leading the torchlight procession; Jackie McLean, who volunteered at Bloody Scotland now makes her way on to the main stage herself with Chris Brookmyre and Michael Robotham; Gordon Kerr, who as Head of Marketing at Waterstones selected Alexander McCall Smith as Book of the Month and will now share the stage with the much loved international star and Noelle Holten, better known to everyone in the crime fiction world as the power blogger Crime Book Junkie, who will be on stage with the even more powerful Ian Rankin and First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon.

(???????????? OMG THAT’S ME with Ian Rankin and Nicola Sturgeon!!! ….and breathe!) ?? this was not in the official press release ????

The full list includes authors published by Scottish and English independents, large London conglomerates and some self-published authors with a mix of male and female crime writers. One of last years authors ‘in the spotlight’, Claire Askew who last year took to the stage with Ann Cleeves and Louise Penny has this year been shortlisted for both the debut and the main McIlvanney Prize. The finalists will be revealed on 6 September.

For a full list of selected authors – including where they are from, who they are published by and who they are supporting – please see below.

Here is the full list of Crime in the Spotlight authors and who they will be appearing with…

  • Judith O’Reilly (Northumberland) with David Baldacci, Friday 20th, 8.30pm (Killing State, Head of Zeus)

  • Geraldine Hogan (Ireland) with Dr David Wilson, Saturday 21st, 10am (Silent Night, Bookouture)

  • Jackie McLean (Glasgow) Chris Brookmyre & Michael Robotham, Sat 21st, 11.45am (Shadows, Thunderpoint)

  • Gordon Kerr (East Kilbride & Dorset) with Alexander McCall Smith, Sat 21st 1.30pm (The Partisan Heart, Muswell Press)

  • Fiona Erskine (Edinburgh & Teeside) with Denise Mina & Louise Welsh, Sat 21st 3.15pm (The Chemical Detective, Oneworld)

  • Daniel James (Newcastle) with Richard Osman, Sat 21st 5pm (The Unauthorised Biography of Ezra Maas, Dead Ink Books)

  • Noelle Holten (Birmingham) with Ian Rankin & Nicola Sturgeon, Sat 21st, 8pm (Dead Inside, Harper Collins)

  • Anne Pettigrew (Greenock) with Professor Angela Gallop, Sun 22nd, 11am (Not the Life Imagined, Ringwood)

  • Neil Lancaster (Highlands) with Lin Anderson & Alex Gray, Sun 22nd, 12.45pm (Going Dark, Self Pub)

  • Douglas Watt (Edinburgh) with Ambrose Parry and Nicci French, Sun 22nd, 2.30pm (The Unnatural Death of a Jacobite, Luath)

  • Anna Sayburn Lane (London) with Yrsa Sigurdardottir & Sally Magnusson, Sun 22nd, 4pm (Unlawful Things, Self)

  • Christine Laurenson (Shetland) with Stuart MacBride & Mark Billingham, Sun 22nd 5.30pm (Dark Business, Self)

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 uses a number of atmospheric, historic venues in Stirling’s Old Town setting it apart from other literary festivals. Full information & sponsor information at www.bloodyscotland.com

Currently sold out: Crime at the Coo; You The Jury – A Play (all three performances); Richard Osman and Ian Rankin with Nicola Sturgeon.

The charge for tickets at the opening reception and torchlit procession only covers our costs so I’m afraid that we can’t offer free tickets to anyone other than authors appearing at the Festival and publishers with authors on the McIlvanney longlist or appearing on the opening night however we would still love you to join us for what is a fantastic start to the Festival.

Tickets are available from www.bloodyscotland.com or at the Box Office in the Tolbooth Stirling or in the Albert Halls. Free standby tickets are available to the unemployed or those on a low income on the day of the event if there is good availability. Proof of eligibility is required and tickets are limited to one person. A 10% discount is available to people residing in the Stirling Council area. You must give your address at the time of booking. Visit www.bloodyscotland.com/localdiscount for details.


I am absolutely over-the-moon and bricking it a little bit… I mean, it’s a sold out event…with Ian Rankin and Nicola Sturgeon…OMG! OMG! OMG! Huge honour and thrill for me – I’m telling you all, 2019 has been the year of making dreams come true! Congratulations to everyone on this list, massive thanks to everyone at Bloody Scotland who has been a part of giving me this once-in-a-lifetime-opportunity – and what an amazing selection of talent to be a part of! See you in Stirling! 

4 Replies to “2019 The Year of Making Dreams Come True! @BloodyScotland Reveals their #CrimeInTheSpotlight Writers and I am one of them!! @nholten40 @Beathhigh @NicolaSturgeon @the_cwa @thrillerwriters @0neMoreChapter_ @KillerReads @fictionpubteam”

  1. What a phenomenal honor, Noelle! Congratulations and best wishes for a long and productive career!