At a time when debut writers and bookshops are suffering more than ever, Scotland's international crime writing festival has announced its 2020 award nominees. 

Bloody Scotland International Crime Writing Festival was scheduled to take place in Stirling from September 18-20 but will now take place entirely online.

Nonetheless, both the shortlist for the Bloody Scotland Debut Crime Book of the Year and the longlist for the coveted McIlvanney Prize have been revealed. 

READ MORE: Coronavirus: Edinburgh International Book Festival moves online

The debut prize, established last year, is judged by a panel including Bloody Scotland founding director Lin Anderson.

According to a Bloody Scotland spokesperson, the debut prize is more important than ever at a time when debut writers have suffered more than others due to bookshop closures.

Authors on the shortlist include Deborah Masson for Hold Your Tongue, published by Transworld; Stephen O’Rourke for The Crown Agent (Sandstone); Marion Todd for See Them Run (Canelo), and Francine Toon for her debut novel Pine (Doubleday).

The McIlvanney Prize, named after William McIlvanney, is set to be judged by broadcaster and writer Stuart Cosgrove, Publishing Scotland chairman James Crawford and The Times Crime Club editor Karen Robinson.

Esteemed author William McIlvanney was often described as the godfather of tartan noir. 

The shortlist for the prize, which is sponsored by Glencairn Glass and includes a £1,000 reward plus nationwide promotion in Waterstrones, will be revealed at the beginning of September.

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Kirsty Nicholson, Glencairn’s design and marketing manager, said: “There has never been a better time to immerse ourselves in a gripping book and enjoy a little escapism during these uncertain times.

“We would like to congratulate all the talented authors who’ve been successful in securing a place on this year’s McIlvanney Prize longlist, as well as the new writers who have been shortlisted for the Bloody Scotland Debut Scottish Crime Book of the Year.”The winners will be announced on Friday September 18.

The longlist for the McIlvanney Prize is:
Lin Anderson, Time for the Dead (Macmillan);
Lisa Gray, Bad Memory (Thomas & Mercer);
Andrew James Greig, Whirligig (Fledgling);
Doug Johnstone, A Dark Matter (Orenda);
Val McDermid, How the Dead Speak (Little, Brown);
Ben McPherson, The Island (HarperCollins);
James Oswald, Bury Them Deep (Headline);
Ambrose Parry (aka Christopher Broomyre and Marisa Haetzman, The Art of Dying (Canongate);
Mary Paulson-Ellis, The Inheritance of Solomon Farthing (Mantle);
Caro Ramsay, The Red, Red Snow (Severn House);
Craig Robertson, Watch Him Die (Simon & Schuster);
Francine Toon, Pine (Doubleday).