Stephen King, Lee Child and Ian Rankin to take part in hybrid book festival

Stephen King is among the authors taking part in Bloody Scotland (Joel Ryan/PA)
Stephen King is among the authors taking part in Bloody Scotland (Joel Ryan/PA)
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Authors Stephen King Karin Slaughter and Ian Rankin are among those who will be taking part in a hybrid crime-writing book festival next month.

The Bloody Scotland festival will feature in-person events while some authors will join digitally from elsewhere, with audiences able to watch live in Stirling or online.

Stephen King, Kathy Reichs, Karin Slaughter, Lee Child and Linwood Barclay are among those who will be beamed into the city’s Albert Halls where interviewers will be present to question them in front of a live and digital audience.

Authors appearing in person in Stirling include Val McDermid, Ian Rankin, Denise Mina and Chris Brookmyre as well as Paula Hawkins, SJ Watson and Louise Candlish.

Ian Rankin will be appearing in person at the festival (Jane Barlow/PA)

The hybrid festival, which runs from September 17 to 19, comes after last year’s Bloody Scotland took place in virtual form due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Festival director Bob McDevitt said: “It’s going to be a Bloody Scotland like no other but we do love a challenge and I can’t wait to see all of our authors and crime fans back together in real life, while extending our global reach as we beam the festival all over the world.”

The festival will also feature a return of events such as a performance by the Fun Lovin’ Crime Writers band and “Pitch Perfect”, where writers have the opportunity to pitch their novel to industry experts in the hope of securing a publishing deal.

Events at the Albert Halls will be streamed live while at the nearby Golden Lion, panels will be recorded in front of a live audience and will be available to watch digitally 24 hours later.

An interview with Norwegian crime writer Jo Nesbo will be pre-recorded and available online only.

Stirling Council leader Scott Farmer said: “I’m delighted to welcome back Bloody Scotland to Stirling.

“The return of this famous event, which showcases the best in Scottish crime writing, is a significant boost for tourism as well as Stirling’s wider economic recovery from the pandemic.

“Stirling is without doubt an excellent destination for world-class events and the hosting of Bloody Scotland does justice to our reputation for hosting further events of this nature.”

The festival was set up by a group of Scottish crime writers in 2012 and aims to provide a showcase for the best crime writing from Scotland and around the world.

Full information about this year’s programme and buying tickets can be found at

Katalina Watt, literature officer at Creative Scotland, said: “Scottish crime writing is a beloved and globally renowned literary export, and it’s heartening to see that with the lifting of Covid-19 restrictions, this year’s enticing programme can offer in-person events in Stirling, alongside a host of digital offerings.”

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