Bloody Scotland International Crime Writing Festival first launched Pitch Perfect in 2012. The winner was Joseph Knox whose book went on to be a Sunday Times bestseller. In 2016 the winner was Alison Belsham who travelled all the way from London to participate and found herself an agent and a publisher:

‘I stumbled across a post on Facebook about a pitching event at a crime-writing festival in Scotland. I’d never heard of Bloody Scotland or the Pitch Perfect event. I hadn’t written a crime novel and I wasn’t Scottish. In theory, I should have scrolled right on past. But two little words caught my eye: ‘professional feedback’… Jenny Brown chaired the Pitch Perfect panel and offered to represent me the same week.’

Everyone who has won the prize has been picked up by an agent and most have had books published, as have many of the other Pitch Perfect participants. This year the Festival would like to encourage aspiring authors from diverse backgrounds to apply. If book festivals are to become more diverse we need more diverse crime writers in the first place. Pitch Perfect is a great place to start.

Previous winners of Pitch Perfect are:
2012 Joseph Knox
2013 Alex Cox
2014 Margaret Stewart
2015 Matt Wesolowski
2016 Alison Belsham
2017 Mark Wightman
2018 C O Vollmer (David Bishop)
2019 Suzy Aspley
2020 Kate Foster
2021 Kris Haddow

In the interest of inclusivity a number of the pitchers will have the option to pitch on-line. Chaired by literary agent, Jenny Brown, the 2022 panel includes Toby Jones, editorial director at Headline, Katherine Armstrong, deputy publishing director at Simon & Schuster and Robbie Guillory, agent at Underline Literary Agency. They will listen to eight aspiring authors pitching their ideas for a crime novel, offer constructive feedback and select a winner.


Sponsored by The Open University in Scotland


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. Full information at
The festival takes place in various venues (including The Albert Halls, The Tollbooth and the social hub of the festival, The Golden Lion Hotel) in the historic town of Stirling from 15-18 September 2022.

Published by marypicken

Passionate book reader. Love all kind of books from 19th century novels to crime thrillers. My blog is predominantly crime, psychological thrillers and police procedurals with a good helping of literary fiction thrown in.

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