Toon and Masson win McIlvanney and Bloody Scotland Debut prizes

Toon and Masson win McIlvanney and Bloody Scotland Debut prizes

Debut novelist Francine Toon has won the McIlvanney Prize at the Bloody Scotland International Crime Writing Festival this year alongside fellow first-time writer Deborah Masson, who has scooped the Bloody Scotland Debut Prize. 

Both authors are published by Transworld, which also published last year’s winner, Manda Scott.

The £1,000 McIlvanney Prize was judged by Karen Robinson (Times Crime Club editor) and James Crawford (author, TV presenter and chair of Publishing Scotland) and chaired by writer and broadcaster Stuart Cosgrove. Her title, Pine, was described as an "extraordinary novel which stood out because of the sheer quality of the writing and the dark brooding atmosphere of the remote rural Scottish village in which it is set. The book merges the supernatural with real crime in a very memorable way and brings an exciting new talent to Scottish crime writing."

Toon, who also featured on the debut shortlist, was selected from finalists including Ambrose Parry, Doug Johnstone and Andrew James Grieg. 

The Debut Prize was judged by Lin Anderson, author and co-founder of Bloody Scotland, Ewan Wilson from Waterstones and Kenny Tweedale from the festival's first sponsors, the Glencairn Glass. Masson's winning novel, Hold your Tongue, was described by the panel as "a well-written, fast-paced and gritty thriller with a strong female protagonist, who will stop at nothing to find the killer". Masson will receive £500 and a Glencairn Star Trophy. 

This is the first year that the Glencairn Glass has sponsored the prizes. Kirsty Nicholson, marketing manager. said: "First-time authors winning both prizes this year highlights what a bright future the fantastic tradition of Scottish crime writing has. We are delighted and proud to sponsor such prestigious awards with the Glencairn Glass and would like to congratulate both Francine and Deborah, while wishing them all the best for the future."