The Glencairn Glass crime short story competition is back. Winning writer receive prize of £1,000


The world’s favourite whisky glass - the Glencairn Glass - is once again delving into the dark side of crime fiction with the launch of its popular annual crime short story competition.

This year in partnership again with the Bloody Scotland International Crime Writing Festival and Scottish Field Magazine, the competition offers the winning writer a prize of £1,000 and their story published in Scottish Field and online.

Over the last two years the competition has attracted hundreds of entries from both experienced and novice crime writers internationally. Writers from around the world are invited to compose their stories, in less than 2000 words, on the theme: “A crime set in Scotland” - the competition closes on 31st December 2023.

In addition to the £1,000 prize, the winner will also see their story published in Scottish Field Magazine in the spring. The runner up will receive a cash prize of £500. Both stories will be published online on the Scottish Field website, as well as on the Glencairn Glass website (

The Glencairn Glass is no stranger to the ‘dram-atic’ world of Scottish crime fiction. The Scottish family business Glencairn Crystal has celebrated and supported the Bloody Scotland Crime Writing Festival since 2020 with its Glencairn Glass sponsorship of the McIlvanney Prize for the Scottish Crime Book of the Year and the Bloody Scotland Debut Crime Novel of the Year awards. Earlier this year a new three-year deal was agreed to secure the company’s commitment and sponsorship until the end of 2025.

The Judges

This year’s Glencairn Glass short story competition judging panel includes Callum McSorley, a Glasgow based writer whose debut novel Squeaky Clean won this year’s Bloody Scotland McIlvanney Prize for the Scottish Crime Book of the Year. He is joined by Kate Foster the Edinburgh based national newspaper journalist and author, whose debut novel The Maiden won this year’s Bloody Scotland’s Debut Prize and has become a Times and Waterstones bestseller.

Glencairn Crystal’s marketing director Gordon Brown, who is also one of the founding directors of the Bloody Scotland International Crime Writing Festival, is the third judge. Gordon, who is also a crime writer, has had eleven crime and thriller books published to date.

Gordon commented: ‘We are delighted to set out on the search for a great Scottish set crime short story once more. The Glencairn Glass’s sponsorship of the crime writing prizes at Bloody Scotland and its success globally, makes it the perfect glass to toast all those writers that are about to sit down to pen a classic crime short story.’

Previous Winners

Last year’s short story competition was won by Frances Crawford from Glasgow, whose captivating tale The Dummy Railway told the story of a disturbing discovery through the eyes of a young Scottish girl. Frances graduated last year, at the age of 60, with an MLitt (First) in Creative Writing from Glasgow University and says that winning the competition has opened many doors for her.

Frances commented: “What attracted me to the Glencairn Glass Crime Short Story Competition was the fact that it is so inclusive and open to everyone, whether absolute beginner or published author. Since winning, I developed The Dummy Railway as a full-length novel, with very promising agent interest. It was an honour to win such a prestigious prize. I would encourage crime writers at all stages of their writing path to enter”.

The winner of the first Glencairn Glass Crime Short Story Competition in 2021 was Brid Cummings, a fiction writer and occupational therapist in South Australia. Her story Halmeoni’s Wisdom was a dark tale of human trafficking, illegal trade and a desire for freedom. Winning the competition gave Brid the confidence and encouragement to complete her psychological suspense novel and she has recently been signed up by a UK literary agency.

How to Enter

All short story entries must be submitted at The competition closes at midnight on Sunday 31st December 2023. The winner and runner up will be announced in March 2023.

Bloody Scotland’s Festival Director, Bob McDevitt, said: “Bloody Scotland has always been dedicated to supporting and discovering new writing and this short story competition provides a great opportunity for writers to flex their creative muscles and explore the broad church of crime writing.”

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