Scottish stovies and strange sheep are announced as the winning entries for The Glencairn Glass crime short story competition

A sinister story involving a Scottish recipe for ‘stovies’ and a grisly tale about the strange sheep of Greshornish have been chosen as the winning and runner-up stories in The Glencairn Glass crime short story competition this year.

The world’s favourite whisky glass – the Glencairn Glass – produced by Scottish glassware company Glencairn Crystal, has announced the winning author as Philip Wilson, and the runner-up author as Elisabeth Ingram Wallace, in its annual Scottish themed crime fiction competition, now in its third year.

Having supported and celebrated Scottish crime writing talent with its ongoing sponsorship of the prestigious McIlvanney and Bloody Scotland Debut crime-writing literary awards since 2020, the Glencairn Glass launched its very own crime short story competition in 2021.

The competition is run in partnership with Scottish Field Magazine and the Bloody Scotland Crime Writing Festival. Both novice and experienced crime writers are invited to curate “a crime story set in Scotland” in no more than 2000 words.

Over 140 stories were entered into the 2023/24 competition and the winner and runner-up were selected by a panel of three judges including 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 was 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. The third judge was Glencairn Crystal’s marketing director and experienced crime writer Gordon Brown.

The judges have revealed the winner and runner-up as follows:

Winner: A Recipe For Stovies by Philip Wilson

The gruesome confession of a food blogger who sought revenge on her violent husband after suffering years of domestic abuse.

Philip Wilson is a writer living in Glasgow. He divides his free time between trying to wrangle his rebellious dog and writing off-kilter short fiction. Time and imagination willing, he’s planning to set to work on a full-length novel soon. 

Philip said: “I’m ecstatic and really honoured to be selected as this year’s winner of the Glencairn Glass Short Story Competition. I stumbled across the competition by sheer luck but knew immediately that I wanted to submit something. No matter what I write, an element of Scotland seems to worm its way into the material somehow, so a crime story set in Scotland was the ideal opportunity to be playful with it. I just hope my story doesn’t put anyone off of stovies. It’s usually quite a benign dish, cholesterol notwithstanding”.

Runner-up:  The Strange Sheep of Greshornish by Elisabeth Ingram Wallace

A sinister tale of a disillusioned tourist guide on the Isle of Skye who sends badly behaved tourists to suffer the same fate as the mad sheep in Greshornish.

Elisabeth Ingram Wallace lives in a Skoda in Scotland, usually somewhere in the Highlands. Her short stories have won prizes including The Mogford Short Story Prize, ‘Writing the Future’ and a Scottish Book Trust ‘New Writers Award.’ Recent work has featured in SmokeLong Quarterly, Atticus Review, Barrelhouse, Wigleaf, and anthologies including ‘FUEL – an anthology of Prize Winning Flash Fictions’.

Elisabeth said: “Thank you so much to the judges and to all at the Glencairn Glass, I am delighted to be the runner up in such a fantastic competition. It is a great challenge to write such a short Short Story; under 2000 words is my absolute favourite length, a test to write but long enough to go a little wild and include the odd zombie sheep. I wrote this story in a Bothy near Neist Point over Christmas, while it rained and rained and rained, and it was a real escape to go and commit a few imaginary murders in the sunshine”.

Competition judge, Callum McSorley, commented: “It was a real honour to read the brilliant work submitted, and certainly made for some lively discussion during the judging process. The winner’s clever story format made excellent use of the limited space to tell a story equal parts funny and sinister which pulled all the judges in immediately. The runner-up’s scuzzy subversion of an imagined, idyllic Scottish Highlands was similarly smart, comic, and dark.”

Kate Foster said: “It was a huge pleasure to read such a brilliant variety of crime stories, and to see the talent in Scottish writing. The judging process was great fun with lots of debate, but we were unanimous in our favourites. The winning entry stood out to me as it was funny, clever, and served up with a flourish. The runner-up was brilliantly written with a really quirky twist.”

Glencairn’s marketing director Gordon Brown said: “The quality of the short stories we receive every year is amazing and as both a crime writer and the Marketing Director of Glencairn Crystal I’m delighted that a competition based around Scotland and Crime Fiction can deliver such great works”.

The first prize of £1,000 goes to Philip Wilson and runner up Elisabeth Ingram Wallace receives £500. Both writers also receive a set of six bespoke engraved Glencairn Glasses. The winning story will be published in the May issue of Scottish Field Magazine (on shelf from 5th April) and the runner up story will then be published on Scottish Field Magazine’s website; www.scottishfield.co.uk. Both stories will also be available to read on the Glencairn Glass website: www.whiskyglass.com.

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.  All previous winners’ stories can be viewed at www.whiskyglass.com

For further information about this year’s McIlvanney and Bloody Scotland Debut crime-writing prizes, as well as the Bloody Scotland Crime Writing Festival taking place in Stirling, Scotland, from the 13th to 15th September, please visit www.bloodyscotland.com.  

Tags: crime short story competitionScottish stoviesstrange sheepThe Glencairn Glasswinning entries
Greg

Greg

My name is Greg, and I’m a brand strategy consultant, writer, speaker, host and judge specialising in premium spirits. My mission is to experience, share and inspire with everything great about whisky, whiskey, gin, beer and fine dining through my writing, my brand building and my whisky tastings.

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