A RETIRED Greenock GP who has won critical acclaim for her first novel is now taking part in an international crime writing festival and is up for a major award.

Dr Anne Pettigrew has been invited to join big names like First Minister Nicola Sturgeon and top crime writer Ian Rankin at Bloody Scotland to talk about her book 'Not a Life Imagined'.

She will share a platform at the 'In the Spotlight' event with established author Professor Angela Gallop, a forensic scientist who worked on some of the country's most high profile cases.

The debut author has also been put forward for Scotland's top literary award.

Delighted Anne, who lives in Skelmorlie, said: "It is a great honour to be invited to take part in the festival and to share a stage with Professor Gallop.

"My book does have elements of crime.

"I wrote it originally as a piece of social commentary on what it was like for a female medical students in the 1960s.

"In fiction I always felt there was a real lack of female doctors represented and I wanted to change that."

At the In the Spotlight event, part of Bloody Scotland, aspiring writers are paired with established literary figures.

Ann will talk to Professor Gallop, who was involved in the Stephen Lawrence murder case.

Bloody Scotland is a celebration of the much loved crime novel and since the first festival in Stirling in 2012 it has taken off.

It now attracts the biggest names in the genre and is a launchpad for many authors.

The three day festival is headlined by a conversation with Nicola Sturgeon and Ian Rankin and starts on Friday September 20.

Anne's book - Not a life Imagined - is a darkly humorous and thought-provoking look at the life of medical students at Glasgow University in the 1960s.

The fictional novel draws on Anne's own experiences as a student at that time,

Since the novel, published by non-profit outfit Ringwood Publishers, hit the shelves Anne has found herself in the spotlight.

She added: "It has been exhausting but I have met so many lovely people."

All money raised from the book goes to the international charity Plan UK, which promotes education for girls, a cause very close to the local writer's heart.

Dr Pettigrew, who says she owes a great deal to Greenock Writers Club and mentor Cathy McSporran, who helped edit her book and was her creative writing lecturer, will appear at the In the Spotlight event on Sunday September 22 at 11am.

She has also been submitted as a candidate for the Saltire Award, Scotland's number one literary prize.