Edinburgh-based publisher Floris Books has announced the shortlist for the Kelpies Prize 2011. The annual prize is for previously unpublished works of fiction, set in contemporary Scotland and suitable for children aged 8 to 12. Since the end of February deadline, judges have been busy reading their way through a large number of manuscripts to decide on the final three.
The 2011 shortlist (in alphabetical order) is:
• How to Make a Golem (and Terrify People) by Alette J. Willis
• The Really Weird Removals Company by Daniela Sacerdoti
• The Resurrection Spell by Roy Gill
How to Make a Golem (and Terrify People) by Alette J. Willis
Edda is tired of her nickname, "Mouse", and wants to be braver. But when her house is burgled on her twelfth birthday, Edda is more afraid than ever. That is until new boy Michael Scot starts school. There's something peculiar -- and very annoying -- about know-it-all Michael. He claims to be a great alchemist who can help Edda overcome her fears by teaching her to build a golem. But surely they can't bring a giant mud monster to life? Can they?
Alette J. Willis was born in Britain but brought up and educated in Canada. She and her husband returned to Edinburgh three years ago. After gaining success writing short stories for adults, she returned to her first love, children's fiction. For the past two years she has volunteered as a Talking Trees Storyteller at the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh. She currently works at Edinburgh University as a teaching fellow and researcher.
The Really Weird Removals Company by Daniela Sacerdoti
Luca has never met his Uncle Alistair before; in fact, he didn't even know he had an uncle. But as soon as Alistair arrives on the tiny island of Eilean, Luca and his sister Valentina notice a strange shadow perched on Alistair's shoulder. It turns out to be Camilla, a ghost their uncle has rescued. Uncle Alistair is a supernatural investigator, an expert in warding off feisty fairies, capturing stray trolls, and rescuing mermaids lost in the River Clyde. Whatever your supernatural problem, Alistair has a solution. When he sees that Luca and Valentina share his gift, he invites them to join his new venture, the Really Weird Removals Company.
Daniela Sacerdoti is Italian but moved to Scotland ten years ago. She lives with her husband and sons, and loves Scotland so much she considers herself "adopted". Daniela has studied at the University of Turin and Strathclyde University. She has been writing, for both adults and children, since she can remember.
The Resurrection Spell by Roy Gill
Cameron's dad never took him to visit his Grandma Ives -- and he's just found out why! Living with her after his dad's death, Grandma Ives soon reveals their family's extraordinary abilities, and introduces Cameron to the Daemon Parallel -- the dark and dangerous side of Edinburgh he never knew existed. When Grandma Ives reveals they could use an ancient spell to bring his dad back to live, Cameron enters the deadly daemon underworld to find the spell's vital ingredients. On this terrifying adventure, Cameron befriends a werewolf, bargains with a giant bat-like time eater, and struggles to escape the clutches of a powerful spider daemon. But will he survive long enough to finish the resurrection spell? And who can he trust in a world where nothing is what it seems?
Roy Gill was born in Edinburgh, where he lives with his partner, and an increasing number of bookshelves. In 2008, having completed Glasgow University's Creative Writing MLitt, he was shortlisted for the Sceptre Prize for best work-in-progress manuscript. In 2009/10 he was the winner of a New Writer's Award from the Scottish Book Trust.