Hannah’s book of fantastic creatures wins Kelpies Prize

Freelance illustrator Hannah Foley has been revealed as the winner of the Kelpies Prize 2018.

Hannah’s success came at an award ceremony at the Edinburgh International Book Festival.

Her prize-winning entry, The Lost Wizard of Nine Witches Wood, is a warm and quirky whirlwind of an adventure, featuring shapeshifters, enchanted bicycles, and a whole host of fantastical creatures from Scotland’s rich mythology.

Eleanor Collins, editorial director for Floris Books, said: ‘With entries about everything from Bonnie Prince Charlie to a haunted lighthouse, the judging team had an extremely difficult but enjoyable task. The Lost Wizard of Nine Witches Wood stood out for its Scottish setting, fantastical thrills and magical heart.’

Hannah grew up in Devon and worked as a registered nurse for a number of years before returning to school to study illustration at Edinburgh College of Art. She is now a freelance illustrator, living back in Devon, illustrating for children, young people and families in the educational and charitable sectors. Hannah loves creating narratives with both words and pictures.

Award-winning children’s author and former Kelpies Prize shortlister Lari Don hosted the ceremony, where she presented Hannah with a £2000 cash prize and a publishing deal with Floris Books’ Kelpies imprint, where her book will be published alongside Lari’s Spellchasers trilogy and Fabled Beast Chronicles.

First awarded in 2005 with support from the Scottish Arts Council, now Creative Scotland, the Kelpies Prize seeks to encourage and reward Scottish writing for children. The prize was expanded in 2015 to include teen entries.

Previous winners include Scottish Children’s Book Award winners Janis Mackay and Alex McCall, whilst the prize also launched the careers of Kindle bestseller Daniela Sacerdoti and multi-award-winning Lari Don.