Mark Smith wins Kelpies Prize

Mark Smith wins Kelpies Prize

August 28, 2015

The Kelpies Prize 2015 winner was announced at Edinburgh International Book Festival last night as debut author Mark Smith with slimy superhero adventure, Slug Boy Saves the World

The Kelpies Prize celebrates its tenth anniversary this year and champions the finest new Scottish writing for children.

The award was announced last night at the Edinburgh International Book Festival at a ceremony hosted by renowned children’s author, illustrator and Edinburgh International Book Festival 2015 illustrator-in-residence, Debi Gliori. Mark received a £2,000 cash prize and a publishing deal with Floris Books’ Kelpies imprint for his winning entry Slug Boy Saves the World.

Mark Smith lives in Fife with his wife and works as a primary school teacher in Dundee, where he was born. He has self-published a children’s picture book called The Box and has had a number of scripts published in small press comics.

In Slug Boy Saves the World, 11-year-old Murdo McLeod becomes the world’s worst superhero thanks to an unfortunately tasty-looking radioactive slug. He’s so underrated, in fact, that even when an evil mastermind devises a plan to capture all the other superheroes, Slug Boy isn’t even on his hit list. Now Slug Boy has to use his not-so-super and oh-so-gross abilities to free the other superheroes and save the world. 

Katy Lockwood-Holmes, Publisher at Edinburgh-based independent Floris Books, says: “The Kelpies Prize is always a great occasion and a true celebration of Scottish children’s books. It’s especially exciting this year as Floris Books is growing fast — we’re looking at an office move later in the year to larger premises, so we can continue to grow our team and our Scottish children’s publishing.”

Eleanor Collins, Senior Commissioning Editor for Floris Books commented: “The judging process was extremely tough this year with so many entries of such high quality but Slug Boy Saves the World stood out with its fresh voice and hilarious characterisation of the world’s least likely superhero.”

The Kelpies Prize

Floris Books first awarded the Kelpies Prize in 2005 with support from the Scottish Arts Council, now Creative Scotland, to encourage and reward Scottish writing for children. Submissions are in three age categories and must be set mainly in Scotland. Previous winners include Scottish Children’s Book Award winners Janis Mackay and Alex McCall, the youngest ever winner. The prize also launched the writing careers of Kindle bestseller Daniela Sacerdoti and multi-award-winning Lari Don.