A FORMER nurse, a sportswriter and an illustrator have been shortlisted for this year’s Kelpies Prize.

Established in 2004, the award previously launched the career of multi-award winner Lari Don and recognises “the finest new Scottish fiction for children”.

Independent publisher Floris Books has today revealed its final three.

They include former medical worker Celia Bryce (right) for “atmospheric” tale Haunted Tide, set in the remote islands, and sports journalist Robin Scott-Elliot for Over the Sea to Skye, a “thrilling” time-travelling adventure which mixes the Cold War with the Jacobite rebellion.

Edinburgh College of Art alumnus Hannah Foley has also been selected for The Lost Wizard of Witches Wood, which is described as “a warm and quirky whirlwind of an adventure”.

All three titles are aimed at readers aged eight to 14.

The winner will be announced at a ceremony at the Edinburgh International Book Festival next month.

Eleanor Collins, editorial director for Floris Books, commented: “As ever, the judging process was difficult but enjoyable due to the high standard of entries and exceptional levels of imagination and creativity on display.

“We are thrilled that the Kelpies Prize continues to grow year on year.

“Watch this space.”

Bryce’s work revolves around a girl who discovers a supernatural mystery connected to an abandoned lighthouse, while Foley’s tells the story of a magical youngster who holds the key to a prophecy. Scott-Elliot’s concerns twins who must help both Bonnie Prince Charlie and a runaway Russian submariner.