A MAGICAL Christmas tale by a Newportonian has been shortlisted for a prestigious award.

The Clockwork Crow, by Catherine Fisher, has been shortlisted for the Blue Peter Book Awards 2019, in the ‘best story’ category.

The book was previously longlisted, which you can read about here, but the shortlist was announced on Blue Peter today.

The children’s story, published by award-winning Wales-based indie publisher, Firefly Press, follows the story of an orphan, called Seren Rhys, in Victorian mid Wales.

Joined by a grumpy clockwork crow, she seeks to unravel the mystery of a missing boy, with the adventure plummeting the pair into the dangerous world of the Tylwyth Teg.

Ms Fisher said: ‘I am thrilled that The Clockwork Crow has reached the shortlist of such a prestigious prize as the Blue Peter Book Award.

“I’m especially pleased for my publishers, Firefly, who worked so hard and have produced such an amazing cover. I hope everyone who reads the book enjoys Seren’s adventures with the magical Crow.”

Ms Fisher will be signing copies of her latest book at Fourteen Locks Christmas fair, on November 16.

You can read more about the Christmas fair here.

“We are delighted that Catherine’s magical tale has been shortlisted for this iconic award,” added Firefly publisher, Penny Thomas.

“She is one of the best fantasy writers in the UK today and this classic story enchants from the very first page.

“It’s also really heartening for an independent children’s publisher based in Wales to know that the Blue Peter judges are looking to all parts of the UK for a thrilling and diverse range of shortlist titles.

“We hope the voters love The Clockwork Crow as much as we do!”

The Clockwork Crow is one of three books, for ten-year-olds, that made the shortlist for the ‘best story’ category in the Blue Peter Book Awards 2019.

Children will be voting, with the winner to be announced on World Book Day, which is March 7, 2019.

To find out more about Ms Fisher, who was Wales’ first Young People’s Laureate and has written many books, visit her website: www.catherine-fisher.com