Pirates Of The Caribbean star Mackenzie Crook's decision to write a children's story could have a fairytale ending - after the actor was nominated for a book prize.
The 40-year-old, who found fame when he played Gareth in TV sitcom The Office, wrote and illustrated The Windvale Sprites, which tells the tale of a young boy who sets out to discover if fairies really exist.
It has been picked with 17 other titles to compete for the UK's Waterstones Children's Book Prize after it was shortlisted in the category for fiction for youngsters aged five to 12.
The prize is split between three categories, the other two being picture books and teen books, with the category winners picking up a STG2000 ($A2959) prize before the judges select an overall winner who collects an additional STG3000.
Among the other shortlisted books are Being Billy, which tackles the subject of children in care, and The Pirates Next Door - a picture book about a family of pirates who move to a quiet seaside town.
James Daunt, managing director of Waterstones, said the store's "job" was to introduce readers to new writers.
"This award is chosen entirely by our booksellers, whose experience and knowledge results in a fascinating and inspiring shortlist every year," he said.
"This year the award has been expanded to acknowledge the incredible diversity of books on offer to children today, and reward the wonderful children's authors and illustrators who play a crucial role in enriching our children's lives from the cradle through to adulthood."The winners will be announced on March 28.