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I’ll be judging the Ely 501 creative writing competition again this year - and looking forward to reading all the entries!

Competition rules and regulations, frequently asked questions and ENTRY FORMS can be collected from Burrows Bookshop and Mr Simm’s Sweet Shoppe in Ely. Alternatively you can download them HERE.

I’ll be talking about the competition on BBC Radio Cambs with Jeremy Sallis on Feb 2nd.

Some images form the last two glorious years…

Ely 501 award winners 2016

Ely 501 winners




With Mysterium now launched in the US with Lerner Books, and an interesting discussion with members of the Golden Egg Academy the other night, I thought it was time to mention a long-running, informal competition about the trilogy…!

It can take a long time to negotiate your way to publication, and even then the waters often aren’t smooth. Hidden, or worn proudly, somewhere in a book or series should be a scene, a moment, an image, a piece of dialogue that you are desperate to write. That powers the effort along, lends it heart, keeps your spirits up in bad moments, and hopefully shines through - even subconsciously - when the book is finally read.

And whatever happens to that book after publication, you at least have the prize of knowing that you said the thing you wanted and needed to say.

The Mysterium trilogy is a very personal story at its core. Beneath the chases and explosions and tricks is a deep emotional current. Each book contains a key page or two that I ‘wrote towards’ - but one page in particular carries the heart of Danny’s story. I often ask people in signing queues if they can work out what it is and let me know, but so far nobody has claimed the prize!

And what is that prize? Well, this is an informal competition - and the eventual prize will depend on the reader who spots it. Maybe signed books, maybe a visit to your school, maybe an appraisal and comment of your manuscript if you’re an aspirant writer…



To celebrate publication of Shadow of the Yangtze post your photos of shadows and shade to the Julian Sedgwick Writer page on Facebook.

Your own shadow, your friend’s, a strange tree, a building or animal. Anything you like.

The best entries will win signed copies and posters of Shadow of the Yangtze and Ghosts of Shanghai.

Closing date May 31st 2016. Images must be your own work and belong to you! Winners will be notified by FB...



The sequel to Ghosts of Shanghai will be published at the beginning of April this year.

Ruby and Charlie undertake a journey into the war-torn and ghost-ravaged interior of China, and sail deep into the Shadow of the Yangtze...

Here’s a preview of the jacket.

Shadow of the Yangtze jacket



Marcus and I are delighted that Dark Satanic Mills has been shortlisted for the 2015 Kate Greenaway Prize.

John and Marc’s work on the book deserves all the attention and credit it gets and it’s lovely to see our graphic novel nestled amongst such strong company from the other shortlist-ees!
© Julian Sedgwick 2017