Ely 501 aims for record breaking year

PUBLISHED: 16:00 10 January 2018

Author Julian Sedgwick is returning as one of the judges of the 2018 Ely 501 competition.

Author Julian Sedgwick is returning as one of the judges of the 2018 Ely 501 competition.


In 2017, Ely 501 sold its entire print run on the first day of publication – and this year Cambridgeshire’s creative writing challenge for children is aiming to go one better.

Last year's Ely 501 front cover by Will Sedgwick.Last year's Ely 501 front cover by Will Sedgwick.

“We received an astonishing number of entries,” says joint organiser AnnabelReddick from Burrows Bookshop Ely.

“Because of the incredibly high standard it meant we were able to print a record number of stories: 48 in total in our specially commissioned book.

“There’s no reason why we shouldn’t be able to publish even more this year.’

The challenge is now in its fourth year and Annabel, together with David Learner, from Mr Simms Olde Sweet Shoppe in Ely, will be visiting local schools to inspire children to put pen to paper.

“It’s great that in this electronic age children still prefer to tell their stories without using a keyboard,” added Annabel.

Award-winning children’s authors Mark Lowery and Julian Sedgwick return as the challenge’s judges and both are producing new books early in 2018.

Mark’s book, ‘Charlie and Me’, is to be translated into nine languages while Julian’s is ‘Return to the City of Ghosts’, the third and final instalment in his ‘Ghosts of Shanghai’ trilogy.

“Finally, we’re over the moon that we’ve been given special permission to reprint in this year’s Ely 501 a story written by a 12-year-old whose books went on to be a worldwide phenomenon,” added Annabel.

“For all our young entrants, surely that’s exactly the sort of inspiration they need.”

More information and entry forms for the competition are available from Burrows Bookshop, High Street Passage, or Mr Simms, High Street. The closing date is March 30.

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