Ely’s secret 501 author revealed

Douglas Adams, author of the bestselling book

Douglas Adams, author of the bestselling book "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy" in London. Picture: PA Archive/PA Images

PA Archive/PA Images

The secret 49th author of the Ely501 book has been revealed.

Douglas Adams, author of The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy, was revealed as Ely501’s secret author.

David Learner, co-creator of the Ely501, said: “Douglas’ story comes in at under 300 words. It’s bursting with his quirky humour and sense of mischief.

“I’m sorry he’s not here to see his work amongst 48 brand new, talented young writers. His encouragement to them is as important now as it was during his lifetime.”

Douglas – who was born in Cambridge – died in 2001 after suffering a heart attack aged 49. In his obituary The Guardian newspaper reported: “He did struggle against writer’s block during his career.

“He had a huge collection of electric guitars, and would invite rock stars to play at parties in his house; he once performed at Earl’s Court with his mates, Pink Floyd.

“His interest in ecology led him to work to protect endangered species.”

The 49th story has been illustrated by Chris Riddell, who is The Observer’s political cartoonist and illustrator.

The Ely 501 is a competition put to children in the area aged between six and 14, giving them the task of telling their most gripping and imaginative stories all under 501 words.

The book is now available from Burrows Bookshop and Mr Simms Ely.

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