When illustrator Will Sedgwick chose an octopus to scale Ely Cathedral for the front cover of this year’s Ely 501 he couldn’t have known how close he was to the truth.
The competition’s organiser Annabel Reddick of Burrows Bookshop explains: “Will had the same brief as our young writers, to create something original that would be memorable for the book’s readers.”
Will couldn’t have known that within weeks of his cover being accepted for publication speculation would emerge that could see the city of Ely engulfed in water as global warming watches sea levels rise across the world.
“It’s really spooky,” says Annabel.
Will’s illustration, together with the 48 stories chosen for inclusion in Ely 501, will be on show at St Mary’s Church on July 1. That’s when the young authors will be able to see their stories in print for the first time as the book becomes available to the general public following the competition’s awards ceremony.
“Will’s picture sums up the spirit of Ely 501,” says Annabel. “From the local children who offered stories for publication we were looking for imagination and flair. Once again the challenge has been accepted with relish and we’re so looking forward to announcing the winners.”
More details about Ely 501 can be found by contacting Annabel at Burrows Bookshop on 01353 669759.