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It’s out at last. After five years of writing and illustrating and designing, Voyages in the Underworld of Orpheus Black is published on May 2nd in the UK by Walker Books. With a wonderful illustrative ‘voice’ by Alexis Deacon to carry our words along, and gorgeous design work behind the scenes by the team at Walker, this is a book of which I am very proud indeed.

We’ll be at the Imperial War Museum on the morning of May 22nd to sign copies, and at Forbidden Planet in London on the Saturday 25th.




Ruby is finally set to make the long journey home to conclude her trilogy. The final instalment of GHOSTS OF SHANGHAI will be called RETURN TO THE CITY OF GHOSTS and will be out in January 2018. I’ve just been drawing some of the means by which she might make the run for Shanghai - a few pictured below…



I am absolutely delighted to be taking up the role (and baton!) of Patron of Reading at Leighton Park School in Reading.

Having visited twice before I considered the offer for all of 30 seconds (probably fewer) before saying ‘yes’ to Chris Routh, the school’s wonderful librarian. Leighton Park was founded and is still run along Quaker principles, and the Friends’ spirit pervades the student and staff body. Open, enquiring, and holistically aspirational the values there fit incredibly well with the themes I want to write about in my books.

And more than that my family has a deep link to Quakerism - it was at the Friends Centre Brighton that my mum and dad first met. Dad was co-warden there and spent 1945-55 using the arts and education to help make the better society that everyone longed for after the Second World War. It was at his puppetry group that my parents first crossed paths - I always say I owe my existence to Quakerism and marionettes…

Over the next three years I hope to work deeply with the students, teachers and Chris to further enrich reading and writing at this wonderful school.




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!



To celebrate the publication of Mysterium 3: The Wheel of Life and Death email or tweet your best circus or magic trick - or design a Mysterium poster - and very limited edition cover art prints and signed copies could be yours...

TheMysteriumbook1myst2covermysterium3coversmall copy

Can you juggle three eggs, do a somersault, make rabbits appear from a hat, ride a unicycle - or something even more amazing? If so - and without risking your life! - get someone to photo or make a short video and either post to Twitter or email for your chance to win!

If you want to do something more sedate, then design a poster for the Mysterium Circus!

One winner will receive A2 fine prints of cover art for all three books and a signed trilogy.

Two runners up will receive signed copies of all three books.

1. Photos and scanned posters please no bigger than 2 mb file size. Videos as Vine if sent - or upload longer or better quality files to YouTube and send me a link.

2. Post images or links to Twitter (
@julianaurelius) or email to

3. Closing date: August 31st 2014.

4. Winners will be contacted by Twitter or email by Sept 5th.


Delighted to announce that US rights for Mysterium have been sold to Carolrhoda, an imprint of Lerner Books.

Publication schedule yet to be finalised, but Carolrhoda are keen to expand their mid grade list and want Mysterium to be a centrepiece (‘centerpiece’ maybe?) for that.

really looking forward to supporting US publication and see the Mysterium Circus make landfall there...


Mysterium 1: The Black Dragon wins the Upper Category Award at the Rotherham Children’s Book Awards.

It was a surprise and joy to drive home from a sunny Rotherham with my first award in the bag. The shortlists were all genuinely strong and contained wonderful books - any of which deserved to win…

The morning itself at Rotherham United’s New York Stadium was already rewarding enough. A succession of motivated and interested students visited each author table and provided that thing that all authors value: the proof that someone is reading - and enjoying! - your writing. Even though one or two schools whispered to me that they had voted for Mysterium, I was still astonished when the announcement was made.

Thanks again to everyone in Rotherham who helped to organise and run the day and to everyone who read and voted - for any of the books.

And thanks also to fellow nominees in YA and Upper categories Lucy Adlington, Teri Terry and Catherine Johnson whose company also helped to make the day most enjoyable…



Here’s a nice shot of a fading evening sky behind the trusty torches to announce that The Black Dragon has been shortlisted in the Senior category of the 2014 Rotherham Children’s Book Awards. The ceremony is on June 10th and I’m delighted to see Mysterium on the list with some other wonderful titles. See details here:

© Julian Sedgwick 2019