Book set in Preston’s haunted tunnels up for global literature award

Posted on - 18th November, 2018 - 12:00pm | Author - | Posted in - Preston News, University campus
A.J. Hartley in front of Cold Bath Street sign
Author A.J. Hartley visited Cold Bath Street with a copy of his book

A book set in the haunted tunnels of Preston has been nominated for a prestigious global literature award.


AJ Hartley’s Young Adult story, Cold Bath Street, is up for the 2019 Carnegie Medal, which is awarded annually to an outstanding book written in English for children and young people.

The book prize is one of the oldest and most prestigious in the world, and often described as the gold standard of children’s literature. Terry Pratchett is a previous winner, while JK Rowling has been nominated twice.

Released in April this year, Cold Bath Street is a ghostly thriller centred around the Miley Tunnel. Not only is the book set in Preston, author AJ Hartley grew up in Ribbleton, and it was published by UCLan Publishing, the only student-led, student-run publishing house in the world.

Review: Cold Bath Street is a perfect Preston ghost story

UCLan Associate Professor of Publishing and Head of the Publishing House Debbie Williams said: “We are overjoyed to be nominated.

“For small publishing houses such as ours to make this list is almost unheard of, so it’s a game-changer for us. It means we’re taken seriously in the publishing world alongside many of the large, well-established publishing houses and it will open up many opportunities internationally.”

AJ Hartley said: “The great thing about major awards is that they raise the visibility of books that might otherwise be considered niche, special-interest or – as in this case – overly local.

“It would be wonderful for the world to discover this story of a northern town, its people and its culture, and for me that would be a huge honour.”

The tunnel runs under a good swathe of Preston before heading off towards Longridge
The Miley Tunnel runs under a good swathe of Preston before heading off towards Longridge

Cold Bath Street is currently under consideration by 68 publishers around the world, and has attracted interest from film and games producers. If the book makes the final Carnegie Medal shortlist, it will mean a huge increase in sales in the UK and internationally.

Following the book’s success, UCLan Publishing is working with AJ Hartley on another children’s book, Monsters in the Mirror, due to be published in March next year.

Read more: Ghostly thriller set in Preston’s tunnels has launched

Have you read Cold Bath Street? What did you think? Let us know in the comments below.

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