Julie Ma wins Richard and Judy Search for a Bestseller


05 October 2020
Julie's prize is a publishing deal with Welbeck Editions worth at least £10,000

Julie lives in Wales and runs her family's Chinese takeaway, which is reflected in her winning novel, Happy Families.

'I feel I should be pinched to wake me up!,' she said. 'As most writers starting out know, it's worth building up a thick skin to deal with all of the rejections so when I entered, I just expected to add another layer to my hide. But secretly, I was hoping Richard and Judy would enjoy hearing about the folk in the Chinese takeaway and the quirky town they live in. And they did!'

'From its waggish first page to its perfect ending, Happy Families was the bright shining star among the nine hundred submissions we received for the competition,' said Welbeck Editions fiction publisher Jon Elek. 'Julie Ma’s story of three generations of a Chinese immigrant family in rural Wales was a joy to read and we look forward to publishing it next year. It is sad, funny, moving and draws you into the lives of these fantastic characters who are all involved in one way or another with the running of a Chinese takeaway in a small town. To me, it had the charm of The Rosie Project, the warmth of The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry and the magic of Gavin & Stacey.'

Happy Families will be published in February 2021.


Content continues after advertisements

For more writing inspiration, subscribe to our bestselling monthly magazine and receive your first 3 issues for just £3. Claim this offer here