Ended September 30th 2011

The New German Shades of Grey 'Grau' Competition

Open to: For those who read my books in German

For other competitions, go to my Competition Page

dragonslayer cover UK

Published by Eichborn: 'Grau' by Jasper Fforde

This is the Eichborn edition of Shades of Grey. It is available to buy, NOW, in the shops or at Amazon.de, among other outlets. It's very good apparently - the translator has done some great work to bring it up to standard.

I had three copies to give away, and all you had to do was to photograph yourself with something grey. Simple as that. As usual, extra marks were granted for originality, wit and flair.

The winners are marked next to their entry, so scroll on down and have a look. Winners will be sent a signed book and some Eichborn promotional material. My thanks to everyone who submited entries, and to the many people who wanted to send a picture, but didn't.


Submission to Grau picture competition

the picture shows me wearing my Outdoor Adventure #9s, which happen to be grey, my Grey Spot and my READS OFF-COLOUR BOOKS badge - which came along with a five-hundred-merit fine :(

Best Regards from Berlin,



Submission to Grau picture competition

Me in Grey with 10% blue in the Belem Cultural Center in Lisbon



Submission to Grau picture competition

This is my last minute entry. It shows me and my favourite accessoire, a grey pencil. Wearing pencils under your nose is the upcoming fashion trend from Germany!



Submission to Grau picture competition

Winner #1

We loved this because it is not just a lot of grey stuff, but also a fantastic portrait and picture, so congratulations to Friederike and her anonymous photographer.

I send you a picture of me with my favorite piece of clothing. It's thick and warm and absolutly unnecessary at this time of the year - but it's grey. Behind me you can see a good example of modern architecture in eastern germany. Thanks God, it's not everywhere like that.

Greetings from Brandenburg, Friederike


Submission to Grau picture competition

Winner #2

Congratulations to Netti for this one. We didn't notice what she had done at first, but if you look carefully, the background behind her has been made grey by the grey-making device in her hand. Quirky and fun.

i've got a machine which makes everything grey! who doesn't need something cool as that?! because grey rules!

and OMG there's a Dirndl behind me ;D

much greetings from austria :)



Submission to Grau picture competition

sometimes things are just not quite as they seem.



Submission to Grau picture competition

The most worn and battered piece of grey i could find (next to my home-trousers..) was my, once shiny white, copy of "Shades of Grey" itself. greetings from Erfurt, in hope to meet you in the eastern parts of Germany on your reading-tour!



Submission to Grau picture competition

All my washing is on the line - so had to use a different photo of myself rather than be inappropriate.



Submission to Grau picture competition

Winner #3

What can we say? Ole, Bernd and Jens are our third winner, not because they didn't win last time, but because of the sheer effort and wholly bizarre humour that runs thoughout their submission - and with a short one act play to go with it. Parrots? Yes, they're African Greys. (I know this because we used to have one.) Very odd.

No shades of grey

JK: Bernd, did you see the "Grau" competition on Fforde's homepage?
BD: Of course, Jens. But this time let's just take a picture of us with the first grey object we can find.
JK: Good idea, don't want to spend so many hours again. What's your first association with grey?
BD: Hm. Mouse. I guess. We can find some at our cafeteria.

Both of them leave in their Prussian City Cruiser produced by Kraus-Maffay to find a grey mouse at the nearest cafeteria and to take a photo with a new BLEICA (1 - see below) edition. A small mouse is easily found and shot - with the Bleica. Taking a look at the result.

JK: Didn't I say we need a GREY object?!
BD: It's not my fault. I don't know, maybe the mouse wasn't grey.
JK: Well, any idea where we can find an animal, that really is grey?
BD: Elephants are grey. Let's try Hagenbeck's Tierpark.

Off to Hamburg's biggest zoo.

JK: It shouldn't be too difficult to take a really good picture of that elephant over there, the one juggling that strange toy (2 - see below).
BD: No problem.
A picture is being taken.

BD: Done. Have a look.
JK: Honestly, I really thought elephants to be grey and not ....
BD: Again? I'm sorry, no idea what's going on.
JK: OK, so it doesn't seem to work with animals. We should try grey objects.

They leave the zoo for the harbour to find some grey objects. Accidently a British submarine is about to be moored at the docks. Some voices from nowhere:

[Paul: Ringo! Do you think Jasper did recognize us on the last photo?
Ringo: I don't think so, Paul.
Paul: Ringo, what can be done about that?
Ringo: Paul, I think we have to hide a more obvious clue. Maybe a submarine or something.
Paul: A submarine, a grey submarine?
Ringo: Sounds good.
Paul: And a great title for a song: "Grey Submarine".]

But not even the submarine proves to be grey on the picture. So in frustration and as a last attempt they decide to look for grey geese that are widespread in Eastern Prussia only to find a perfectly arranged flock of these grey geese hunted by an outdated V1 fired by an old Prussian squire. Old habits seem to die hard.

BD: Nothing grey. Nothing grey at all.
JK: F**k. Again no chance of winning this f*******g competition.
BD: Let's send this f*******g picture and forget about it.

(1) The Bleica is the "Lead Edition" of the famous German camera company that is completely made of grey lead and is shipped even with "lead glass optical devices".
(2) As we didn't win last time, when we had the support of the "Graf Zeppelin", we now decided to give the Hindenburg a chance. Kind of spitfire.

Ole Rössler (top), Bernd Düsterbeck (left) and Jens Kleinemeyer (right)


Submission to Grau picture competition

I send you a picture of me on top of the Bodenschneid, a mountain of middling hight in the Alps. There are crucifixes on every hill higher than the local church tower (it appears) and they are mostly wooden, but this one is metal and - grey!



Submission to Grau picture competition

I just found your website and the competition for "Grau". So here is an image that shows you my dull grey world (different shades though) - but luckily I have Munsell's Great Book to dream of the colors it could have...



Submission to Grau picture competition

As requested I enclose a picture of myself with something grey - I need to explain just a bit. I am a 'synesthesist' which means that I perceive numbers, letters and music in colours (and forms). And as it happens the number "7" is grey for me.

I added the other numbers as well to give a little impression of how I see them. It makes it quite easy for me to remember numbers and dates and is therefore quite an useful "talent" (or whatever you may call it!).

Best regards from sunny Upper Austria,



Submission to Grau picture competition

pic for the competition: "rebirth out of the grayness" ;-)



Submission to Grau picture competition

Dear Jasper,

I'm volunteering to submit to the GRAU contest a picture of my son who is apparently a hidden red and practising with his securtity blancket.

Best regards, looking forward to your november Germany tour - good date actually for "GRAU" (-;


Submission to Grau picture competition

Although I know it doesn't comply with the competition rules (It's grey, it features in SoG - it does! J) , I take the opportunity to congratulate you with the German translation of Shades of Grey, and to send you a holiday picture of the Flakturm (flak tower) in Wien (Vienna), taken April 2010.

Kins regards,

Marcel Versteeg

Submission to Grau picture competition

Dear Jasper,

Since I'm in Tokyo at the moment, the picture shows me and the Tokyo Sky Tree, Asia's highest tower (634 m) to be completed in 2012. To go to the top will cost some 3,000 yen (about 24 pounds, according to Google) which is ridiculously expensive. The colour is - well, grey and some glass on the top so it's a great match with the rest of the city (okay, that's mybe a little exaggerated).

I hope you like the picture (even though I would have preferred to send a picture of me and a German Weisswurst - a sausage with a colour somewhere between white and grey).


The Prizes: Three copies of the Eichborn edition of Grau by Jasper Fforde, signed and dedicated (if you want) plus some British SoG postcards and Eichborn promotional material that is not usually available. There are no runner-up prizes unless I decide there are.

The images you send may be selected to be viewed on my website, and it is a condition of entry that you are happy for this to be done.

Any picture that looks like it was taken irresponsibly will not be considered, so don't bother.

Competition is open to all German readers, either in Germany or Austria, or living elsewhere but reading my books in German.

All entries emailed JPEGS, please.

No emails will be harvested by me or my publishers.

This competition is run by me in gratitude to all my German readers, and is not a Eichborn promotion.

Winner will be announced on or near the 1st October 2011.

Judges (me) decision is final.